June 2017

June 2017 will be a special month in Uruguay. That’s the month that GNU/Linux will overtake that other OS on web clients if weekly data from StatCounter are to be believed:
os-UY-weekly-201207-201346

Do the maths:

93.89343 exp(-0.00118 x) = 5.23415 exp(0.00930 x)
ln(93.89343) -0.00118 x = ln(5.23415) + 0.00930 x
x = (ln(5.23415) – ln(93.89343))/(-0.00930 -0.00118)
x = 275
x = 5 years and 15 weeks past the 7th week of 2012

I would bet it will happen sooner that that considering the positive feedback of students graduating with a familiarity with GNU/Linux and businesses adopting it… 😉

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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35 Responses to June 2017

  1. dougman says:

    “Linux cannot do anything better than XP” That’s right….no one does malware better then Windows.

    Any computer system can crash, it is just the propensity of Windows that it does so more then it should. How people put up with it, I will never know.

    BW lies on this blog all the time, so his statement of never seeing Windows crash or recall seeing a BSOD is just another falsehood.

    For Windows 7/8, all you see for a BSOD now is, “Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. If you would like to know more, You can download Linux.”

    Restart your computer, hold down F1 or F2 to get into your BIOS settings, disable UEFI, then install which ever Linux distribution you like.

  2. luvr says:

    bw says: “Anyone who lives in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or, likely, anywhere else in the world where PCs are used already has one or two cellphones and/or tablets, so whatever the split these days is likely to remain the split for a long time into the future.”
    I’m not so sure that “the split” is likely to remain unchanged; I think that remains to be seen, or not seen, as the case may be.
    As mobile devices (phones, tablets, phablets, …) grow more powerful, I’m not convinced that youngsters who grow up with these devices will keep caring about traditional desktop/laptop computing. I could imagine a future where people use their mobile devices for everything; if they need to do more advanced computing (which would be clumsy to do on mobiles), they will switch to what they consider their “desktop”: a console (i.e., keyboard, video, mouse combo) to which they hook up their computing device. Our traditional desktop/laptop computer will be completely alien idea to them.

  3. bw wrote a bunch of irrelevant and wrong stuff, but why feed the troll?

    He also wrote, ” Linux cannot do anything better than even XP that any company actually cares about.”

    That’s just plain false. I have used XP and GNU/Linux on identical hardware and seen the difference. Just keeping track of the licences for XP is more effort than keeping a bunch of GNU/Linux PCs running. I know. I tried. Lost stickers and lost CDs are killers of energy. It was way more productive to run GNU/Linux so the PCs could just get on with what we needed done instead of scrubbing files and packets for malware and re-re-rebooting. You bet companies care about the waste that XP causes. The only reason many businesses stick with it is that after 10 years they think they can handle it. They are wrong. The next wave of malware may just mess up their whole system. Meanwhile users of GNU/Linux just get on with the job.

  4. bw says:

    bw the cost of windows is way more than what you are thinking.

    No one ever thinks of the cost. Rather they think of the benefits of keeping consistency in their operations and the losses associated with any major disturbance in their operations and procedures.

    Forget Linux, just consider the hundreds of millions of commercial users of Windows that did not change from XP to Win7 even though Win7 was demonstrated to be clearly better than XP. XP was good enough and no one wanted to confront any sort of change since there was no headroom on the up side.

    If Linux were actually superior to Windows, and it is not, the same sort of problem would exist. Linux cannot do anything better than even XP that any company actually cares about. Holler all you want about the litany of obscure issues that you all claim Linux superiority in regard to, but the arguments fall on deaf ears and cannot hide the specter of disastrous change.

    Companies do not care what things cost if the costs are acceptable and business stays as a known, predictable, stable quantity. Any company finding itself needing to count pennies and look for such piffling savings is in a lot of trouble already and is not going to be saved by lowering OS costs, even if they could.

  5. bw says:

    See reality…

    Showing a handful of screens out of 1.5 billion Windows computers in daily use is not proof of any reality. I wager that you could search for whatever it is called in Linux (“kernel panic”, I believe.)

    Where you go astray is in implying that such behavior is the norm when it is a very rare circumstance and most often due to some misconfiguration or failure of a hardware element.

    You postulate that “the world” is always ready to dump Windows and move on if only the “monopoly” were to yield to government or similar pressure. You are just fooling yourself. No one sees these problems as reason to change and no one sees any real concern about the cost of including a Windows license and code as part of a new computer purchase.

  6. oiaohm says:

    bw the cost of windows is way more than what you are thinking.
    wintel there is a reason why it referred to this way. Windows has always had second rate support on non x86 archs. What is now been seen in the server room is more and more arm chips are offering equal power for lower cost.

