Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

In a Retail Competition in Portugal for Notebooks, GNU/Linux Won 10% Share

  • Sep 27 / 2012
  • 15
technology

In a Retail Competition in Portugal for Notebooks, GNU/Linux Won 10% Share

All this talk of GNU/Linux not making it on the desktop is hypothetical. Where GNU/Linux was tried it has done well. In Portugal, some locally-built PCs were produced in several models. One of them had GNU/Linux and because of that had a lower price for software and better hardware. The result? It earned a decent share of the market, 10%. So, the fools who proclaim GNU/Linux has only 1% share due to geeks miss the effect of barring GNU/Linux from retail shelves, something totally on the supply-side. Consumers will choose GNU/Linux if it is offered.

  1. bundling of software and hardware with sales heavily dominated by the hardware retail channel
  2. connection between suppliers and consumers through an oligopoly of retailers


We should add another fact: the world wide Linux desktop market share, which includes both desktops and laptops, is nearly 1.5%, even though it is very impractical, if not impossible, to buy it pre­installed owing to the aforementioned properties 1 and 2. It was, however, tested on the Portuguese market via e.iniciativas, a Government project for the distribution of laptops to students, teachers and other citizens under state sponsored training. The project delivered around 600000 computers from 5 manufacturers, via 4 network operators who agreed to handle the logistics while supplying 3g Internet connections. Only one laptop model, made available by a single operator, had Linux pre­installed. This somewhat low profile presence of Linux was an imposition from the Portuguese Government. Given the much lower price per unit of the software,the aforementioned model had better hardware than its competitors. Even though the computer was supplied by a local, relatively unknown assembler and the software was not, and still isn’t, mainstream, the final market share of the Linux-­based solution on the project was 10%. It is reasonable to think that having a similar option on additional models might have resulted in a larger share.

This remarkable achievement provides strong empirical evidence of the relevance of Linux on laptop computers. We should also like to add the results of an economic impact study that objectively deems this product viable for the entire supply chain, up to the consumer. In fact, due to the difference in software costs, there may be as much as 70 EUR per unit for a mixture of customer savings, retail margin improvement and hardware upgrade. A healthier market would, therefore, have a positive impact on the local IT economy”

The ~1.5% stuff is bogus, too, coming from a different oligopily on statistics.. Without running a parallel universe for the test, that’s the best you can get. It’s what I have been saying for years. The world can and does make its own software. It works. It’s GNU/Linux.

see Retail Oligopoly.

15 Comments

  1. Robert Pogson

    oldman wrote, “I wonder how many were paved over with windows, eh Pog?”

    Few, I guess. People tried before buying and they worked better with GNU/Linux than that other OS. I paved several XP machines.

  2. oldman

    “No one forced folks to take those GNU/Linux machines but they sold out.”

    Beggars cannot be choosers…

    Though I wonder how many were paved over with windows, eh Pog?

  3. oiaohm

    Ivan reality you are now to the point were you are having to try to cause in fighting in the FOSS world.

    You will find we will not. We accept code patches from Microsoft and other companies we don’t like. Even if you made us not like IBM we would skill be doing business with them.

    Part of doing business is dealing with companies that have bad track histories.

    IBM track history is very interesting. Its no where near the worst the FOSS world accepts patches from.

  4. Robert Pogson

    Chris Weig, hurting his head, wrote, “60,000 students ended up with Linux-only computers no matter what.”

    According to M$’s fans here, no one wants GNU/Linux so those machines should not have been accepted by anyone. They were accepted, gladly. No one forced folks to take those GNU/Linux machines but they sold out.

  5. Ivan

    It’s obvious, isn’t it? They want to atone for not holding profiteers of the holocaust, like IBM, accountable. That’s why they’ve chosen Linux.

    Linux is atonement, well, according to you and your crowd of sycophants.

  6. oiaohm

    Chris Weig I did not say that percent were Linux only in the school.

    I said from 6-11 represents about 10 percent of the total desktop market in that country.

    All the early machines were duel boot for that grade area. Its still about a 10 percent presence and exposure.

    Magellan computers basically document enough units for a 10 percent presence in that area with Linux. Lot grater than the 1.5 claim and the numbers that show up in web stats from that area you use.

    –If people are booting to Linux, then Microsoft can’t do anything about that.–
    Exactly.

    Chris Weig
    –And there was then no choice of any kind involved, and you can’t speak about a 10 percent market share.–
    Get this threw your thick head. All the stats you use don’t measure those who have free choice alone. There are almost no stats that do that.

    Reality most computer OS selection is not free choice. School chooses MS windows and MS Office result is almost students use that. Next result is almost all businesses getting students from that school also will decide on the same OS. Staff in most businesses don’t have free choice of what OS they use.

    If you are talking about computer market share and free choice you are a twit.

    About 40-60 percent of the personal computer market is mandated purchases forced on people.

    So getting to 40 percent market share Linux does not have to win over the general public at all. That is just winning over the penny pincher money managers that it is productive enough.

