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Operating Systems Linux

Linux Desktop Market Share Crosses 3% (netmarketshare.com) 285

Data for the month of August 2017 from reliable market analytics firm Net Applications is here, and it suggests that Linux has finally surpassed the three percent mark, quite possibly for the first time in recent years. According to Net Applications, the desktop market share of Linux jumped from 2.53 percent in July to 3.37 percent in August. There's no explanation for what accounted for this growth.
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Linux Desktop Market Share Crosses 3%

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  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @12:43PM (#55123501) Homepage Journal

    has arrived!

    • by Skewray ( 896393 )
      Linux Desktop will achieve 100% at exactly that moment when there are no more desktops.
      • Might actually come very close to reality when the conventional desktop is outmoded and no longer produced..
        • Might actually come very close to reality when the conventional desktop is outmoded and no longer produced..

          Time to file a patent for a time machine, because I apparently, somehow, got transported back to 2005...

    • by a_n_d_e_r_s ( 136412 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:00PM (#55123687) Homepage Journal

      Desktop is over. Now its all about smartphones.

      And well. The year of Linux on smartphones was a couple of years ago.

      Linux has already won. Poeple don't really know it yet.

      • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:08PM (#55123765) Journal
        Not in business. The desktop (or usually laptop now) is still very real and really the only reason windows persists. There is less push on this front because in any organization with separate windows and *nix resources the *nix resources don't have to deal with nonsense related to individual users and most like it that way.
      • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:15PM (#55123821)

        Desktop isn't really over - it's just changed.

        Personal users still use smartphones heavily. As a matter of fact I know quite a number of people who no longer own a computer and do all their personal tasks ONLY on a smartphone.

        That said, business users are just as much into the desktop as ever, and that isn't likely to change any time soon. Smartphones make for decent media consumption devices, but they're not great and working with lots of plain old data.

        Between the business sector and power users, the desktop will likely be around for just as long as mobile devices are - it just will be relegated to a niche product.

        • I would have to say your analysis is wrong.

          Smartphones will replace desktops in more and more situations in the business world (this is already happening). I know of a few companies, mostly startups, but there are a few big names as well that issue employees tablets where traditionally it would have been a laptop.

          Next phase is dockable (via a physical connector or wireless/bluetooth) phones/tablets with real keyboard, mice, monitor, and network connections. Once phones get software that support this and ca

          • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:53PM (#55124119)

            You're looking at things a bit oddly.

            For one, startups often focus on unique business sectors - some fail, some succeed, but they're not representative of "normal business". Not all business workers travel or need to be mobile. Heck some CAN'T be mobile - what we call "counter users" who sit at a counter and are there to interface with the public as needed. They're going to be in a chair in front of a workstation all day. Think of the people over at the DMV for example.

            So many people have this glorious image of the office road warrior in their heads that they forget that for a ton of people office work is just boring routine crap where you don't need to go anywhere.

            As to the dockable component - that's simply semantics. If you dock your phone and then start using an external keyboard, mouse and monitor, then you're USING A DESKTOP. It doesn't matter that the phone is doing the processing work - the platform is still desktop based.

            • Startups are interesting to watch because they aren't already entrenched in a particular way of doing something, so often you can spot up coming trends based on what they do differently. Not always of course, but it is one indicator of many.

              I didn't say desktops were going away completely. I said they are being replaced in more and more situations. Some including those "counter users". Like, for example, cash registers used to be basically a PC with some specialized peripherals (scanners, tray), where I

          • by Chryana ( 708485 )

            I'm sorry to say that I completely disagree.

            Most jobs don't require mobility. Thus, using their cellphone to do their work is not a particularly compelling use case. The operating systems running on cell phones are poorly suited to multitasking, and thus do not offer a particularly productive environment to work in when they are connected to a screen with a mouse and keyboard. Android has actually been moving away from larger screens, changing the UI to work better on cellphone screen sizes at the expense o [arstechnica.com]

            • Remote desktop isn't the same thing. It's similar, but different. With remote desktop you need a network connection to do any work, and you need a server to actually do the work.

              The operating systems running on cell phones are poorly suited to multitasking, and thus do not offer a particularly productive environment to work in when they are connected to a screen with a mouse and keyboard.

              Most users don't really need multitasking AT ALL. They need exactly what mobile operating systems offer which is task switching, and they do that quite well. The keyboard/mouse has nothing to do with anything.