    How come every fab on earth can produce arm chips. X86 as Nvidia found out can be impossible to get a production license. So x86 is priced fixed.

    The change to arm only will minor-ally effect Linux.

  7. bw uttered troll-response 13c: “What malware, reboots, or downtime? I think you are living in some sort of dream world and have told yourself tales that were designed to justify your biases, but never really happened. I have been using Windows for 20 years now, along with dozens of co-workers, and nothing like that has occurred.”

    See reality

    I think I’ve seen BSODs on Lose 3.11, ’95, ’98, 2K, XP, and “7”. I once met a PC with ME but installed GNU/Linux within a few hours. I have never run “8”. My eyes aren’t great but bw’s must be worse. Even Bill Gates has complained about BSODs…

  8. bw says:

    What malware, reboots, or downtime? I think you are living in some sort of dream world and have told yourself tales that were designed to justify your biases, but never really happened. I have been using Windows for 20 years now, along with dozens of co-workers, and nothing like that has occurred. Ages ago, there were lock-ups, usually associated with some repeatable combination of applications. Nothing at all for years now, though.

  9. bw, believing M$ lies about its revenues, wrote, ” If OEMs sold Linux computers instead of Windows computers, the price would not be significantly lower and would likely be higher.”

    Let’s put it this way. M$’s client division rakes in ~$16 billion per annum when the world produces ~250 million legacy PCs. That’s about $64 per PC. That’s a price OEMs don’t have to pay if they use GNU/Linux so they can and do sell GNU/Linux PCs at a lower price to gain market-share. Occasionally one sees identical hardware with both OS side by side on a shelf but that is rare because M$ forbids it, insisting the price remain hidden from consumers. On a high-priced model the difference might be 10% but on a low-priced model the difference might be ~40% and well worth consideration by a consumer. I would argue the value of that other OS is negative because of all the downtime, malware, re-re-reboots etc.

  10. bw says:

    They have to go without one thing to buy another

    Baloney. Computers and smart phones and tablets are not in the necessities of life class at all. People do not have to starve to use Windows instead of Linux, nor is a smartphone an economic alternative to a computer.

    Do you have one yourself? Apparently not or else you would understand the relative luxury cost associated with them. Why do the carriers give them away with a contract? Because the air time costs $100 per month or sometimes more. If you buy a PC for a few hundred bucks, you can sit outside McDonalds and surf the web all day long for free. Even get a cheap meal now and then.

    Certainly people make a choice, but it is not between food and shelter versus selection of an OS. If OEMs sold Linux computers instead of Windows computers, the price would not be significantly lower and would likely be higher. The raw cost of Windows vs Linux prorated over the useful life of the computer is a few cents a day. You harp on price, never getting it right, and still you ignore that decades have gone by and people have had the opportunity to shun the price difference and have chosen to pay it. Doesn’t that register at all with your view of reality?

  11. bw, denying reality wrote, “People do not buy things because they are cheap. Even poor people buy things because they need them more than they might need something else vying for the same loose change. People actually buy on their assessment of the benefits received, not on the price paid.”

    Get this. Poor people don’t have loose change. They have to go without one thing to buy another. Buying a $500 PC may require them to starve for weeks. Buying a $50 smartphone could be done in a day if several get together to buy the thing cooperatively. That’s what’s happening in the real world, not your plastic world. Hint: There are far more poor people in the world today than rich. Check out South America, Africa, and Asia and walk around. There are billions of people who can afford FLOSS but not that other OS. Many of them don’t have grid power or land/vehicles so they only own what they can walk around with like a mobile phone. Legacy PCs with wasted space, heat, power, and weight are not working for them. M$ doesn’t get that. Apple, FLOSS and Google do. Too bad for M$ that it has painted itself in a small corner with rich and foolish folks. The rest of us don’t need M$ for anything.

  12. bw says:

    Price is the critical factor in many emerging markets

    Not at all. You would make a poor retailer if that is your only or even primary metric. Perhaps you could open a Dollar Store, Five and Dimes having vanished long ago.

    People do not buy things because they are cheap. Even poor people buy things because they need them more than they might need something else vying for the same loose change. People actually buy on their assessment of the benefits received, not on the price paid. If they can get something for $400 that they think gives them $600 worth of benefit, they will choose that over something that costs nothing and gives them $100 of benefit.

    The trick is in selling the customer on the benefits, not the cost. Microsoft understands that. Apple understands that. You and the other FOSSers do not understand that.

