The Monotonous Decline of That Other OS

Not long ago, people were talking about M$’s OS having 95% share of desktop PCs. The world is different now. M$’s share of web clients is sliding downwards as the world cranks out small cheap computers in greater numbers each year. Only yesterday, I was away from home and browsed the web on a OEM-manufactured PC running Android/Linux. It was a smooth experience except for typing. No part of the PC involved M$.

The trend away from Wintel can be seen in the share of that other OS on Wikimedia’s web statistics:

That’s an average decline of 0.57% per month.

Wikimedia is an unbiased source of web-stats. They do lean towards English but there is nothing in their operation to prefer one OS over another. As such, their data do describe reality, not use of that other OS by “partners” of M$ or a sampling of retail shelves in USA. For May, the number was 71.3%, another new low. If that reflects the installed base of TOS clients then the share of new client production must be even lower. Assuming there are about 3 billion web clients on Earth, a decline of 0.57% per month represents 20 million more “other” web clients newly released each month than M$’s. Since M$’s production is ~50-60 million licences per month, M$’s eventual share could approach less than 50% at this rate. There’s no rule that the world owes M$ a living and there’s no rule that the rate of decline of their share cannot increase…

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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15 Responses to The Monotonous Decline of That Other OS

  1. ch says:

    > People use IE6, not because its easy to use

    Huh? IE6 _is_ easy to use (as long as you are not accustomed to tabbed windows). There are many very good reasons for not using IE6 any more, but ease of use would be very low on that list.

    From personal experience I can attest that if browsing the web on your smartphone is _hard_ to do, you will try to avoid it. If it’s easy, you’re likely to do it more often.

  2. ch wrote, ” those numbers are easily explained without the need for conspiracy theories.” as if ease of use influenced usage much. People use IE6, not because its easy to use but because that’s what they found on their PCs. Ease of use is a small factor in a user’s decision to do something with a PC.

  3. ch says:

    “but you can’t trust especially those figures”

    Mats, do you really believe WP is fudging their numbers for some nefarious reason?

    Those numbers indicate _web_usage_, tehy are only indirectly linked to sales figures. I saw various numbers elsewhere indicating that iPhone owners use the internet more with them than Android users. (Maybe the browser in iOS is really easier to use?)
    If that is the case, those numbers are easily explained without the need for conspiracy theories.

  4. The problem with Wikimedia stats is that they predominantly reflect usage in USA/Europe rather than the rest of the world. en.wikipedia.org give the bulk of the data and is not global. That’s why MacOS is far above the share that Apple, itself, reports.

    Still, the data are self-consistent and show trends. The one I like is that that other OS is declining pretty steadily. I would like it to sink faster but if the decline in user-base is as large as Wikimedia reports, the decline in share of shipments must be much larger. The end result is the same. Sooner or later M$ will have to work for a living or suffer a huge decline in revenue.

  5. Mats Hagglund says:

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/5/prweb9514037.htm

    ” Android Smartphones maintained market dominance within the Smartphone segment of the market, with a global market share of 59 % and an installed base of 331 Million legitimate Android device (handset) activations, up from 250 million in Q4’2011. The results were released as part of Signals and Systems Telecom’s “Android Device Database: Activations by Vendor, Handset Model and Region Q1’2012″. ”

    330 million Android Smartphone and about 20 million tables means 350 Android devices and now you can compare it to about 1400 million pc’s. Rate is 1:4. Wikimedia is claiming the rate is 4,22:83 (non-mobiles) about 1:20.

    Of course you don’t use mobiles not so much daily connected to internet as pc’s. My son has Samsung S2 Galaxy and he used it perhaps 15-30 minutes per day but several hours his Linux PC.

    Android vs. whole mobile rate is 1:4. If there’s 350 million Android smartphones and tablets then can you believe there is 1400 million smartphones and tablets in the world? Can’t be. Sale figures don’t back it.

    If mobile percentage – 17% – is right in that Wikimedia statistics, then Android percentage is wrong. It’s much higher than 4,22%. My guess is something like ~8%.

  6. Mats Hagglund says:

    Just take a look some figures of that Wikimedia statistics. Can any honest person claim that these figures of iPhone and iPad are correct:

    iPhone: 6.37%
    iPad: 2.76%
    ————–
    totall 9.13%

    Now compare it to Android: 4.22%

    Then let’s take a look at sale figures

    http://kuvaton.com/k/Ys3O.png

    Android smartphones got 48,8% in 2011 and 56,1% in Q1 2012. iPhone 23.0% in Q1 2012 and before numbers were even much lower. So during the last 1½ years Android smartphones are sold more than twice than iPhones.

    Tablets are different story but still iPad got only 2:1 to Android. And smartphone vs. tablet sale rate is still some 5:1.

    Can any honest people declare that these Wikimedia figures of iPads, iPhones and Macs too are reliable at all? If we checked the sale figures of Mac we’ll noticed that hardly more than 4% of PC’s are Mac’s. But Wikimedia is claiming that 8,2% of all devices and almost 10% of non-mobiles are Macs.

    When figures of Apple operation systems are absolutely too high then clearly figures of Microsoft OS’s are too low. But there’s another issue: is mobile percentage 17% and non-mobiles still 83%? I doubt it. Because we know now that 487 million smarphones and about 60 million tablets were sold last year. Smartphone+tablet are sold these days almost twice than pc’s or perhaps 35% of all devices are now mobiles. About twice the figure giving by Wikimedia.

    So wikimedia clearly is showing the trend but you can’t trust especially those figures of iPad, iPhone and Mac compared with all pc’s, Linux and Android/Linux.