              • by Chryana ( 708485 )

                The people who can accomplish their work with a cell phone indeed do not need multitasking, and have probably already switched over. A lot of jobs, however, require being able to see your email and interacting with some other application at the same (often the browser running some web app, I guess). Nearly all the staff in the company I work for is in that situation. If this is not multi tasking, I don't know what is.

                • If this is not multi tasking, I don't know what is

                  Well, it's good you realize you don't know what multitasking is I suppose. That exact scenario in most cases could be done via task switching. Although, to be fair, phones today actually do real multitasking instead of task switching so the point is mostly moot.

                  At a rudimentary level (please, I'm not trying to describe the difference between real multitasking and pseudo multitasking here), multitasking is the ability for multiple programs to run at the same time, where task switching is when you switch fr

          • You are severely overly optimistic. This is probably because you have no real business experience and/or no ability to see beyond your own circumstance. Want to know how?

            Explain how to use CADD design software on a smartphone where the standard use case is TWO 24" or 27" monitors. Or explain how you perform accounting analysis using a spreadsheet with 8000000 rows and 15000 columns on a smartphone. Or how you model or design pretty much anything with a smartphone. Or how you do any graphical design on a sma

            • Our company has moved to "thin" windows clients where you just remote into a virtual desktop. Just like the old X clients back in the day. We are also moving to Office 365 so you can use it from Linux desktop. I think MS pushing Office in the cloud will backfire big time. Since Windows 8 came out I went Linux only on all my personal computers, not even dual boot.

            • This is probably because you have no real business experience and/or no ability to see beyond your own circumstance.

              You'd be very very wrong. Perhaps you need to look in the mirror.

              Explain how to use CADD design software on a smartphone where the standard use case is TWO 24" or 27" monitors. Or explain how you perform accounting analysis using a spreadsheet with 8000000 rows and 15000 columns on a smartphone. Or how you model or design pretty much anything with a smartphone. Or how you do any graphical design on a smartphone. Or explain how a programmer can reliably program, debug and compile code on a smartphone. Anyone doing any real business outside sales does it on real computers and that's not going to change.

              I'm not even going to argue with your examples. Many of these could easily be replaced (and some have already been replaced!), but these aren't representative of the most use cases of desktop today. They represent a very small fraction of them, and since I didn't say desktops were going extinct, just that many are being replaced with phones and tablets, there is no point in discussing it further.

              In the real world most people who aren't sales need real computers with big monitors and keyboards and mice.

              No they don't. Not by a very very very long

          • by lhowaf ( 3348065 )
            Good point! We could put the same UI on phones, tablets and desktops - it'll be a huge success!
            • Reading comprehension really isn't your thing. "and can instantly switch" should have been pretty clear.

            • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

              Good point! We could put the same UI on phones, tablets and desktops - it'll be a huge success!

              Wait! Wait! I know this. $200 for the win. Is it .... windows 8?

              I read your post and just can't help but think of the Northrop M2-F2 lifting body crash in 1967.

          • "Next phase is dockable (via a physical connector or wireless/bluetooth) phones/tablets with real keyboard, mice, monitor, and network connections." ..." you will see desktops/laptops disappear from a large portion of businesses. "

            What do you call a phone with peripherals and monitors attached, perhaps on the top of someones desk?

            A desktop.

            You have basically just said that desktops are evolving. What a futurist you are! Everyone knows that already. Take a look at what used to be called small form factor PCs

        • As a matter of fact I know quite a number of people who no longer own a computer and do all their personal tasks ONLY on a smartphone.

          Smartphones are computers -- in fact, because they fit in our pockets and come with with "personal assistants," they are the most "Personal Computers" we have ever had!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:16PM (#55123833)

        I really don't get why people consider Android to be Linux.

        Is the Linux kernel present? Yeah, but it's buried so deeply that most Android developers, and pretty much all Android users, have absolutely no idea that it's there.

        When you develop Android apps you have pretty much no direct interaction with the Linux kernel. You aren't writing POSIX-style applications that could be ported to the BSDs or macOS or Solaris or HP-UX with ease. You aren't using the GUI toolkits commonly used with other Linux systems. You're actually writing apps for what's effectively a proprietary Java-based environment.

        When you use Android, you really aren't using the GNU utilities, systemd, X, Wayland, or any of the desktop environments typically found on a Linux system. You're using other software that is quite specific to Android.

