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Linux Pre-Installs In the UK Hit 2.8%

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the small-but-encouraging dept.

Linux Business 289

schliz alerts us to a story out of the UK PC distribution channel. It seems that the percentage of systems pre-installed with Linux has gone up 28 times since Vista shipped, from 0.1% in January 2007 to 2.8% last June. Still not huge numbers, but Apple did OK for years with similar market share figures. Linux's headway comes in the face of the marketing money that manufacturers pass out to distributors, money that has historically been important to their profits: "In the late 1990s competition was so keen that distributors were said to sell at or below cost and take their profit direct from the marketing funds they received from vendors. Vendors nowadays keep watch to see their marketing funds are actually spent on marketing, but distribution runs on single figure profits and vendor marketing funds are a crucial aid."

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Good News (1)

dark whole (1220600) | about 6 years ago | (#24474305)

Im glad to see more preinstalled linux systems out there.

Re:Good News (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474473)

What really kicks ass is that in 5 more years, the preinstalls will be at 5%.

Re:Good News (4, Funny)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | about 6 years ago | (#24474699)

At that rate we'll see the year of the Linux desktop in well under 200 years

Re:Good News (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24475019)

Highly unlikely. Linux distros are a huge pissing contest between egoistical morons who instead of contributing to one distribution fork and rob distros of the already scarce resource - the free developer.

For fucks sake when are they going to end the pissing contest and standardize the base linux platform. Nobody is going to ship proprietary commercial bits using apt or whatever crappy management software is out there. In which case we're back in dependency hell.

The services model sucks. The only OSS projects that do well are those that have commercial backing and those that actually pay developers to write quality code.

The only people who benefit from FOSS decentralization are assholes like apple and google who take other peoples hard work and commercialize it.

Re:Good News (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24475257)

OHHHHHH Linux zombies modding me down. Boo hooo !

Re:Good News (1)

BPPG (1181851) | about 6 years ago | (#24475855)

Linux distros are a huge pissing contest...

This is the reason why I consider your argument misinformed.

Re:Good News (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | about 6 years ago | (#24475059)

Well, if it continued at this rate, wouldnt that make it about 11.5% 5 years from now? Or about 6500% if it was actually "28 times" every 1.5 years...

there is a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474319)

apple makes money at 2.8%. do you really think that all these vendors pay X/each copy distributed?

Re:there is a difference (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24474463)

apple makes money at 2.8%. do you really think that all these vendors pay X/each copy distributed?

On the other hand, Linux has been constantly improving on a shoestring budget so anything they make on this is more than that. I'm pretty sure there's money in there, not great money but enough to push Linux forward. If you invest in the stock market thinking Canonical will be the next Microsoft you're almost certainly wrong, but hopefully this means that in a few years Linux is a market share you can not ignore.

Re:there is a difference (3, Insightful)

tristian_was_here (865394) | about 6 years ago | (#24475031)

I doubt we will see kernel.org on the stock exchange but its good to see GNU/Linux is moving forward. Living in the UK I see GNU/Linux sees hurdles especially with ISP's because they require custom software to enable internet connections on first use.

Re:there is a difference (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | about 6 years ago | (#24475561)

I doubt we will see kernel.org on the stock exchange but its good to see GNU/Linux is moving forward. Living in the UK I see GNU/Linux sees hurdles especially with ISP's because they require custom software to enable internet connections on first use.

Really? which ISPs need custom connection software(so I can avoid them). I don't have that much to do with very many ISPs, but the ones I have used and set up for friends were always user name and password, and nothing more. Even on ISP supplied routers. Setting up a manual email account can be a bit fiddly, but a fair few seem to be moving to webmail these days.

Re:there is a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24475667)

Virgin Media for one

Re:there is a difference (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24475733)

Here in the US, even with all the evils of Comcast and Time Warner, for every ISP other than dial-up ones, you just plug in a cheap Linksys router into the cable box and you are good to go.

