300K. That’s how many folks have taken the Intro to Linux course offered by The Linux Foundation. “we were able to offer our Intro to Linux course for free to nearly 300,000 people from all over the world. While the United States ranks first in the number of students taking Intro to Linux, it only represents about 30 percent of all class participants. The top geographies include the U.S., India, United Kingdom, Brazil and Spain.” That’s about half the population of Winnipeg, my nearest big city. That’s several times the size of the Canadian armed forces. It’s 50% more than the number of people involved in the invasion of Normandy. I would call it significant.
What are those folks going to do with that knowledge? Install GNU/Linux on their PC? Set up a computer lab? Migrate some department or organization to GNU/Linux? Perhaps, but one of the second or third tier of obstacles to wider adoption of GNU/Linux has been the availability of local people with the requisite skills. I remember my first exposure to GNU/Linux. It took days of reading and days of trying stuff to get a working system. Without the web I likely would not have been able to do it. The actual installation was trivial when I was armed with just a little knowledge. Now, thanks again to the web, GNU/Linux is mass-producing skilled people. I like it. With my knowledge I was able to install GNU/Linux hundreds of times. 300K people could install GNU/Linux millions of times or buy and install GNU/Linux systems millions of times. Expect increased growth in adoption of GNU/Linux everywhere.