        Android is "Linux" in the most minimal sense. It clearly doesn't resemble other traditional Linux distributions. In fact, that's probably why it has been successful: a lot of the userland software that makes Linux a rather hostile environment for users has been totally discarded and replaced with far more effective, albeit essentially proprietary, replacements!

        Google could probably silently switch the Linux kernel to the NetBSD kernel or some other kernel, and nobody else would have any idea it happened. That's how irrelevant and hidden the Linux kernel is to Android developers and users.

        Perhaps that's what will eventually happen with something like the Fuchsia [wikipedia.org] project.

        We shouldn't consider Android to be an example of Linux being popular. I think it's the opposite: we should see it as Android (that is: what's essentially the proprietary software and environment running on top of the Linux kernel) being popular, and the Linux kernel just happens to be along for the ride.

        • Excellent post, shame I have no mod points today. GNU tools on a BSD kernel would far more closely resemble "Linux" to the user than Android does (which is not at all).

        • I've got bash installed on Android but I kinda see your point.

      • and now I'm so happy processing my photos, internet browsing, playing games and just about everything with a 5" screen held in my hands a few inches from my face, yet again experiencing Nintendo thumb from the early 90's

      • Linux has already won. Poeple don't really know it yet.

        That's like saying I won because I'm the fastest person ... in my house.
        Linux hasn't won in the market that we're talking about, and that many people care about. No one gives a crap what runs on their phones, and calling it a win for Linux is a perversion of everything Linux and Open Source stands for.

    • by stooo ( 2202012 )

      Yeah, except that statistic is broken. The real Linux desktop market share is about double.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That's what I felt too. Logically it is like this, Linux users are techie types and in order to make their systems more secure from attacks, it would spoof its system to report as a Windows OS and hence it skewed the results from market analytics.

      • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

        Yeah, except that statistic is broken. The real Linux desktop market share is about double.

        I think its broken too. I think its more a long the lines of half that, if that much. I have yet to see a linux desktop in the wild that wasn't installed by a local penguin head for his own use.

    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:06PM (#55123743)

      I was getting my fortune read by a old gypsy woman and she said, "2017 can be the year of the Linux desktop... but there's a price." I accepted but honestly, I didn't think she could actually make people vote for Trump! ;)

    • That's like pre-OS X, as in the 1980s style Mac OS (cooperative threading, no preemption, no protection, etc) PowerPC based (before the switch to Intel CPUs) Mac numbers. Congrats.
    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      And it only took 26 years!

  • You mean "traditional desktop computers". My Smart Phone (Android, but iPhones count too) is as powerful as any desktop was 10 years ago, and runs Linux (kernel). I would suggest that WebBrowser is the real "new" OS. Best example is Chromebooks, Linux kernel with enough specs to get you to a web browser.

    The Desktop has moved to my pocket.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I've dealt with a couple of chromebooks... It's a terrible experience with exceedingly flaky drivers. It feels like every participant in that ecosystem is phoning it in.

      I don't like to think *that* is what people perceive as 'a linux desktop', since a real distro is so much nicer.

      • It feels like every participant in that ecosystem is phoning it in.

        ICWYDT.

    • Not at work and for gaming it hasn't. A full keyboard, mouse, and multiple good sized monitors isn't going away. It isn't only the interface, larger components will always have more speed and capacity than smaller components and there will always be those who need that difference. Developers tend to blow the gains from advances to gain easier, lazier, and more rapid development rather than letting them float down to the users in the form of increased performance.
    • You mean "traditional desktop computers".

      No, they mean "desktop" period. Yes Linux is used behind the scenes in many appliances and servers where users never see or touch Linux. The point of "desktop Linux" is that users see it, use it, and choose it; unlike in appliances, which sort of includes phones.

      Best example is Chromebooks

      Agan, an appliance. Linux is not seen, used or chosen by the user. Not "desktop".

    • It's not the computer's power that makes a computer a desktop. It's the form factor and OS capabilities. Mobile smartphones have plenty of power, but aren't optimally designed for use with a large screen, mouse, and keyboard. Desktop OSes, on the other hand, offer exactly the correct paradigm for this form factor.

      We've seen several prominent examples of how it's rather impractical to try to bridge these two very different use cases, and the companies that have attempted to do so are backing away from tha

      • We've seen several prominent examples of how it's rather impractical to try to bridge these two very different use cases, and the companies that have attempted to do so are backing away from that attempt now.

        Windows 8 was a half-assed attempt at making their desktop OS a touchscreen tablet OS by making half their control panel items oversized touch sensitive tablet menus, the other half are desktop windows, and they replaced the start menu with a shitty start screen.

