Desktop GNU/Linux: The Dream is Alive

Despite all the FUD M$ and Apple-fans spread, Desktop GNU/Linux is alive and well.

The widely referenced web statistics are a poor measure of Desktop GNU/Linux adoption. They either count unique visitors which is warped by NATing firewalls in organizations or page-views which are strongly dependent on the nature of the sites being counted.

To get a better picture of adoption one must measure success in known roll-outs and production by OEMs. There have been a lot of success-stories:

  • adoption by tech companies like Google and IBM,
  • adoption by national governments like Brazil, India, Russia, China, and Malaysia,
  • adoption by regional and municipal governments and departments like
    • Largo, FL, USA,
    • Munich, Germany,
    • Extremadura, Spain,
    • French national police, and
    • USA Department of Defence
  • adoption by general businesses like
    • NYSE,
    • Peugeot,
    • Ernie Ball Guitar Strings,
    • banks, and insurance companies.
  • adoption by professionals and students in science, education and engineering, and multimedia.

No, on top of the success of GNU/Linux in high performance computing, servers and networking, the widespread use of GNU/Linux on desktops is icing on the cake.

In comparison, those other operating systems are struggling to maintain share in the face of small cheap computers of all kinds. Apple is stuck at ~5% of PCs shipped, M$ is declining and GNU/Linux is growing at double-digits percent. The big difference these days is that OEMs of all kinds are shipping GNU/Linux and in much of the world GNU/Linux can be found on retail shelves.

No, desktop GNU/Linux is not dead. It’s just getting started.


presented over a year ago. prediction- 9% share by 2014

presented over a year ago

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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38 Responses to Desktop GNU/Linux: The Dream is Alive

  1. oiaohm says:

    bw the only patent payments to Microsoft have been won under FAT patents.

    Nexus devices don’t pay Microsoft at all even in the USA. They don’t provide the fat driver with infringing long file-name support.

    bw –It is the decline of PCs, not the decline of Windows in any case, so somewhere there will be a new base level. Linux will still not figure in and will decline the same as Windows.–

    History says no to this presume. Declines of a platform normally sees FOSS systems left as last OS standing in dieing platforms. The commercials are normally not as diverse so die out on the platform due to lack of income. Its the problem of don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

    Decline of PC will see Microsoft two biggest income makers Windows and Office drop.

    bw Sales are coming ipad, Iphone, droid or chromebook.

    Droid and Chromebook both fund Linux Graphical development. Both directly provide operational drivers to items like Mir from Ubuntu and Wayland from others.

    The problem here supercomputer are also funding Linux graphical development due to the higher usage in recent years of GPU’s in supercomputers.

    bw we are in a perfect storm.

    bw time will tell us if it sustained.

    There are 2 releases on phones coming focused on making a phone/desktop hybrid.

  2. bw says:

    “That’s for extended FAT ”

    surely that is not the only thing.

    “does not understand compound growth/decline.”

    My personal well-being is not tied to Microsoft, so I’m not worried at all. Even so, I doubt that the decline is a sustained sort of thing. It is the decline of PCs, not the decline of Windows in any case, so somewhere there will be a new base level. Linux will still not figure in and will decline the same as Windows.

    You let me know when you see a Linux computer on the shelf out your way. There are none here, way down south from you.

    “folks were lined up for the smart thingies without M$’s stuff”

    I suspect that is poetic license on your part. I go through these sorts of stores and do not see any PC sales either, but no one is buying the cheapo tablets either. What you miss is the fact that whether or not there is any “M$’s stuff” on the tablet does not enter into the buyer’s consideration. If they can afford it, they go to the Apple Store or Best Buy or Office Depot and get an iPhone or iPad. If not, they settle for a Droid.

