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Linux Reaches 1% Usage Share 414

je ne sais quoi writes "The April data is out for the Net Applications 'market share' survey of operating systems (more accurately referred to as a usage share). For the first time, Linux has reached 1%. This past month the Linux share increased by 0.12% which is well above the average monthly increase of 0.02%. Historically, the Net Applications estimate of market share has been lower than that of other organizations who measure this, but the abnormally large increase reported this month brings it closer to the median estimate of 1.11%. For other operating systems, Windows XP continued its slow decline by 0.64% to 62.21%, whereas Vista use is still increasing to 23.90%, but its rate of adoption is slowing. That is, this month's increase of 0.48% is well below the 12-month average increase of 0.78% and down from the peak rate of increase of 1.00% per month on average in January-February 2008. The total Windows share dropped to 87.90%. Mac OS use decreased slightly to 9.73% from 9.77%, but usage share of the iPhone and iPod Touch combined increased by 0.1%."
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Linux Reaches 1% Usage Share

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  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Diabolus Advocatus ( 1067604 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @12:56PM (#27789177)

    My girlfriends mother bought a laptop about two years ago. She struggled with Windows as she had never used a computer much before. I installed gOS and she's doing fantastic with it.

    Just because you are used to Windows and find it hard to transition, don't blame the OS, blame yourself.

  • by PrescriptionWarning ( 932687 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:00PM (#27789253)
    A friend of mine recently had a similar decision to make. His XP PC he's had since college finally kicked the bucket, as in hardware failure, and he didn't have the money nor the real need to purchase a new computer with Vista at the tune of $500. So I ended up helping him out, sold him my old PC from early college years which was similar in specs to his old one, only I stuck Ubuntu on it and sold it for $50. Now he's able to get back to his basic computer needs, which are mostly web surfing, email, and MP3 playback/syncing. It works with his video iPod and works with his digital camera which for some reason doesn't work on his girlfriend's windows laptop. Not too shabby I'd say.
  • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:02PM (#27789303)

    I consider myself to be a bit more advanced than the typical computer user..maybe not compared to the slashdot crowd.
    I had Ubuntu(gusty) on a partition for a long time. For about 3 months for so I used it as my primary partition. I liked the look and feel for the most part.
    I even enjoyed learning the command line stuff to get my screen rez took a long while to set that damn thing to 1366x766! But, once I figured it out, that was that.
    In the end, I went back to Windows and that is where I will stay and here's why...
    At that time, my wife lived overseas and we used skype to talk. None of my Bluetooth dongles would work in the slightest with Linux. I tried and tried and tried, but could not make it work..and hell.. at that time my job was maintaining and creating bluetooth RF test cases!!!!
    I was so sick of having to boot to windows every time i needed to "do" something I said forgot sticking with windows.

  • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:09PM (#27789431) Homepage

    The really troubling trend, from my point of view as an OSS fanboy, is that netbooks are reverting to Windows. I teach at a community college. A year or two ago, one my students showed me his eeePC running Linux, which was the first eee I'd seen. This year my wife saw a eee with Linux in Target for $270. "Wow," I thought, "Linux in Target!" I bought her a eee with Linux (not the Target one, but a $400-ish model, via Amazon) as a birthday present, but the wifi was misconfigured. Asus tech support told me the wrong card was installed, and there was no way to fix it in software. We returned it and gave up on the netbook idea. If you look at the reviews on Amazon, you'll see tons of customers complaining about problems with their eee/Linux boxes. Now when I walk through the cafeteria at work, I see lots of students using netbooks, but when I sneak a peek over their shoulders, it's always Windows. IMO Asus really dropped the ball by not getting the quality of their Linux configuration right. They were supposed to be the flagship of the new wave of Linux on netbooks, and it just didn't happen. I guess this kind of thing is just expensive to get right.

    It will be interesting to see if this predicted new wave of ARM-based netbooks really comes to market, and whether they really have a decent price-to-performance ratio. If so, it would be great, because Windows doesn't run on ARM, and if the price gets down to $100-200, there's really no room for profit for MS even if they did make an ARM version of Windows. But so far, the history of netbooks has all been bait and switch. They keep saying they're going to have them at price x, but they're always really at price 2x. Performance is still a problem, too. I'd hate for people to get the impression that Linux is slow and crappy, simply because netbooks are underpowered to run Firefox/js/flash.

  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:09PM (#27789435)
    Keep in mind that Linux is the OS used by Google across hundreds of thousands of their servers. How many people a day use their search, gmail, maps, and other services? Linux use is up, just not in the traditional desktop sense. In another year or two, you could probably get away with a slim Linux image that boots into Firefox, and use that for your basic needs if the work/home environment allowed for it.
  • Microsoft Funded (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ynot_82 ( 1023749 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:15PM (#27789511)

    according to Boycott Novell []

    Make your own mind up, though

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:30PM (#27789751)

    If you look at the trend, Linux's share is roughly doubling every two years, which is an impressive rate. It indicates that all the talk about how Linux has "failed" on the desktop is premature, if not flat-out wrong. It also suggests that people who lamenting the non-existent "year of the desktop" should chill for a bit. Linux is growing just fine, but it's hard to notice that when the starting market share is so small. If it keeps growing, it's going to become more more noticeable.