Re:there is a difference (1)

solferino (100959) | about 6 years ago | (#24475695)

If you invest in the stock market thinking Canonical will be the next Microsoft you're almost certainly wrong, but hopefully this means that in a few years Linux is a market share you can not ignore.

Only wish I could buy shares in Canonical.

Re:there is a difference (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24475711)

One totally agnostic guy at my job, was encouraged to use Apple products by the System Engineer because it just works by clicking a button. Surely that was a bunch of oversold hype.

After my experience of transitioning from Slackware to Ubuntu, I felt that it was ready for my non intuitive friends. I told him to try it and guess what? His wife doesn't have a Mac mini, she has Ubuntu. He also runs Ubuntu on the Powerbook the System Engineer lobbied for him.

Conclusion? Linux is already on the right path, the worse that could be done to Linux, which I see popping up everyday, is to make it feel like a Mac.

No! Wrong. The Apple way encourages ignorance, and obfuscation so that it could lock in the 1 button click and conquer generation. Those like our sys admin who is lost without Apples GUI.

Nothing is wrong with a 1 button click. But a user's biggest frustration is when the 1 button click doesn't work; they're feel helpless and clueless.

Think windows and registry. Apple and its gui, with a non-standard POSIX(?) filesystem layout.

EeePC, anybody? (4, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#24474333)

I bet 99%+ of these are Eees. I've never seen any Linux preinstalled other than those.

On which note, Amazon, get a bloody move on sending me my Linux 901. It was supposed to be out last month, now you say August 11th?

Re:EeePC, anybody? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about 6 years ago | (#24474441)

I did see some oddball manufacturer's "netbook" (a type of laptop formerly known as a subnotebook or UMPC before the Web 2.0 craze) in the Car phone warehouse lately. So its probably more like 97 or 96%.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (5, Informative)

Dice (109560) | about 6 years ago | (#24474459)

I own a Dell 1420n which came with Ubuntu pre-installed. There are a number of systems [dell.com] that Dell sells like this.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (2, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 6 years ago | (#24474523)

I'm also a Dell 1420n owner. It's a fantastic machine, I couldn't be happier with mine.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (4, Informative)

Dice (109560) | about 6 years ago | (#24474565)

Yeah, I was surprised by the quality of the system. I had expected that Dell would do something brain-dead thus requiring me to re-install Ubuntu, but it was effectively a vanilla install with a couple extra restricted drivers for the video and wifi. I've had mine for almost a year now, going from 7.10 to 8.04 via the update utility and everything is still running great.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24475047)

Yeah, I was surprised by the quality of the system. I had expected that Dell would do something brain-dead thus requiring me to re-install Ubuntu, but it was effectively a vanilla install with a couple extra restricted drivers for the video and wifi.

You mean wifi on Linux is ready for Aunt Tillie? Oh, no. It can't be. Then all the trolls will have nothing to complain about!

Re:EeePC, anybody? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24475177)

You mean wifi on Linux is ready for Aunt Tillie? Oh, no. It can't be. Then all the trolls will have nothing to complain about!

Welcome to the Internet. I see you have a lot to learn about online discussions.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | about 6 years ago | (#24474477)

Dell is selling preinstalled Ubuntu desktops. HP I believe just started selling Ubuntu as well on the desktop.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (2, Informative)

spisska (796395) | about 6 years ago | (#24474917)

On which note, Amazon, get a bloody move on sending me my Linux 901. It was supposed to be out last month, now you say August 11th?

For what it's worth (if you're in the US), I started looking around for a 901 two weeks ago. From what I could tell from the user forum [eeeuser.com] the Linux 901s were held up at customs in San Francisco until early last week.

You should be getting yours soon. I'll be ordering mine as soon as I can convince my company to pay for it.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474969)

I bet 99%+ of these are Eees.

Wow. That's a lot of Eees.

Re:EeePC, anybody? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24475753)

Right now, an EEE is just about the only thing you can buy at like Best Buy and have it have Linux. But Dell has a lot, but honestly, EEEs aren't that popular, so far I'm the only one I know in real life that has one, though a friend of mine broke her laptop so she is getting one.

