Discrepancy – The state or quality of being discrepant; disagreement; variance; discordance; dissimilarity; contrariety.
[1913 Webster]

When it comes to web stats on operating systems, we certainly do have discrepancies for July 2011:

We know Wikipedia’s universe, the sum total of human knowledge described in English but NetApplications hides its sample and indeed has just made the umpteenth wiggle to their data-analysis to try to keep that other OS over 90% share on the desktop…

Clearly, they are not operating in the same universe with such divergent results. It makes no sense that different sources would be so close in one measure but extremely far apart in another. In science, we would call this a “blunder” type error. In IT it appears to be deliberate manipulation to hide the weakness of M$’s cash cow of an operating system.

Source Share Value


That Other OS – Desktop



That Other OS – Desktop















Android – mobile



Android – mobile


About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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30 Responses to Discrepancies…

  1. see Netcraft

    Notice that most of the world’s web servers are not big iron and run GNU/Linux far more than that other OS. The blips of popularity for that other OS were when M$ paid people to use their stuff…

  2. Munich migrated from NT. Where was .NET on NT? “Initial release 13 February 2002” so no .NET in Munich unless they rewrote their hundreds of custom applications for it. A lot of work for nothing if they were going to GNU/Linux.

  3. Contrarian says:

    You also miss the boat with the CALs issue, I think. .NET and java, too, use web services, whether WWW over the internet, or just LAN access with TCP/IP. You are too old school, I fear.

  4. Contrarian says:

    “Explain to me how $2.7 billion worth of GNU/Linux serves and $5.9 billion worth of servers running that other OS translates to 71% of server shipments given that servers running that other OS are much more expensive than servers running GNU/Linux. Compare apples to apples: GNU/Linux $0. That other OS $1000+$40 X N where N is the number of CALs.”

    You are missing the obvious facts here, #pogson. Linux, like Windows, has been successful at replacing conventional Unix use. Linux has been most successful on large servers, including some mainframe use, because it is so Unix-like in terms of operations and administration. Windows, OTOH, has been seen as a technology replacement for Unix and has attacked the server market from the bottom, growing upwards in terms of scale. Linux servers are likely to be much more expensive than Windows servers because they are the “big iron” sort of machine, costing a lot, but numerically many less than the x86 servers commonly associated with Windows installations.

    You build servers from junk box machines and install Linux and think that is typical, but it is not. Your outlook is severly limited by your lack of exposure to “real” commercial situations.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Ch not everything is right on the wikipedia.

    IDC units are mostly bogus. Since they are not real Units. Lets take revenue and divide by guess price of server hardware.

    http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS22360110 This is the IDC source document please find the 71.0 or 75.3 percent.

    Guess what. The Unit numbers are bogus and IDC deleted them. Also yes both numbers did appear in different versions of that Press Release at idc.com at one point.

    Yes the 75.3 or 71.0 to microsoft is what happens when you make units by dividing the revenue numbers by some made up number to get units. Because you don’t have real unit numbers. Note 71.0 was the second figure before they decide they better give up on the idea completely.

    IDC edits there Press Releases by god darn stealth when they get caught out with a error ch.

    Basically anyone with half a brain could work out something is wrong. In Units Windows drops Linux rises compared to revenue figures if Unit figure is correct. Reason Linux is cheaper per unit than Microsoft OEM installed servers. So more units sell for the same money. Linux Double to Triple compared to revune number when covered to Unit is normal.

    Both are quite massive changes. Windows halfs in units compared to revenue normally. So drops to somewhere around the 20 percent. Linux tripples or quads. So you end up with numbers very much looking like netcraft. Of 20 vs 70 with 10 percent in other.

    Now that is of course if you have real units not made up crap like IDC did.

  6. Linux server demand increased for the seventh consecutive quarter in 2Q11, with revenue growing 47.5% to $2.7 billion when compared with the second quarter of 2010. Linux servers represent 20.5% of all server revenue in the quarter as Linux server demand was helped significantly by Fujitsu’s large scale K-computer HPC system in Japan.
  7. Microsoft Windows server demand also continued to show strong growth as Windows-based hardware revenue increased 12.4% year-over-year. Quarterly revenue of $5.9 billion for Windows servers represented 45.5% of overall quarterly factory revenue and 71.0% of all quarterly server shipments.
  8. Explain to me how $2.7 billion worth of GNU/Linux serves and $5.9 billion worth of servers running that other OS translates to 71% of server shipments given that servers running that other OS are much more expensive than servers running GNU/Linux. Compare apples to apples: GNU/Linux $0. That other OS $1000+$40 X N where N is the number of CALs.

    IDC also reports, “Demand for x86 servers continued to improve in 2Q11, with revenues growing 15.1% in the quarter to $8.4 billion worldwide as unit shipments increased 5.4% to 1.9 million servers.”

    If 71% of servers shipped with that other OS, you are talking about 1.9millionX71% = 1.35 million servers and the price of a server with that other OS would have to be much less than the price of a server with GNU/Linux. Then there’s the matter of server consolidation. Who knows what loads are running in the virtual machines…