    Month Share
    Apr-09 1.02
    Mar-09 0.90
    Feb-09 0.89
    Jan-09 0.83
    Dec-08 0.85
    Nov-08 0.83
    Oct-08 0.71
    Sep-08 0.91
    Aug-08 0.92
    Jul-08 0.82
    Jun-08 0.80
    May-08 0.68
    Apr-08 0.63
    Mar-08 0.61
    Feb-08 0.65
    Jan-08 0.64
    Dec-07 0.63
    Nov-07 0.57
    Oct-07 0.50
    Sep-07 0.49
    Aug-07 0.47
    Jul-07 0.46
    Jun-07 0.43
    May-07 0.43
    Apr-07 0.41
    Mar-07 0.40
    Feb-07 0.42
    Jan-07 0.35
    Dec-06 0.37
    Nov-06 0.37
    Oct-06 0.39
    Sep-06 0.40
    Aug-06 0.47
    Jul-06 0.44
    Jun-06 0.38

  • No. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:43PM (#27789965)

    Maybe they go by web logs, but I and my friends have many Linux-based devices; I have a TomTom GPS, my friends have Linksys WRT(Can't remember the num) routers, and I do a lot of work on Linux servers that are completely headless and "somewhere in the cloud".

    Linux is bigger than anyone can monitor effectively; so many Linux machines will never touch a web page yet they do useful stuff every day.

    BTW, do they break it out by platform? If so, I wonder how many people like me are out there using Linux on a PS3.

  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fl!ptop ( 902193 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @01:53PM (#27790141) Journal

    I often wonder how easy a time people who are new to computing can have with Linux.

    i sell ubuntu systems to regular users. as part of a purchase, if they're local i offer to install it in their house and give an hour of time to answer questions for free. after a brief orientation (don't buy a new ipod, before buying a printer check here [] or call me, etc.), i spend the time showing them how to find and install software using synaptic, where update alerts appear and what to do, how to use firefox instead of ie, and a few other tips. i leave with them knowing they can call or email me anytime they have a question and i'll do my best to answer it.

    i've been doing this for several years now. i always install the latest LTS version of ubuntu, and i offer to do software upgrades for $60. most customers are happy they no longer have to deal w/ virus, malware and spyware, even though there's a bit of a learning curve. i've had a few who installed xp because they just couldn't "get it," and out of them at least 4 of them come back with, you guessed it, malware and virus infected boxes. i've also had 2 customers who brought the computer back and asked me to set it up for dual-boot w/ xp. i found out later they boot to windows only to use itunes (being unable to get it working correctly in linux) and generally use the ubuntu side for everything else.

    for the most part, i've found that spending just that initial hour is enough to put the customer at ease. additionally, knowing i'm just a phone call away helps too.

    for customers who aren't local, i prepare a pdf document that basically contains what i go over w/ the locals in that orientation hour.

    i've had just a couple of customers who were "new users," who basically had never used a computer before. since they don't know the difference (that there's other o/s's that aren't linux), they take to it a little more quickly.

  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:09PM (#27790367) Homepage

    That's a lie.

    Linux is whatever it is. Just because there is not a prime time desktop environment for the average person sitting at a keyboard does not mean it is not supposed to be or never will be.

    Oh I LOVE these ones. The classic "Linux has no form, and whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you" defense.

    Linux sucks. But Linux is just a kernel, blame the distro maintainer.
    Linux sucks on desktop. But Linux is really a server OS.
    Linux sucks on servers. But we're UNIX and it's proooooven! Oh, you were comparing it to Solaris.. well we don't know anything about that, go away.
    Linux doesn't have foobarqux. Only because you haven't written it yet, slacker!

    You're going to have to suck it up folks. Claiming Linux has no form or direction, therefore can't be criticized is BULL SHIT. It is not "what it is". It is very much what RedHat, IBM, Novell, Canonical, and the rest of the "community" are trying to make it, and we CAN criticize THAT, and we CAN criticize each and every single component of Linux and any other OSS regardless of how lost it's direction or focus is.

  • by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:12PM (#27790407) Journal

    It's the preloads. So when you hear the press complaining about Linux as it came from the OEM and not about installation problems, it's game-on and most likely game-over for MSFT.

    Exactly! I'm an avid Ubuntu user and post on the forums. More often than not, people are complaining about installation issues. They can't find the correct drivers for their hardware, etc.

    I recently did an installation of Windows XP with a non-OEM disk (one purchased legally, but didn't come with the machine). It's much harder to install Windows than it is Ubuntu. The generic Windows installation disk had none of the drivers I needed for the machine. This was a machine that came with Windows XP from the factory. You can read my story on the forums. []

    The fact is, most people don't use Linux because it's too difficult to install. However, Ubuntu is much easier to install than Windows, but it doesn't matter because Windows comes preinstalled.