  3. oiaohm says:

    bw http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTM0OTE

    Both of the new graphical systems on Linux. Mir and Wayland use android video card drivers.

    bw
    “Apparently if you use Android you still have to give Microsoft ten bucks or so for various patents violated by the rest of Android, so how much is gained?”
    In fact only when selling in Countries that patents apply. That is a problem with Patents it only covers a percentage of the market.

    bw income from fat patents expires 2016-2017. This is very deadly timing. The very point if something does not change Microsoft market share collapses they lose the patent claim. Exfat has not taken off. So no new patent claim.

    bw subtract another 10 percent by the for Chromebooks. Even more for expanded OS X sales. So we are looking at a over 25 percent drop in under 12 months of Market share on Microsoft.

    bw Microsoft will be hoping this does slow down. If it does not inside 12 months Microsoft will be under 50 percent current market share.

    bw when I say device market I don’t just include Android. Chromebooks have a larger foothold than OS X in current sales. Linux Desktop systems can use graphical drivers and audio drivers(and the rest of the drivers) developed for Android or ChromeBooks.

    bw Linux costs are already diversified.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F2FS
    Robert Pogson you are wrong on the filesystem.

    This is the big problem samsung has started developing a competitor to exfat. Designs to take care of flash drives.

  4. bw wrote, “Android is indeed using Linux code down at the root, but that stuff is so old that it has blue streaks running through it.”

    Not even close. The latest kernel from kernel.org can run typical modern smart thingies.

    bw wrote, “Apparently if you use Android you still have to give Microsoft ten bucks or so for various patents violated by the rest of Android, so how much is gained?”
    That’s for extended FAT but many of the new smart things use ext4, so it’s not a matter except for moving memory cards around between devices. We use a network to move files around instead.

    bw wrote, “the sky is not falling just yet. After the reported “disaster” the market is still running well over 300 million new PCs per year and the largest chunk of them are Windows based.”
    Clearly, bw does not understand compound growth/decline. The longer a decline goes like this the faster it will go. A 10% per annum decline is a 100% drop in 7 years. Then there is the “positive feedback” effect. All the lock-ins will cause people to flee M$ when they see other individuals and organizations fleeing. That’s happening. Four quarters in a row and bw doesn’t get it? That’s reality, bw. The world is increasing use of IT rapidly yet M$ is losing share and revenue rapidly.

    It’s not a matter that M$’s piece of the pie is huge and staying the same. Their slice is decreasing. They do have some lock on businesses but with BYOD and austerity, that will not continue. The last few visits to Walmart here I have not seen anyone buy a PC but folks were lined up for the smart thingies without M$’s stuff. Walmart’s patience is at an end. They are not alone.

  5. bw says:

    ” Linux does have a foothold in personal devices.”

    I talk to people who actually know what’s under the hood and the buzz is that Android is indeed using Linux code down at the root, but that stuff is so old that it has blue streaks running through it. The value of the kernel in this day and age is minimal and only serves to avoid having to pay someone else for their copyright code. Apparently if you use Android you still have to give Microsoft ten bucks or so for various patents violated by the rest of Android, so how much is gained?

    “the profit level from a less than 5 percent market share ”

    You must be related to Chicken Little. But the sky is not falling just yet. After the reported “disaster” the market is still running well over 300 million new PCs per year and the largest chunk of them are Windows based. Whatever that number is, it comes to tens of billions of dollars still for Microsoft and very few businesses total that much.

    You just need to comprehend how huge the Windows business actually is and how insignificant the Linux business. Keep hoping.

    “Have 20 PCs connected together and you want to add another?”

    Not me. Do you? Why?

    I have 3 PCs connected together at home on the Wi-Fi and a couple of TVs and DVD players, too. I guess the Kindle and the iPad count, too.

  6. oiaohm wrote, “Linux Desktop is only live due to resources being vampire from other sections of Linux that have been successful.”

    Not at all. Linux is needed no matter what computer you have nor what use you make of it. GNU is a good choice for every computer. The applications are the fruits of the labour of millions of developers who need the functionality in their lives. That leaves a desktop OS available to all for $0 or nearly so when you divide the cost of production by the millions of users. Large organizations can and do contribute in a major way to development but the cost of sharing the result with the world is almost nothing to them compared with paying for every feature offered by M$ and “partners”. e.g. Have 20 PCs connected together and you want to add another? With M$ you suddenly have to pay a server licence fee of ~$1000 and hardware to run it, and a tax for every PC of ~$40, for no additional benefit. That’s quadrupling the cost of the 21st PC. Insane. GNU/Linux is rational in many other ways as well: re-re-reboots, malware, slowing down,…

  7. oiaohm says:

    bw the problem here Linux does have a foothold in personal devices.

    Due to sync between personal device graphical and desktop graphical in Linux will allow low overhead operations to maintain desktops.