        Windows 10 still has half the control panel items designed for tablets, the other half are still desktop Windows. They replaced the shitty start screen with a scaled down model of a shitty start screen, that still doesn't display the start menu tree

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        There's no good real that one OS can't run both.

        The problems happen when you try to FORCE one mode or the other on users when it is entirely inappropriate.

        An obvious related example is the text terminal versus the graphics terminal. Both of these coexist fine inside of all of the modern desktop operating systems. In MacOS and Windows they are largely invisible unless you go hunting for them. Yet they are still there and can be used just as if you were pecking on a real VT-100.

        The tablet is just another term

  • This seems likely to be in the margin of error for the wider data...

    Nowadays it's more viable than ever to get by, what with things like Valve throwing some weight behind it, but it's still unavoidable to need Windows in too many places. But when I can get away with not using Windows, it is a pleasure.

  • It was me (Score:5, Funny)

    by rtkluttz ( 244325 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @12:47PM (#55123531) Homepage

    I reinstalled 3715 times trying to get a thermal issue solved with the 4.10 kernel.

  • ... two notebooks here that used to run Windows are now running a Debian distribution of Linux.
    • ... two notebooks here that used to run Windows are now running a Debian distribution of Linux.

      That explains that almost 100% increase in Linux usage.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @12:56PM (#55123631)

    I don't know this company - on what basis is the qualifier "reliable" added? Are they somehow better than any other analytics firm?

    First thing I thought of when I read that was how Trump will add stuff like this when he's about to make something up - like how his "friend Jim, who is a very, very substantial person" stopped going to Paris.

  • There's no explanation for what amounted for this growth.

    Is that supposed to be "what accounted for this growth"? Maybe my brain is broken. Is my brain broken?

  • "reliable" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:04PM (#55123727)

    from reliable market analytics firm Net Applications

    I have no reason to doubt the stats, but when someone feels the need to insert the qualifier "reliable" like this for their own source, it immediately makes me question the reliability of the source.

    I guess it's a variation of the rule of thumb that you should never trust anyone who says "trust me".

  • Does windows have to become before people start avoiding it?

    Other than gaming (less and less over time), or business applications (more are web enabled) requiring windows apps, are there any reasons at all to use windows?

    • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

      I'm about to blow away an old Thinkpad I set up as a media center. Why? Poor video performance. Works great on Windows. On Linux... shearing, lag, etc. I spent a few days trying to fix it and it seems like everything is 100% correct and up-to-date. The video is just slow on Linux. So it's either throw it in the trash or find its old Windows disk.

      Back in February, after one of my recent crashes, I replaced Linux on my primary workstation (Thinkpad again...), because NOTHING I was doing on Linux c

      • why run Linux on bare metal?

        Personally? Because it's the OS that works the best for me overall. Most reliable, and easiest to make it do the things I want it to do. I literally have no reason not to run it on bare metal.

        So whatever, Windows works great for me. It was crap 20 years ago, and on the server it's been lousy, but on the desktop? Linux never cut it for me.

        Fair enough. I readily concede that Linux is not the best solution for everybody. Will you concede that it is the best solution for some?

        • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

          "Fair enough. I readily concede that Linux is not the best solution for everybody. Will you concede that it is the best solution for some?"

          I very personally know kernel developers, so yep. For them, it's certainly the best solution.

          The same applies for people who are working out the bugs in software on Linux such as ZFS.

          I do have a Linux workstation I use with Kali for security engagements, it's a bit ridiculous to virtualize network interfaces when you need low level access. So for that purpose, y

          • So I find it very hard to believe that Linux is a better tool for anyone on the desktop, unless they have specific needs like the ones I describe.

            Just because you don't believe it doesn't mean it isn't true. I literally don't have a single one of the problems you describe. It just works for me, without hassle.

            • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

              What make/model/revision of laptop are you using?

              Dell XPS Ubuntu Edition or a couple-year-old Macbook of some kind... I *might* believe you've got working controls, reliable suspend/hibernate/resume and all the Laptop bells and whistles. Possibly a meticulously researched Thinkpad with a carefully chosen distribution, but then you're being dishonest, as the only reason to be so meticulous is to avoid such issues.

              But anyway, the software compatibility issues, absence of groupware and commercial VPN iss

  • Chromebooks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:10PM (#55123781)

    I wonder if this includes Chromebooks? If it does, that's likely the uptick. They've saw decent adoption rates. My niece in third grade was actually just given one for the school year to take home.