For How Long? (4, Insightful)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | about 6 years ago | (#24474337)

I'm a big Linux user, I have been since the mid-ish / later-ish '90s sometime. I do have to ask, though:

How long do these machines stay running Linux?

If someone wanted a new and cheap PC, get a Linux one and format c:

Re:For How Long? (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#24474371)

How long do these machines stay running Linux?

If, as I speculated above, these machines are Eee PCs, then they probably stay running Linux for all their operational life. The target market for such machines wouldn't know how to reinstall an OS. Wiping a disk and installing Windows, then locating drivers for all the hardware, then setting up firewalls and antivirus... well, that's fine for the hobbyist, but the average user is just going to stick with what's on the system as it arrived. Windows needs to become a lot easier for the end user to configure and install if it's going to become a viable competitor on the mainstream ultraportable.

Re:For How Long? (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | about 6 years ago | (#24474431)

Actually, with the eee 901s it's probably better than that.

I know of a fair few folks here that couldn't get the linux 901 (distribution problems apparently) and so eventually caved, bought an XP model and linux'd it.

Re:For How Long? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474937)

Those people who supposedly did that are plain idiots. Why didn't they buy the Linux version with the bigger SSD and then installed their favorite distro?

Of course I suspect you have a lot of imagination (and you are very bad at lying).

Re:For How Long? (4, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | about 6 years ago | (#24474503)

From what I heared at least initially asus supplied instructions for installing windows and a CD full of windows drivers with the linux based EEE.

I dunno if this has changed since they started selling them with windows.

Re:For How Long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474869)

What you call the average user (which I would call the completely clueless user) will never buy a computer with Linux pre-installed, including an Eee PC. In the case he makes a mistake and buy it anyway, he will return the machine to the store immediately after realizing it's not what he is used to.

It's difficult to know what part of those 2.8% are geeks and what part are pirates (I suspect pirates are the majority), but I highly doubt any of them are what you call "average user".

Re:For How Long? (5, Interesting)

burnin1965 (535071) | about 6 years ago | (#24475003)

What you call the average user (which I would call the completely clueless user) will never buy a computer with Linux pre-installed, including an Eee PC.

You may not want to read the ZD Net article [zdnet.com] which mentions the demographics of the linux eeePC users in Taiwan, your AC head may just explode.

"Retailers and contract manufacturers in Taiwan say that novice PC users there, like students and housewives, tend to buy the Linux version of the Eee PC701, while geeks go for Windows XP."

And these non-average users who you suspect are pirates buying the linux boxes to I assume install a pirated copy of Windows, that is a stretch. The non-average user is going to buy the parts and build the box themselves as its cheaper and you end up with better hardware.

After years of people having to pay a Microsoft tax when they are going to buy a computer on which they will run linux its hilarious seeing people post about how the linux boxes will end up running Windows. What a hoot. :)

Re:For How Long? (5, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | about 6 years ago | (#24475021)

If, as I speculated above, these machines are Eee PCs, then they probably stay running Linux for all their operational life. The target market for such machines wouldn't know how to reinstall an OS.

The manual for the Linux EEE includes very detailed instructions on how to wipe Linux and install XP. (The manual for the Windows EEE does not contain instructions on wiping XP an installing Linux).

Re:For How Long? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24475789)

That is partially because A) EEEs come with Linux by default and B) XP is a whole lot harder to install then Ubuntu. First, the average person who spent extra $$$ for XP usually needs XP for something, someone who bought an EEE with Linux could have just bought it for the price, and are shocked that there is an OS other than Windows.

Re:For How Long? (2, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 6 years ago | (#24474377)

This is a very valid point, but that doesn't mean everything goes down the tube. It's great marketing. Even if the users never boot into Linux the word still got to them. And I suspect that many who do format and install Windows will at least boot into Linux once or twice and give it a shot. A few may even stick with it when they see it does everything they wanted the cheap PC for anyway.