    So yes just like the Dos market is bugger all today the FOSS world can maintain a foothold with freedos.

    bw the profit level from a less than 5 percent market share in the past market is in fact not enough alone to cover costs of Desktop development. OS X has been part funded by devices.

    This is the problem. Microsoft requires so much income.

    Exactly where is Microsoft going to vampire that from. Linux Desktop is only live due to resources being vampire from other sections of Linux that have been successful.

  8. bw says:

    “It’s all about positive feedback”

    Linux is limited to “word of mouth” then? I don’t give that much of a chance to succeed. I think that you are correct in assessing that PC sales are declining based on a shift to personal devices, but they are going to drop to an new level that will remain profitable for Microsoft and they will be Windows PCs to their last days.

  9. bw wrote, about GNU/Linux units for sale by Dell, “How do ordinary folk find out about this opportunity anyway?”

    I know Dell doesn’t make it easy for consumers to buy Dell’s products when they carry GNU/Linux but the consumers do talk to each other and folks keen on this product will talk to others. It’s all about positive feedback. Motivations of purchasers and consumers include lower price, obviously, but also improved performance and freedom from malware, re-re-reboots and M$’s nonsense.

  10. bw says:

    “Did it ever occur to you people might be…..ummmmm……avoiding you?”

    Not at all. In 99+ out of 100 cases, we don’t talk about computers at all. Very few care. Perhaps you are much more of an expert at detecting people avoiding you?

  11. bw says:

    “bw must not read the same stuff I read ”

    I read next to none of the stuff you read, I think. Whatever nuggets you find you reproduce here, so there is no need to cull through that sort of thing.

    What I meant by trade press was those stories about projected PC sales and what strategies were being followed by OEMs to make them come true. Say, “ASUS predicts growth in the laptop sector due to introduction of Ubuntu models that avoid licensing costs for Windows and pass some of this saving to the consumer” or words to that effect. Nada, though.

    My interest was piqued, though, by your selective cites and I looked to the Dell site for some confirmation of the Forbes note on Alienware. No doubt you can find the Ubuntu ersion somewhere, but if you just go in the front door, you seem to find

    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dpcwxy1&cs=19&dgvcode=ss&c=US&l=EN&dgc=ST&cid=262076&lid=4742362&acd=1230980731501410

    which seems to offer only Win7 or 8, take your pick, $699. Not that some or many gamers might find the $100 saving attractive, although aren’t they limited to fewer games? Does EA have Ubuntu games? I don’t know. How do ordinary folk find out about this opportunity anyway?

  12. lpbbear says:

    “I personally have never run into a real Linux user anywhere, even among the IT folk at the office.”

    Did it ever occur to you people might be…..ummmmm……avoiding you?

    Try lowering your nose once in a while so you can see those around you.

  13. oiaohm says:

    bw this is your problem. Linux users do read the trade press.

    There is increasing trade information about Linux.

    Trade paper accounts only track at point of sale in most cases. Not what is happening after that.

    We know Linux runs on old hardware from XP age that OS is about to end of life. Yes there will be lag between a Linux Desktop migration and Sales turning up.

    Microsoft lags showing lack of sales. Linux lags showing market increases in trade paper accounts.

    When Linux started taking over from Unix in the big server game there was a drop in sales due to hardware extended life. A drop in sales was one of the precursor events to be looking for.

    bw so the problem is now is the drop in sales just mobile devices or is this the start of the Linux Desktop.

    Linux people are seeing what we were expecting to see. The collapse in sales due to mobile devices is being caused by a Linux related OS.

    The damage we are seeing could get worse. I am expecting from its peek around 20 to 30 percent of the PC market to no longer exist. Not due to depression because there is no need. That is conservative. The remaining 70 percent of the market will have to price war. The PC is becoming like the desktop calculator. Got to be cheep and affordable.

    This cheep and affordable will force chrome-books into the market.

    bw feature saturation point creates a nightmare. No real new features to add. This allows Open Source to catch up on you.

    MS Office hit feature saturation point a few years back.

  14. bw wrote, “Just read the trade paper accounts of PC sales and see how important Linux sales are to their business projections. They don’t seem to ever mention Linux, so it is likely that the answer is somewhere around zero. At least you can assume zero for any useful purpose.”