  7. kozmcrae says:

    iLia wrote:

    “Running Web sites is the only real work you can do on Linux, and write some crappy desktop FLOSS as well.”

    Well, we can write iLia off. He is someone to safely ignore. Really iLia. You’re not that stupid now are you?

  8. iLia wrote, “Running Web sites is the only real work you can do on Linux,”

    See Top500 HPC, millions of developers using it, millions of ordinary folks using it, schools, governments and some businesses loving it… Whatever is iLia thinking?

    iLia wrote, of GNU/Linux in Russia, “it doesn’t mean that people after working with Linux at work or at home will install Linux on their home computers, or keep it if they installed.”

    No, but suppliers of PCs for the Russian government will see the merit of supplying PCs with GNU/Linux and they will make them available on retail shelves where consumers will buy them and keep the OS that came with their machine.

    iLia wrote, “There are too much problems with desktop Linux, in schools there are administrators who can fix them, but at home users will have to deal with Linux bugs themselves. “

    iLia appears not to have used Debian, Stable flavour, which has a tiny number of bugs (700) per thousand lines of code compared to closed-source code (50 gB in the Debian repository for x86, alone).

    So, iLia is wrong on all counts. He should reflect on his premises.

  9. iLia says:

    Linux is where the REAL work gets done

    Running Web sites is the only real work you can do on Linux, and write some crappy desktop FLOSS as well.

    Mr.Pogson:Russia is one of those countries in which the government is migrating to GNU/Linux and promoting GNU/Linux in schools, so there’s plenty of hope, expectation and satisfaction.

    And it doesn’t mean that people after working with Linux at work or at home will install Linux on their home computers, or keep it if they installed.

    There are too much problems with desktop Linux, in schools there are administrators who can fix them, but at home users will have to deal with Linux bugs themselves. Or you propose to teach pupils how to fix Linux bugs?

    And there are substantial discounts for schools from Microsoft.

    Anyway you can use almost all FLOSS with Windows. So no chance for GNU/Linux 🙁

    So don’t be so happy 🙁 🙁 🙁

  10. Viktor wrote, “Desktop Linux hasn’t been able to make any inroads.”

    Hmmm…

    • Dell is selling GNU/Linux in 1000 stores in China and India,
    • every major OEM is making PCs with GNU/Linux,
    • M$’s revenue for desktop OS is stagnant,
    • Munich, many other governments, schools and businesses are switching to GNU/Linux, and
    • M$’s response is to raise prices to try to maintain cash-flow…

    Viktor is a guy who really should know cognitive dissonance. He believes success is failure.

  11. kozmcrae says:

    iLia wrote:

    “and Android/Linux is not GNU/Linux.”

    Ha, ha, ha, ha ha ha ha ha. You crack me up. You and the rest of the Cult of Microsoft. Microsoft spent untold millions and effort for the last decade or more grinding the Linux brand name into the dirt. Basement dwellers they were. Hobbyists. Neck beards. Nobody uses Linux if they want to get work done. That was the message of the Microsoft Evangelists. Day in and day out. It was the same message. They never let up.

    So what happens when Android comes along. Here’s their big chance to put all that good work wrecking the Linux name to use. Attach it to Android and wreck that name too.

    Nope! Suddenly Android has nothing to do with Linux. Ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha. You stupid idiots. You could have associated Android with basement dwellers, hobbyists, neck beards and all the other negative connotations you made up, but no, you disassociated Linux from Android. And you know what? The general public doesn’t give a rat’s ass one way or the other.

    What a bunch of idiots you are.

  12. Viktor says:

    Cognitive dissonance at work, Bob. Quite frankly, your “small cheap computers” swan song is getting boring. You could express this another way, too, you know:

    Desktop Linux hasn’t been able to make any inroads.

    That’s the incovenient truth you want to hide with your “small cheap computers” shtick.

    In your words: “We can’t beat Desktop Windows, so we change the topic.”

  13. dougman says:

    Re: And 3/4 of Ubuntu users still use Windows as well…and why do they do that? Games mainly, that’s it, yes.

    “Windows is mainly for games, Linux is where the REAL work gets done”

    U.S. Government even uses Android and Linux these days.

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/security/232400479

    http://www.mobileburn.com/18449/news/us-army-government-adopting-android-smartphones-and-tablets-for-field-use

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/security/231002431

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/10/us-navy-picks-linux-for-unmanned-vtol-drones/

    Re: There’s no rule that the world owes M$ a living and there’s no rule that the rate of decline of their share cannot increase…

    That’s correct, and this is why they are attacking Linux and Android either directly, indirectly or deceptively.

  14. iLia wrote, “Android/Linux is not GNU/Linux.” as if I cared. It’s not that other OS and it’s FLOSS as it should be.

    iLia wrote, “In Russia Windows Phone has 14% market share!”

    Russia is one of those countries in which the government is migrating to GNU/Linux and promoting GNU/Linux in schools, so there’s plenty of hope, expectation and satisfaction.

  15. iLia says:

    Oh, my Pog!

    Use your brain, you are simply miserable!

    Read these stats yourself.

    They include not only desktop OSs, but also mobile OSs and Android/Linux is not GNU/Linux.

    And people who have Android as their smartphone use Windows as their desktop OS and not some GNU/Linux.

    And 3/4 of Ubuntu users still use Windows as well.

    It therefore may have had somewhat different impact for traffic from different parts of the world.

    In Russia Windows Phone has 14% market share!

    So no hope here for you! 🙂

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