  13. bw vomited, “You could tell them that, namely free to run this odd ball program, free to look at the clumsy code,…”

    Also free to make the world a better place, to join the Information Age and bridge the Digital Divide. Price is the critical factor in many emerging markets and not paying a slice to M$ is a huge step forward now that legacy PCs and smart thingies are affordable. Emerging markets just don’t need M$. They are not locked in having not had much IT before this decade and they are largely going wireless to reduce costs. The result will soon be that everyone that wants to be connected to humanity electronically will be within a couple of years. Wintel and “partners” would have taken a century to do that. Why not set the world free decades sooner?

  14. bw says:

    That paints them as free

    You could tell them that, namely free to run this odd ball program, free to look at the clumsy code, free to give it to the next kid who likely already has it, and free to work on it yourself for free to try to get it to do something useful. I bet they would be thrilled to hear it.

    I bet they would be more thrilled if someone gave them an iPad instead, though.

    What do you think?

  15. bw wrote, ” All too long the third world has been given Linux to use when the wealthy have Windows and Macs. That paints them as inferior.”

    That paints them as Free.

  16. bw says:

    Translation into English:

    I can’t imagine that you would actually think that your idea is even remotely correct. The obvious meaning is that poor people are entitled to the same conveniences as the rich where it matters in terms of access to necessary facilities. All too long the third world has been given Linux to use when the wealthy have Windows and Macs. That paints them as inferior. Aboriginal children are given the cheap plastic OLPC kludges and the rest of the world sports their iPad. Don’t try to paint such a happy face on that.

  17. Pete wrote, “the desktop and laptop markets are in a continual decline”.

    Business still clings to the myth that they can only get work done with thick clients running that other OS, so the decline has a bottom for the time being. Business has discovered thin clients and tablets and such and are looking for alternatives to Wintel. It just takes them a bit longer than consumers who buy what they want at a retail store. The move to web applications and the cloud will loosen the business-logjam shortly.

  18. bw wrote, “Poor people deserve to be able to run Windows and access the internet”.

    Translation into English: “The poor would be better off as slaves to M$ than Free people”. Disgusting sentiment, bw. Fortunately much of the world has discovered Android/Linux and Google, OEMs and ISPs are all working to facilitate a real bridge over the digital divide.

    Malaysia: ~5% of page-views from Android/Linux.

    Kenya: 2.3% GNU/Linux and 2% Android/Linux

    Indonesia: 5.6% Android/Linux and 0.59% GNU/Linux

    So, the emerging market is dodging x86 and that other OS and going straight for freedom. Smart. No one is inclined to illegally copy Android/Linux because it’s already available on retail shelves.

  19. bw says:

    Haha, a 69% piracy rate is huge chunk of revenue for M$, you cannot do simple math can you?

    As I see it, Microsoft makes quite a bit of money as it is and really does not deserve any more. Just ask Pogson what he thinks. He doesn’t even like what they get now, much less wanting them to cure piracy and take in even more.

    They got $22 billion dollars in after tax profits last year, so why should they be concerned anyway? I think that they owe the world something in return and the proliferate piracy in the underdeveloped nations is a fair exchange for their continued comfort. Poor people deserve to be able to run Windows and access the internet and, if the big companies won’t provide explicit charity and contribute cash, at least they can contribute in-kind product.

    Why would you deny them?

  20. bw says:

    all this conversation about Linux having small marketshare

    When you talk of market share, you have to define what market you talking share in regard to. When you discuss Linux vs Windows, you necessarily have to discuss the market for laptop and desktop computers.

    You can say “Android!!!!!” and say Microsoft has missed the boat and you are likely to be correct, at least on some sort of general basis, but that has nothing at all to do with Windows vs Linux on what people usually call a “computer”.

    A market is where someone buys or sells a product and I think any useful argument has to consider what is being sold or bought and how much profit is involved. Winners make money and losers do not.

    So ask yourself who is making money and how much?

  21. bw says:

    saying Windows is dominant in desktop is going to be like saying Palm is dominant in PDAs

    Are you so sure that Palm is dominant in PDAs? Even before they got acquired by HP, the trade press was saying that RIM had taken over the space.

    The analogy would be interesting if it didn’t break down so badly on details. Windows desktop necessarily includes Windows laptop as well and dominates the pair of product types with the same Windows product line, so the analogy has to be made more expansive.

    Also, the smartphone replaces the PDA entirely and makes phone calls and text messages as well, whereas the smartphone cannot begin to cover the range of capability of a laptop for large screen and keyboard use. If you have to sit down and type a bunch of stuff in, you are not very likely to want to do it on a cellphone or even a tablet.