    Hmmm…

    • Forbes: “Alienware’s console-sized X51 PC, classified as a “Mini Gaming Desktop” by Dell, is now shipping at an introductory price of $599 if configured with Ubuntu Linux and an Intel Core i3 processor.”
    • Digitimes:“Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell reportedly will launch new PCs featuring a Linux-based Chinese-language operating system, Ubuntu Kylin that has recently been endorsed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China, in China.”
    • “Let Dell help you create a Linux® strategy that meets your immediate needs, and scales with technology and your growth. We will partner with you to define a phased approach for implementing:

      Client computing (end user)
      Platforms: Workstations and business client
      Workload: Client
      Partners: Red Hat, Canonical”

    So, bw must not read the same stuff I read or he would know that all major OEMs ship GNU/Linux and love it.

  15. bw says:

    “I think the world will notice that.”

    Things will ebb and flow, I agree. In the case of the drop in PC purchases, the culprit(s) is/are the iPhone and iPad more than anything else. If it makes you feel better to think Android is the driver here, go ahead, but it is really the form factor and nothing else matters as much.

    In the ultimate end of the PC, it will still go down in history as quite a ride for Microsoft and the principals there will doubtless keep their celebrity status for as long as they live.

  16. bw says:

    ” there is no accurate way to calculate sales of Linux systems”

    Sure there is. Just read the trade paper accounts of PC sales and see how important Linux sales are to their business projections. They don’t seem to ever mention Linux, so it is likely that the answer is somewhere around zero. At least you can assume zero for any useful purpose.

    I personally have never run into a real Linux user anywhere, even among the IT folk at the office. I have tried it on an older desktop and it works just fine, but so what? Windows works fine, too, and it comes with the computer.

    On the other hand, it seems to me that everyone who likes to look upscale has an iPad and most have Macs. When you look in the back room, though, they have a PC, too. The same people drive their Lexus or Infinity to dinner at the club, but they use a Chevy van to take the kids to soccer.

  17. lpbbear says:

    There is no way to accurately gauge the number of Linux users. Since the Linux desktop has little retail exposure there is no accurate way to calculate sales of Linux systems. Web statistics help but I doubt they are very accurate.

    All I can do is go from personal experience in my area. I know far more Linux users and run into many more Linux users than Apple/Mac users. In fact it is very rare to have someone say to me they use the Apple platform. I meet many more Linux users in my area. To me that would suggest that the number of Linux users passed the number of Apple users quite a while ago.

  18. oiaohm says:

    George Wilson attempting to perform correction maths on bad statistics just made the error factor larger.

    Basic rule of statistics.

    http://mrpogson.com/2013/04/10/desktop-gnulinux-the-dream-is-alive/#comment-116411

    If you check my early comment the squid numbers form Wikimedia are completely screwed up to start off with.

    George Wilson yes attempting to perform correction maths is something I get up Linux people for as well.

    You have to sit on hand and wait at times to get good numbers.

    Divide by 4 does not help if due to collection error its been times by more or under counted by more.

    There is no way to make the Wikimedia stats factual without first correcting the processing of squid data so that not screwed up.

    2 using a better user tracking collection method than squid uses.

    The reality you are desperate troll who cannot cope with the reality you have no numbers to work with.

    Linux people have been aware of this fact for some time.

  19. George Wilson says:

    Mr. Wilson: how is it possible to have iPhone/iPad versus Android giving 2,5:1 rate of market share when actually industry is giving sale figures of opposite; 2,5:1 to Android?

    Had you read my answer you would’ve noticed that I slashed the iPhone/iPad numbers, dividing them by four, to account for Wikipedia page requests not directly initiated by users, but rather by apps. For the same reason I divided Android numbers by two. I don’t believe either that the iPhone/iPad market share as recorded in Wikimedia stats is representative of the factual market share.

  20. Mats Hagglund says:

    oiaohm: “So a school with 200 + Linux machines would be counted as one at the Wikimedia sites.”

    http://linuxcounter.net/machines/stats.html

    Accounts..Count….Percent
    1……..26,825….42.36%
    2……..14,255…. 22.51%
    3………6,368….10.06%
    4………3,646…. 5.76%
    5-9…….5,481…. 8.65%
    10-24…..3,352…..5.29%
    25-49…..1,327…..2.10%
    100-249…1,499…..2.37%
    >=250…….577…..0.91%

    This is a nice good sample giving some perspective how 63 300 Linux Accounts means actually…how many Linux counts?

