Facebook investor Roger McNamee recently claimed that Microsoft's share of Internet-connected devices has gone from 95 percent to less than 50 percent in the last three years, as reported by Business Insider and others.
LinuxCon speaker Allison Randal, the technical architect of Ubuntu, brought up this claim in her talk and noted that it's not really clear if McNamee's math would survive serious scrutiny. But the proliferation of smartphones and tablets that don't run Windows certainly has lowered Microsoft's share of devices capable of surfing the Web.
"This is not a case of stealing existing users," she said. "This is a case of new adoption."
Numerous LinuxCon speakers argued that cloud computing will make these new types of devices more useful, and make moving from one device to another a seamless process.
"With the Internet and the cloud, there are all kinds of ideas merging to make this much easier to happen," Wladawsky-Berger said. "Client-server was a retrofit, it all runs on the PC. It was OK, just not elegant the way cloud is."