    In spite of Pogson’s deep dislike for Microsoft and glee at the notion that PCs, as we at least originally knew them, are in decline, I think the eventual end state of these markets will show plenty of “conventional” PCs being sold and Microsoft still making tens of billions in profits annually selling the OS that ships with them.

    After all, cell phones and tablets are hardly a new item anymore. Anyone who lives in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or, likely, anywhere else in the world where PCs are used already has one or two cellphones and/or tablets, so whatever the split these days is likely to remain the split for a long time into the future. None of these products are limited today by any sort of technology lack. They are sold on style and snob appeal rather than on capability. People still buy computers because they need a computer. They buy smart phones because they need a smart phone. They buy a tablet because they need a tablet. Everyone that I can think of has at least one of each.

    I don’t know anyone who has a PDA though.

  22. Pete says:

    It is interesting that some people miss the fact that in all this conversation about Linux having small marketshare they forget about Android. It is quite accurate to say Linux is shipped on far more Internet-connected devices then Windows. This is an entirely modern development too.

    If we ignore smartphones and tablets, Windows is still huge. But the desktop and laptop markets are in a continual decline. As more client-side computing move to tablets and smartphones, saying Windows is dominant in desktop is going to be like saying Palm is dominant in PDAs.

  23. Pete says:

    Microsoft rather have pirated Windows instead of GNU/Linux because pirated Windows still help maintain the network effect that sells more legitimate Windows copies.

  24. dougman says:

    LOL….came from the BSA’s butt, but whatever you want to believe. Talk about a huge smack in the face to Billy.

    Outside the law you say? I am not advocating software piracy are you?? See, using and deploying Linux solves that pesky problem does it not?

    Haha, a 69% piracy rate is huge chunk of revenue for M$, you cannot do simple math can you?

  25. bw says:

    The majority of Windows users in that country can be easily explained as they are pirates, around 69% or so.

    Doubtless you pulled that statistic out of your butt as usual, but do you even consider the implications of what you say in your glee to find some apparent haven for Linux use?

    What you are saying here is that all your supporters are outside the law and will take your side just as soon as their access to legitimate products is curtailed. That doesn’t say very much for Linux, at least in a good way.

    Even then, if they were not paying for Windows anyway, there would be no damage in the form of lost revenues to Microsoft even if they did for some unfathomable reason discard their pirated XP for Linux.

  26. dougman says:

    The majority of Windows users in that country can be easily explained as they are pirates, around 69% or so. As XP is dying soon and no one wanting Windows 8, one can make the logical conclusion that as Robert has drawn out, the era of Windows is dying.

    “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.” –Bill Gates

    “Gates also openly concedes that tolerating piracy turned out to be Microsoft’s best long-term strategy.”

    Protect yourself from Piracy and make you software Genuine, deploy and run Linux.

  27. DrLoser wrote, “if the Linux stats ever once touch 20%, even in Venezuela with all the political pressure behind them, I’ll eat my hat.”

    My father used to tuck a leaf of rhubarb under his cap to keep him cool in the heat of the day. That’s poisonous, I know, but perhaps you can find something more palatable. The correlation coefficient does not mean what you say. The closer it gets to 1 the better the fit. As I pointed out there is plenty of room for GNU/Linux to increase share and it has been following this pattern for over a year. That’s more than government roll-out. That’s students graduating and consumers finding GNU/Linux on retail shelves. This is happening as ordinary folks begin to find PCs affordable. Of course they buy less expensive PCs with GNU/Linux or Android/Linux.

    see http://www.ceibal.edu.uy/Articulos/Paginas/nuevo-libro-plan-ceibal-e-inclusion-social.aspx.

    The millionth PC has been delivered under the Ceibal programme.

    RMS spoke in Montevideo, Uruguay

  28. DrLoser says:

    Standard deviation of what? What variable are you discussing? and deviation from what?

    The standard deviation of Delta-Y where Y is your left-hand axis (as is standard, outside of economics), representing percentage of the market, and X is your weekly increment.

    And when one talks about “standard deviations,” one naturally assumes that the deviation in question is from the mean. I happen to be assuming a standard (bell curve) distribution, if that helps, but any old mean would do, given the enforced imprecision of the data.

    Not a difficult couple of measures to guess, given your excellent graph, which I note is very, very lumpy. You, for some reason, choose to fit f(x) as an exponential curve on a logarithmic scale, which is both arbitrary and guaranteed to be inaccurate at the asymptote. (The asymptote in this case, as we know, is where Y = 100; Y being market share.)

    My measurement, which is more akin to a time series, looks to me to be a better statistical measure for the data given.

    To start with, as I say, we are bound by an asymptote, since Y can never exceed 100. This makes any exponential fit, even on a logarithmic scale, rather problematical.