    Well let’s make a try.

    1 x 26,825…..26,825
    2 x 14,255…..28,510
    3 x 6,368……19,104
    4 x 3,646……14,584
    6,5 x 5,481….35,626 (6,5.. median of 5-9???)
    14 x 3,352…..46,928 (14..median of 10-24???)
    32 x 1,327…..42,464 (32…median of 25-49)
    130 x 1,499…194,870 (130…median of 100-249)
    400 x 577…..230,800
    ————————–
    63 300—> 639711

    So…i’m not claiming that this is the final truth about Linux (1:10) but it could be possible that we have even ten times more Linux users than these accounts (63 300) are telling.

    Those last groups like 100-249 and especially >=250 are very interesting.

    In Finland more than 45 000 students and teachers are using only one Ubuntu Linux system called OpinSys. Are those thousands of machined hidden? Can Net Application or StatCounter or Wikimedia count them? Don’t ask me, i dunno.

    http://www.osnews.com/story/21035/Ballmer_Linux_Bigger_Competitor_than_Apple

  21. dougman says:

    People will flatly outright deny, the existence of any Linux install base.

    People can argue all they want, but since 2004, I have seen Linux grow by leaps and bounds. Namely, Chromebooks (Gentoo) and Android (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#Linux)

    In time, the entire computer experience will be like this: http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android

  22. Mats Hagglund says:

    Mr. Wilson: how is it possible to have iPhone/iPad versus Android giving 2,5:1 rate of market share when actually industry is giving sale figures of opposite; 2,5:1 to Android?

    Can you explain it? Are you really claiming that people with iPhone or iPad are using their devices 5-6 times more than people with Android devices? Hardly true at all.

    What’s the meaning of Net Application or StatCounter? Independent study of OS market share? Hardly not. They are doing just commercial studies of pay-per-clicks or other consuming action in www. They are not really interested in real independent statistics. They don’t wanna “waste money” knowing how many people are not going to buy anything there.

  23. George Wilson wrote, ““NATing” is not an issue for the Wikimedia stats.”

    Wikimedia has other issues larger than NAT language bias being one. If 100 PCs in a school visit Wikimedia with the same IP address and the same User-agent string, how many counts will happen? They do 1:1000 sampling so they will get the same number of page-views as if they had 1PC, 0 or 1 count. In other words, they give the same weight to 1 PC bought by a consumer on retail shelves as 1000 PCs in an organization showing same IP address and User-agent from GNU/Linux. As there are a similar number of PCs in organizations as individuals’ homes, this is a huge bias to home-ownership in the counts. That’s why mobile is so large and why MacOS is larger than Apple’s claims.

  24. George Wilson wrote, “prove that private Desktop Linux users are indeed exhibiting vastly different browsing habits, meaning here specifically: greatly reduced usage of Wikipedia. Because only under that assumption could one agree that Wikimedia’s stats are flawed when it comes to measuring Linux adoption.”

    Wikimedia is heavily biased to en-US. It barely samples the rest of the world where GNU/Linux is really happening. In US it is difficult to find GNU/Linux on retail shelves. That’s not the case in Brazil, India and China, 20% of Earth’s population.

  25. bw wrote, of M$’s client OS business, “So far, the revenue and profitability of Windows and related product software has held up quite well for Microsoft and is actually growing still. Some of that is new products and some of that is enhance price realization for old ones. But the business is not dead and is not even declining.”

    Well, the drop IDC reported will cost M$ almost a $billion in revenue. I think the world will notice that. That will take a huge chunk out of their deferred revenue bit.

  26. oiaohm says:

    bw there is a lag between the decline in Sales to OEMs of OS and Units to Customers.

    IDC is tracking Units to Customers. Lack of Units moving to customers will leave OEM makers over supplied for Windows licenses.

    Yep the crap will hit the fan down the track. bw.

  27. bw says:

    “the installed base of Linux is quite a bit larger than the trade press is letting on”

    I think the key thought in your statement is “trade”. The size and robustness of the Windows OS business is pretty well known and continually scrutinized by financial and technology analysts. That is because they are focused on the “trade” in this product.

