Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Dec 11 / 2012
  • 1

GNU/Linux Desktop Predictions for 2013

Jay Layman wrote a “predictions” piece for 2013 including this trite nonsense:
“Once again, I’m predicting further obscurity for Linux on the desktop. The question, though, is does it matter? There continue to be major hurdles to Linux growth on the desktop, including the boot loader saga, as well as more market-based challenges.

via Linux News: Business: Top 5 Linux Predictions for 2013.

That’s consistent with ~1% share of units isn’t it? But, of course, GNU/Linux already has far more than 1% share today and its share is growing rapidly. Whole governments are adopting GNU/Linux, for everything. Many businesses are migrating from XP to GNU/Linux and likely, some will migrate from “7″ to GNU/Linux. Obscure? No way.

The thing is, in a sea of XP and “7″, it’s easy for web stats to hide GNU/Linux. Every firewall does that if “unique IP address” matters. Look at the difference when one looks at an organization with one routed IP address per PC like Google:

California, Including Google

California, excluding Google

Swap GNU/Linux and that other OS and you see what I’m getting at. That an organization like Google can use mostly GNU/Linux does not make GNU/Linux obscure. NATing does. There are many organizations around the world that use a lot of GNU/Linux on desktops but they just are not counted because each desktop does not have an IP address on the web, so the whole organization gets counted as one machine. All the homes out there with one PC with that other OS get counted just as much.

So, the premise of that prediction is all wrong. GNU/Linux has already succeeded on the desktop and it still has room to grow.