  • Linux -- it doesn't suck any worse than Windows.

    Seriously, I use it because it does what I need it to do, and lets me control when updates are done (with no telemetry or hidden controls).

    // Mint MATE 17.3 at the moment...

  • Oh, this is easy. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:30PM (#55123939) Homepage Journal

    > According to Net Applications, the desktop market share of
    > Linux jumped from 2.53 percent in July to 3.37 percent in August.
    > There's no explanation for what amounted for this growth.

    A 30% jump in one month, after two decades of "YYYY will be the year of Linux on the desktop!" ?

    The explanation is obvious: bad data.

  • I don't know how they collect their data, but it can't possibly be true. This has Linux rather consistently around half as popular as Mac, suggesting that for every two people you know with Macs, there's a third running Linux on the desktop. I don't know of any regions in which this would be true.

    Furthermore, I find it disturbing that there's a lack of any data for FreeBSD, OpenBSD, or even Other when the specificity is in hundredths of a percent. That means if the sample had 20,000 "desktop" users, 11

    • This has Linux rather consistently around half as popular as Mac, suggesting that for every two people you know with Macs, there's a third running Linux on the desktop.

      This actually correlates reasonably well with what I observe in my area. Almost everyone is running Windows of one flavor or another (about 50/50 between Win 7 and Win 10), and of those that don't, there are about twice as many Mac users as Linux.

      I'll bet there's a great deal of regional variation in these sorts of things, though.

  • Easy to explain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:35PM (#55123979)

    1. Microsoft Windows 10 which removes user control and adds spying/telemetry/etc.

    2. Tim Cook as the CEO of Apple believes iPad Pro can replace computers, macOS is receiving mostly visual updates that do nothing and even removes useful features for pro users and Mac updates are a joke, they remove things users need, add features no one asked for and the machines are more overpriced than ever.

    • 1. Microsoft Windows 10 which removes user control and adds spying/telemetry/etc.

      2. Tim Cook as the CEO of Apple believes iPad Pro can replace computers, macOS is receiving mostly visual updates that do nothing and even removes useful features for pro users and Mac updates are a joke, they remove things users need, add features no one asked for and the machines are more overpriced than ever.

      Yeah sure. After 2 years of Windows 10 without any upgrade or anything out of the ordinary, a long time after the release of the iPad Pro, and out of bounds with any MacOS release, suddenly from one month to the other there was a near 50% increase in Linux usage.

      You're right. It is easy to explain when your mouth (or fingers) are not attached to a functioning brain.

      • You're right. It is easy to explain when your mouth (or fingers) are not attached to a functioning brain.

        I wanted to make sure you'd feel comfortable with me. /MI2

  • No explanation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Friday September 01, 2017 @01:45PM (#55124059)

    I seriously doubt that there's no explanation. IMO, it's a desperately needed correction that has been a very long time coming.

    Windows 10 is the most user-hostile operating system Microsoft has ever released in their history.

    Apple continues to jack up their prices on increasingly stupid hardware and are generally doing everything they can to take the piss out of their consumer base.

    Chromebooks are providing an inexpensive, viable linux-based option that is is taking advantage of the not just the general frustration of the above, but also it's finding a sweet spot for people that do very little localhost work that can't just as, or more easily be, done through cloud services.

  • With RAW/Image processors like Rawthereapee and Darktable I've seen quite a few photographers switch to Linux. Sure if you like to cook your images beyond what you saw in the camera you'll stick to Windows for Photoshop.

    • >"Sure if you like to cook your images beyond what you saw in the camera you'll stick to Windows for Photoshop."

      Or you will learn GIMP and do maybe 90% of the same thing, depending on your needs. If you are not a publisher or designer who needs CMYK, needs to edit using some of the super-duper filters/tools, or have to live in an Adobe-centric team, GIMP will get the job done just fine.

      • I'm all for Linux and that's all I use 99% of the time but to me GIMP is just not as user/tool friendly as Photoshop. Now before anyone gets their mouth frothy yes I don't expect GIMP to do what a billion dollar commercial program can do but using the tools in GIMP is just frustrating as its not as smooth/easy as in PS. I could possibly overlook that if GIMP had proper adjustment layers which I think would bring in quite a few people if/when that becomes available.

  • We nerds don't want to clean viruses of the computers of our parents... so we install Linux for them!

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