    There is next to no Linux “trade” and, whatever the real numbers, it is not very interesting to papers or analysts or anyone else beyond those who cheer for Microsoft’s demise.

    No doubt the rise of cell phone and tablet use has put a crimp into PC sales. The numbers speak for themselves. But that is just what happens in life in terms of products waxing and waning over time. The important information is in regard to where it will all end up. So far, the revenue and profitability of Windows and related product software has held up quite well for Microsoft and is actually growing still. Some of that is new products and some of that is enhance price realization for old ones. But the business is not dead and is not even declining.

  28. oiaohm says:

    http://www.kiwix.org/wiki/Main_Page

    Yes Wikimedia content displays locally in an Android phone not burning those expensive data rates.

  29. oiaohm says:

    George Wilson
    http://www.extremetech.com/computing/114387-how-to-set-up-your-own-copy-of-wikipedia

    There is a documented problems. Brazilian mirror is not the only one. Not all people accessing Wikipedia area in fact accessing it. Some are accessing mirrors. Anyone running private copies of the wikipedia. Schools with strict content access rules for example.

    People like me who run on suspect connections.

    “Wikimedia’s stats come courtesy of the Squid server logs. Can Mr. Pogson doubt them? No. “NATing” is not an issue for the Wikimedia stats. That then leaves one other thing:”

    Squid server logs are IP based. Not using secure links and effected by the effect of NAT.

    George Wilson sorry your unbias source is bias.

    In fact please read the wikimedia squid page.

    http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/squids/SquidReportOperatingSystems.htm

    Current numbers from Squid is not to be trusted with a 10 foot barge poll bugs in the processing system have been found.

    https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46278 Bugs like this causing double counts.

    You are currently directed to follow the comscores stats from wikimedia. All prior squid generated data is garbage.

    Comscore provides this page.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unique_visitor
    Yes even Comscore page does not promise to be correct.

    Comscore does not not provide any OS data for the Wikipedia.

    George Wilson people running blocking software will not be counted at all by Comscore.

    So a school with 200 + Linux machines would be counted as one at the Wikimedia sites.

  30. George Wilson says:

    As an addendum: if you want to disagree, Pogson, then you have to first prove that private Desktop Linux users are indeed exhibiting vastly different browsing habits, meaning here specifically: greatly reduced usage of Wikipedia. Because only under that assumption could one agree that Wikimedia’s stats are flawed when it comes to measuring Linux adoption.

  31. George Wilson says:

    I will make this simple, Pogson:

    You are wrong.

    Mr. Pogson loves to show us how statistics are inherently flawed and (supposedly) naturally biased against Linux. Therefore I will only refer to the one source of statistics which could be considered unbiased: Wikimedia.

    Of course, Mr. Pogson even doubts Wikimedia. Those stats put Linux (non-Android) at 1.36%.

    Wikimedia’s stats come courtesy of the Squid server logs. Can Mr. Pogson doubt them? No. “NATing” is not an issue for the Wikimedia stats. That then leaves one other thing:

    A bias brought forth by the site in question itself.

    Does Wikipedia have a bias? Probably. Because if we are to — naturally — assume that in organizations of the likes Mr. Pogson listed the focus is on working, then it’s clear that the employees there would spend considerably less time perusing Wikipedia than would a private person. Is this a problem?

    No!

    Because this “bias” is a general one, independent of the operating system. If we therefore conclude that organizational usage of Wikipedia is so much less compared to private usage, as to be considered insignificant, then we suddenly have indeed a level playing field again.

    And this level playing field tells us one thing:

    Desktop Linux is not adopted by the general populace in numbers.

    There is one flaw inherent in Wikimedia’s stats: the high numbers of iPhone and iPad. The problem with these platforms is that they use apps. And apps could easily use Wikipedia in the background, without the user directly having issued a request. For that I’m willing to divide iPhone and iPad numbers by four as a corrective measure. As Android exhibits the same problem I divide its numbers by two (see, no Linux bias here). If you take your favorite spreadsheet you can “simulate” how the percentages then change.

    And what you see is that Linux’s (non-Android) percentage would not increase by a large amount. If I simply dump the table from Wikimedia’s stats page into a spreadsheet, divide Linux in Linux (Android) and Linux (non-Android), and adjust the numbers like I said, then I see Linux (non-Android) rising to 1.84% (up from 1.36%). There’s, of course, also the unfortunate side-effect of Windows rising to 75.52%.

