Global Competition

One of the force-multipliers in modern business is the wise use of IT. It is interesting to compare use of FLOSS and GNU/Linux (according to Net Applications) of some of the major trading nations:

Country GNU/Linux (%)
California

9.35

Bretagne, France

2.88

France

1.95

Germany

1.80

USA

1.72

Brazil

1.11

United Kingdom

0.93

Hsinchu, Taiwan

0.75

Beijing, China

0.59

Taiwan

0.38

China

0.33

Japan

0.20

Of course, the absolute numbers are useless as Net Applications is quite biased towards business-usage of software but for this post, that is relevant and we can see major players in IT and countries and regions of countries giving leadership in IT use GNU/Linux much more heavily than others. There’s a reason for that. It makes them more competitive and, little by little, Wintel’s share of IT will shrink to reflect that. Countries and industries using little of GNU/Linux will use more in order to increase profits and margins.

It’s similar to what we saw years ago when GNU/Linux spread mostly amongst computer-geeks installing it on their own PCs. Early adopters as individuals and early-adopters as countries and businesses do create trends that grow because better technology works for real people and real organizations. The technological leader tend to use GNU/Linux 30-100% more often than others.

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux because it works for the users.

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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6 Responses to Global Competition

  1. oiaohm says:

    aardvark really the MS stuff is more tricky than one like. H-1B visa staff is used in Microsoft USA very heavily. Those staff may not appear in USA books.

    aardvark there is a trend here. Pocketed growth of Linux. Also some of the areas where the growth has started just keeps on going up. Until you start seeing insane number.

    Now this is either that Netapplictions metric is wrong or there is a tipping point.

    If there is a case of a tipping point MS current location is far more unstable. Particularly that there appears to be a trend of Linux usage growing out from some of the high points. Interesting enough not all of them appear to be growing out at any major speed. So there might be a tipping point for the high points to grow out faster.

    So Linux migration appears like its not going to be even. I am not that surprised by that. But I am surprised how high some of the spikes seam to be.

    Like California the state that is around 10 percent but one area inside there spikes out to almost 90 percent. This one appears to be growing outwards.

    This also suggest Linux does not spread that evenly.

  2. aardvark says:

    Mr Pogson:

    Once those figures get above 1%, then perhaps there’s a decent argument to be had. In the mean time, here’s a list off the top of my head of centres of innovation:

    – The Bay Area
    – Boston/Cambridge (MIT, etc)
    – Austin, Texas (includes a big IBM facility)
    – Bangalore
    – Mumbai
    – Singapore
    – The Pearl River (urban guangdong, basically)
    – Daejeon
    – Toulouse (not, strangely, Brittany)
    – Berlin? (Somewhere in Germany. Berlin is as good a guess as any.)

    There aren’t really that many, now I come to think about it. And very few of them are on your list. (Not a criticism: just an exhortation. Get the numbers out!)

    Beijing isn’t really big on innovation, btw: it’s probably M$’s biggest facility outside the USA.

    And measuring “success” as a ratio between the countryside and a single (or double) selected urban centre, which is what you appear to be doing with Taiwan and Canada, is a little weak. It wouldn’t be weak if the numbers were Californian numbers: but they aren’t. They’re < 1%.

    All personal preferences and biases aside, the thing here is to work out exactly why Gnu/Linux thrives in certain environments. You can wish all you like, but wishes don't make those environments "centres of innovation." What I see from these numbers is that they imply a cultural difference.

    Boil that cultural difference down, and maybe you're onto something.

  3. Writing of greater usage of GNU/Linux in centres of innovation around the world, aardvark wrote, ” In fact, it doesn’t really apply to any other center of innovation, from these figures.”

    Let’s see China, for instance:

    China as a whole: 0.33%
    Beijing: 0.59%

    Let me do the maths: 0.59/0.33 = 1.78

    Hsinchu, Taiwan/Taiwan = 0.75/0.38 = 1.97

    I claim literary licence on the rounding errors. Those were a couple of examples found in minutes. There are others all over the world. In Canada, for instance, IT businesses thrive in larger centres like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Vancouver/Canada = 1.32/0.63 = 2.1

    The point is centres of innovation usually have the knowhow to install GNU/Linux or the will to demand it from suppliers. Other regions just have big-box retailers shipping M$’s stuff as long as they can. My local Walmart has a bunch of Android/Linux smart phones but not one GNU/Linux box. There’s no good reason for that.

  4. aardvark says:

    Mr Pogson:

    “What’s interesting for me is that centres of innovation tend to have 2-3 times higher usage of GNU/Linux.”

    That’s fair enough on these figures when it comes to California — it’s probably an underestimate, in fact. But only when it comes to California.

    As Mr iLia points out, it doesn’t really apply to Singapore. Or to Taiwan (if Hsinchu is the poster city for Gnu/Taiwan at 0.75, then things aren’t so rosy there). In fact, it doesn’t really apply to any other center of innovation, from these figures.

    This doesn’t imply that Linux and innovation are opposite forces; it simply suggests that you are looking down (an interesting end of) the wrong telescope.

    I think the right direction to look in is cultural differences. Needless to say, California is culturally very different from the rest of the USA. You could probably pick a selection of college towns in the US, particularly in places like Texas, and get similar multipliers for Gnu/Linux.

    And it goes without saying that Brittany is culturally very different from the rest of France (though not necessarily in the most appealing way, if you’re a non-Breton). This one is fascinating. I’d love to see a follow-up investigation by somebody.

  5. iLia wrote, “It seams to me that Taiwan, Japan and China manage to be extremely technologically developed countries without being ardent GNU/Linux users.”

    That’s according to NetApplications and its “partners”. I suspect they don’t have many partners in those countries so the bias may be different there. Consumers and the illegal copying of that other OS may be a bigger factor. What’s interesting for me is that centres of innovation tend to have 2-3 times higher usage of GNU/Linux. I expect usage will spread from those centres to the rest of the country. That should be true as young people move along in their careers, taking their knowledge with them.

  6. iLia says:

    The technological leader tend to use GNU/Linux 30-100% more often than others.

    It seams to me that Taiwan, Japan and China manage to be extremely technologically developed countries without being ardent GNU/Linux users.

    And California, it is on the brink of the economical collapse, isn’t it?

    And French Brittany it is not so developed, it is number 7 in the list of French regions ranked by GDP per capita, and has 25,739 euros of GDP per capita, when ÃŽle-de-France, number 1, has 51,101 euros and the poorest french region, Corsica, has 23,800 euros per capita. 25,739 euros are much closer to the Corsican 23,800 that to 51,101 of Ile-de-France.

    So the heavy use of Linux doesn’t help that much 🙂

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