    To continue, your handy measure R² (coefficient of determination) suggests that only 15% of the (Linux growth) variance can be ascribed to anything but a direct relationship between X and Y. Sounds good, eh?

    Maybe, on the face of it. Maybe not. It does rather depend upon the end-points you choose. The problem with a linear regression (even assuming that the Y axis has no asymptote, which is a stretch) is inherent to my current field — machine learning. Put bluntly, all the assumptions are baked in when you’re dealing with the priors of a Bayesian model — which is what we’re dealing with here. In other words, to validate the model (yours or mine) you would need to measure it against a statistically valid amount of future data — I’m just guessing, but I think a further year would be enough.

    As it happens, I am not seriously proposing my model either: I’m just offering it up by way of contrast. All either of us is doing is fiddling with numbers. To pretend that either approach has any scientific validity, which you do and I do not, is somewhat preposterous.

    Or, to put it another way, if the Linux stats ever once touch 20%, even in Venezuela with all the political pressure behind them, I’ll eat my hat.

    And yes, June 2017 is a good cut-off point for me to eat my hat. It won’t happen. Much less 50%.

  29. oiaohm says:

    bw Ballmer has been recorded missing meals when governments are talking about changing to Linux.

  30. DrLoser blathered on about something, ” the standard deviation is 0.128 (rounding up for convenience). Let’s assume a normal (bell curve) “

    Standard deviation of what? What variable are you discussing? and deviation from what?

    Without a little context, DrLoser’s comment is just spitting into the wind. Maybe it’s not even spittle, just foam…

  31. bw says:

    June 2017 will be a special month in Uruguay

    Are you planning to emigrate? Why not?

    Will Gates or Ballmer miss dinner due to the loss? Doubtful.

  32. DrLoser says:

    Always good fun to challenge your maths, Robert. Let’s try the standard deviation this time.

    By my calculations, over the months presented, the standard deviation is 0.128 (rounding up for convenience). Let’s assume a normal (bell curve) distribution. Let’s assume, against all contrary evidence — for example, 51 of 93 of the months you quote actually show Linux losing market share — that, from now on, that standard deviation will continue to trend upwards.

    Well, we start as of today at 12.23%. Very good! How much head room is there?

    The head room is 100- 12.23, expressed as the obvious 87.77.

    Now, remember that we are dealing with a single standard deviation, trending continuously upwards. Here’s the maths:

    87.77 / 0.128 = 675 months = Fifty Six Years and Three Months.

    And, remember, I’m giving you the entire side of an optimistic standard deviation here. For the entire fifty six years.

    Now, I have no idea how long Venezuela is going to be able to export petrochemicals at the same rate. I have no idea when, or why, the next (counter-)revolution will happen. (Please don’t pick Bolivia: I have inside information from a Juan Montez on that one.)

    But let’s say the counter-revolution doesn’t happen. Let’s say that Venezuela can keep bleeding natural resources to make sure that, even if their people turn to cannibalism, they will at least have MariaDB and access to decent recipes for cannibal meat.

    Are you absolutely sure that fifty seven years is much of an achievement?

    But lets randomly pick Windows 7. Starts at 49.67%. 100 – 49.67 give Windows 7 50.33% head room. The standard deviation (over the same months) is 0.08, rounded down.

    Can you guess how long it would take Windows 7 to take over every last one of Uruguay’s computers, given the same assumptions?

    I’ll save you the bother. 630 months.

    Which means, of course, that Windows 7 will saturate the fantabulously lucrative Venezuelan market precisely forty five months before */Linux gets there.

    Last ugly girl to the party again, eh?

  33. Mats Hagglund says:

    Of course there are several interesting websites giving some perspective to operation systems, browsers but they will never tell the truth of real marketshare.

    I have checked some sites giving rather interesting information. Here’s one of them…

    http://www.speed-battle.com/speedtest_e.php

    Once again – it’s telling whose browsers and OS were tested… I got 4,7% market share for Linux and about 8% for MacOSX.

    Most interesting detail was the terrible bad results for Windows Vista machines, especially with IE-browser. Another information: Firefox was actually much faster than Chrome while IE was terrible slow.

  34. Mats Hagglund says:

    Sounds great. But there is one big “but” – Statscounter and it’s very fickle statistics. Last spring and summer there was enormous fast GNU/Linux adoption there in Germany, USA and Canada by those statistics. How about now?

    The truth is that we can’t trust neither Statscounter nor Net Application market share figures at all. Wikipedia is better telling the trend but even their figures are too “Apple” and too much based on english/higher educated wikisearch results.

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