    So, to conclude: even if we acknowledge that organizational operating usage is excluded from Wikimedia’s stats due to the inherent “bias”, there’s no evidence that suggests wide adoption of Linux by private users.

    Feel free to disagree, Pogson. As you always do.

  32. @oiaohm

    You’re asking the right question there. It is possible that the installed base of Linux meets or exceeds that of Mac OS. Unfortunately there are no reliable numbers to go with. Because Linux is free there are no “units shipped” that can be quoted. The makeup of visitors to a carefully selected set of web sites is not a reliable picture of the makeup of what’s out there, but the trade press loves to go with that because they haven’t figured out how to sell advertising in the open source world.

    The Micro$oft-leaning trade press tend to repeat the Goebbels-style Big Lie “Linux is less than 1%” but I suspect it’s actually 10% or higher. We just don’t have a reliable way to measure it.

  33. oiaohm wrote, “XP was the last MS OS to release into a time frame that clock speed were increasing.”

    That’s true. A lot of CPUs have idled their high prices away since then. However, there is something that did increase in that time period: memory and storage bandwidth. With that, the ugly pig could still look good to the drunk. However, */Linux was much more efficiently using hardware and could run on small, cheap or old computers about as well as that other OS on a brand new PC. I demonstrated that many times to schools convincing them to obtain $0 PCs which we could wipe with GNU/Linux.

    These issues put Wintel in disarray. OEMs know the score. Consumers found it out with small cheap battery-operated computers that had many more features they wanted than a fire-breathing ATX case or lap-heater. Now, Wintel just is not selling well compared to the small cheap computers. Intel dragged out Atom but it’s still not giving good price/performance considering it’s the 500gB+ hard drives that make it look good. To compete OEMs need to use ARM and/or GNU/Linux and/or Android/Linux. It’s all good.

  34. oiaohm says:

    bw I have growing Linux with XP end coming up. Reason machines running XP that are still hardware fine.
    http://smoothspan.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/clockspeeds.jpg
    It what is called the multi core crisis.

    XP was the last MS OS to release into a time frame that clock speed were increasing.

    XP to 7 CPU clock speeds don’t increase. But a lot of CPU from the XP time had a lot of cooling issues due to poor power management and have burnt out.

    So all future OS’s have to exploit multi core better.

    Hardware that Windows 7 is on is going to last longer than XP hardware. Even with XP hardware defects a lot are making it to the XP end of life.

    This will be worse for 7. Linux on arm will be able to sell better power usage.

    IGnatius T Foobar the answer I want confirmed yes or no is Linux install base bigger than OS X.

    Number 1 and 2 in a market get supported. Number 3 goes staving.

    If a single Linux Distribution is large install than OS X we have a dog fight on our hands.

    The first to fail when Linux does take over the Desktop is most likely to be OS X.

    Microsoft will be first pressured by saturation point.

    Problem here everything is getting right for Linux to grow.

  35. Setting aside the hyperbole of the above comment, I don’t think Mr. Pogson intended to imply that the actual installed base of Linux exceeds that of Windows. He is suggesting, as is quite clear to anyone thinking for themselves instead of simply believing what they are told to, that the installed base of Linux is quite a bit larger than the trade press is letting on.

  36. bw says:

    “The widely referenced web statistics are a poor measure of Desktop GNU/Linux adoption”

    Of course that is true. None of the statistics gatherers are in the least bit competent to measure popularity of Linux on the desktop. Until the stats agree with your wishes, we will all have to suffer such outrageous pronouncements.

    Foobar has hit the nail on the head! One of these days the truth will come out and the billions of Windows users in the world will be mad as hell that they were lied to and never found out that they had the second most popular OS, just as all the McCain and Romney fans are going to be so mad that they lost the election to an illegal! I can’t wait for all this to come out.

  37. It’s the old Goebbels tactic — “the big lie.” If you tell a lie often enough, and loudly enough, eventually people believe it even if it’s not the truth.

    “Desktop Linux is dead” is about as believable as “Barack Obama was born in Hawaii” — there’s no evidence that either statement is true, but entrenched interests keep the myth alive by ridiculing anyone who dissents.

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