    So Linux desktop is not dead while it can still win 10 percent market share in particular areas.

  7. Chris Weig

    Not so. Students got to choose. The machines were sold at different prices. Even the ones who got them $free paid for Internet access.

    Seriously, I’m talking against walls here.

    This is about the document to which you linked.

    They had 600,000 computers to give away. From these 600,000 computers 60,000 by one manufacturer were Linux-only. All of them were given away (it doesn’t matter if for free or for money). Since you are an astute fellow, Pogson, you will without a doubt recognize that the 10 percent “market share” is in this case an inherent property of the antecedent. It would’ve been a different story if for all of the 600,000 computers a choice between Windows and Linux would’ve been possible. But that was not the case. 60,000 computers were Linux-only. Therefore:

    60,000 students ended up with Linux-only computers no matter what.

  8. Chris Weig

    Chris Weig its interesting that MS does not publish percentage splits. 6-11 what percentage Linux. Would not happen to be a 80/20 split or worse for Microsoft by any chance.

    And why do you assume that? The document merely states that the laptops are dual-boot systems. If people are booting to Linux, then Microsoft can’t do anything about that.

    Having Grades 6-11 in fact could be enough for 10 percent total market share. Reason lot of people out in workforce don’t use computers. The highest usage in population is education.

    You also don’t get it. From the 600,000 computers or so given out to students, 60,000 were Linux-only. Since all 600,000 computers were given away, the 60,000 computers were, naturally, given away, too. And there was then no choice of any kind involved, and you can’t speak about a 10 percent market share.

    With the Magellan computers it’s a different story, as they are dual-boot systems. But I don’t suppose that there’s some kind of tracking software installed on them to find out which OS is booted.

  9. Robert Pogson

    Chris Weig wrote, “One manufacturer (out of five) solely produced Linux laptops. These laptops were produced with the intent of giving all of them to students. So there wasn’t choice involved, as much as you’d like this to be the truth.”

    Not so. Students got to choose. The machines were sold at different prices. Even the ones who got them $free paid for Internet access.

    All the machines for Early Years now dual boot “7″/Linux so one cannot make the distinction but over 1 million machines have been distributed for all grades.

    In addition to the plan in Portugal, Venezuela took an addition million GNU/Linux machines. That was their choice.

  10. oiaohm

    Chris Weig business basics 101. Get them young using your product and you will have better chances they will use it in future.

    In fact its a good example that Linux can be used to reduce cost in every business by providing some roles.

    This case caused MS to discount there product lines.

    Chris Weig its interesting that MS does not publish percentage splits. 6-11 what percentage Linux. Would not happen to be a 80/20 split or worse for Microsoft by any chance.

    Having Grades 6-11 in fact could be enough for 10 percent total market share. Reason lot of people out in workforce don’t use computers. The highest usage in population is education.

    Again this is knowing demographics that you don’t know Chris Weig.

  11. Chris Weig

    Please, Pogson, stop ridiculing yourself ever more.

    Depending on the financial situation of the students (or rather their parents) the computers in question could be given to them for free. Whoever could afford to pay them paid. Whoever could not afford them got them as a “gift”.

    One manufacturer (out of five) solely produced Linux laptops. These laptops were produced with the intent of giving all of them to students. So there wasn’t choice involved, as much as you’d like this to be the truth.

  12. Robert Pogson

    Chris Weig wrote, “The document concedes that Linux’s market share is at most 1.5 percent.”

    They pulled that number out of the air. They don’t give a source so I would not give it much weight. They might just be using the usual ~1% stuff. Repeating it does not make it true. They indeed give an example of a market where GNU/Linux scored 10% of units shipped.

    Chris Weig contradicted himself with, “The laptop computers in question were not sold on the free market, they were given to students and teachers at greatly subsidized prices”.

    Gifts with a price? Which is it? They were sold. The prices may well have been subsidized but consumers had choice.

    FUD? Are the M$-lovers fearful of GNU/Linux actually being able to be chosen by consumers. What a lack of confidence from the might M$.

  13. Chris Weig

    Oh, yes, Pogson. FUD it up a notch!

    Reading comprehension: zero. This just reeks of desperation. Your anti-perspirant has failed.

    Let’s check some facts regarding the precious ESOP document you’ve linked to, and which you’ve deliberately misrepresented:

    1. The document concedes that Linux’s market share is at most 1.5 percent. For once they are in the right ballpark. (p. 6)

    2. The laptop computers in question were not sold on the free market, they were given to students and teachers at greatly subsidized prices or for free. (p. 6; the document only gives a hint, but details on the project can be found on the net easily)

    3. You can see in this document by Microsoft that in the successor program Linux had to share with Windows and is limited to the age group 6-11.

    So the 10 percent turn out to be an imaginary figure which has nothing to do with the real free market. And even this 10 percent figure is dubious because the authors don’t give a single reference to back up their claim that 10 percent chose Linux.

    Before you post FUD, get your facts right, Pogson.

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