  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by miknix ( 1047580 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:12PM (#27790409) Homepage

    I did setup a gentoo desktop at my parent's house. They use it regularly and they like it a lot. They only need a browser (with flash to browse youtube), a music player, pdf viewer, text editor and java. Java is needed because the government taxes simulation program is written in java (cross-platform).

    Since I have my own personal server at home, I have shell access to the desktop computer and I deal myself with the updates.

    I must say that is kind of funny when my parents see on the TV news that FOOBAR virus is in the wild and if they shouldn't take care. :P

  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <> on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:20PM (#27790517) Journal

    Both my father and my grandfather got Ubuntu as their first operating system. I did not want to have to fix all the viruses and spyware and whatnot they'd get from porn and other stuff the internet is for. As complete newbies, there was nothing to impede their learning process, and my father for one is getting along quite nicely. Him I've given a Windows partition, too, and he uses Windows for some tasks, but he largely prefers Linux.

    Thing is, the only thing that really prevents learning a new system is the magical, ritualistic thinking acquired from rote learning. I let my father explore Linux, explained him the basic concepts and had him understand the basics of the filesystem. Then I showed him Windows, and let him notice the ways in which it was similar. That was enough to let him continue on his own for the most part; I still have to teach him some things, which is rare because we live in different countries, but it is enough for me to show him the basics. Sometimes I don't know more than that because I do not use all the things he needs, but he does learn.

    My grandfather is a more recent initiate in the arts of computing, but he seems to have taken fairly well to the internet, organizing his photos, and card games. Now I'm teaching him how to rip his CDs to disk. Still, he does learn more by rote; his memory is not what it used to be, and his attention span is rather like a 4-year-old's.

  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @02:42PM (#27790889)
    I considered Ubuntu as an experiment, but then I decided against it, because I didn't want to have to deal with the headaches

    Last year, my daughter and a friend were staying with us for about 6 months. I gave them an old Sony (Celeron 800) laptop to use. Ubuntu installed.
    Didn't tell them, or guide them in any way.

    After a couple of months, I asked how the laptop was working with that different operating system.
    "Huh...what do you mean?" Of course, she had been conditioned to FireFox on windows beforehand, but they never knew/realized/cared that it wasn't 'Windows'.
  • by i)ave ( 716746 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @04:10PM (#27792075)
    The last time I tried to install a linux distro was back in 2000 on an old parts computer I had laying around. It was a total disaster, nothing worked and I wasted a good deal of time. That was enough for me to steer clear until 2 days ago. My wife's computer is used mostly for email, facebook, youtube, and light word processing. It had been running windows XP until I got tired of cleaning viruses off her computer. A couple days ago, it was really the last straw and I'd heard about Ubuntu 9.04 being a pretty good distro, so we gave it a shot. I was dreading trying to get it to work with her linksys wusb54gc network adapter and worried about the prospects of getting it to work with our networked lexmark laser printer. I remember my reaction when everything worked without a hitch. I just laughed at how brainlessly easy it all was. This is the kind of experience that is going to bring linux to the mainstream. I don't know if I just got lucky, but for anyone who does not require specific software programs such as outlook and adobe photoshop -- for people like my wife, who use a computer for internet access and basic email and light wordprocessing -- this is the type of experience that Linux needs to maintain and expand on. She loves it and hasn't had any problems -- I got flash installed without a hitch and as far as she's concerned, her computer does exactly what it did before linux, only now it is faster. From my perspective, not having to spend so much time maintaining/fixing her computer is a welcome relief.
  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01, 2009 @05:11PM (#27792789)

    Maybe he's sat down and had the "you get more features without pointless lock-ins for half the price from practically every other brand" talk with her, like a responsible father should.

  • Re:Boy oh boy! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Requiem18th ( 742389 ) on Friday May 01, 2009 @09:51PM (#27795015)

    Is not that easy. I'll try to make it short, my aunt, a prototypical Aunt Tillie user was getting sick of malware and viruses util I installed ubuntu in her laptop. Everything went alright but some problems started to creep.

      OpenOffice fonts looked "jagged", only ate the default zoom level but that was enough.

      Some websites don't load ok, these resulted to be using very intrusive windows only drm plugins, (unsusrprisingly, they were christian radio stations, those pious bastards)

      The old printer, that didn't work because of bad drivers still didn't work.

      One excel/VBA game/joke some friend sent her didn't work.

      That was the straw that broke the camel's back! She bought a Vista Laptop with MS Office 2007 home edition.

      Several hundred $$$ later, the printer still doesn't work, those problematic radio stations still don't work but at least the leaping frog VBA game did work now. A year later it seems to have gotten a virus.

      My point is, ye old saying, Linux must be twice as good as windows to get the same level of respect.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?