Re:For How Long? (5, Funny)

magunning (1177371) | about 6 years ago | (#24474383)

How long do these machines stay running Linux? If someone wanted a new and cheap PC, get a Linux one and format c:

If they try "format c:" then they'll stay running linux for a long time

Re:For How Long? (0)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | about 6 years ago | (#24474491)

If they try "format c:" then they'll stay running linux for a long time

Why? You realize that to install windows, you have to "format c:", right?

Re:For How Long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474557)

good luck with that, lol

Re:For How Long? (2, Informative)

ksd1337 (1029386) | about 6 years ago | (#24474625)

I hope I'm not falling into a sarcasm trap, but most GNU/Linux distros don't use the same partition system as Windows. It's much more convenient actually.

Re:For How Long? (4, Informative)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | about 6 years ago | (#24474779)

The joke was that "format" isn't a Linux command, and a partition can't be called "c:"... So "format c:" does absolutely nothing in Linux

Wine bug? (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about 6 years ago | (#24475915)

The joke was that "format" isn't a Linux command, and a partition can't be called "c:"... So "format c:" does absolutely nothing in Linux

Then Wine is missing a feature, no?

Re:For How Long? (1)

nawcom (941663) | about 6 years ago | (#24475523)

If they try "format c:" then they'll stay running linux for a long time

Why? You realize that to install windows, you have to "format c:", right?

Heheh.

Noting that your username is Actually, I do RTFA [slashdot.org] , please take my suggestion - don't anymore.

Re:For How Long? (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 years ago | (#24474927)

but the first joker who replies 'oh you need to "sudo rm -rf" then enter your password...' when they complain that format c: didn't work, will probably wind up with the machine in the trash, if they can't afford to send it to a computer shop, which will charge them $400 to put windows on it, cuz it didn't ship with windows, and thus the user can only reinstall linux, which they probably don't know how to find software for (with sourceforge, or a package manager like adept or synaptics.)

newbies even say linux is worthless because you can't buy software for it, they just don't understand that there would be a utility to find 'new' software based on keyword searches.

Re:For How Long? (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 years ago | (#24474943)

whoops. forgot the obligatory " /" at the end of the command... it would still do damage in the home directory, but without the " /" it won't render linux completely useless

Re:For How Long? (4, Insightful)

g0dsp33d (849253) | about 6 years ago | (#24474509)

Makes up for all the "Vista" machines that are running Linux now. This laptop for example :).

I would also guess that most of the people who know how to switch operating systems tend to head in the opposite direction of what you suggest.

Re:For How Long? (4, Interesting)

samtihen (798412) | about 6 years ago | (#24474511)

Nah.

If you haven't noticed, most computers with Linux installed by default aren't easy to come by. The vast majority of the time you have to go out of your way to get one, and they are rarely any cheaper. In fact, Dell XPS m1330's are routinely more expensive with Ubuntu installed. The exceptions here are the netbooks, of course.

I'd wager that WAY more XP/Vista boxes get reinstalled with Linux than the other way around.

Re:For How Long? (1)

adona1 (1078711) | about 6 years ago | (#24474515)

Well, that wouldn't be as cheap as it seemed...an off the shelf copy of Windows runs for more than an OEM copy, IIRC

Re:For How Long? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24475809)

And a pirated version costs nothing ;) And neither does the disk that you got with your old computer that the motherboard fried.

Re:For How Long? (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | about 6 years ago | (#24474583)

Honestly, I have a couple that had OLD Windows installs on them that I have since installed Linux on. I even bought an Ubuntu installed Dell for my mom and she hasn't been happier.

Re:For How Long? (1)

charlie763 (529636) | about 6 years ago | (#24474697)

The percentage of these machines that stay running Linux is probably greater than the percentage of machines that stay running Windows.

Re:For How Long? (1)

multisync (218450) | about 6 years ago | (#24474843)

If someone wanted a new and cheap PC, get a Linux one and format c:

Don't you mean mkfs?

That's actually kind of funny, it's traditionally been the other way around - buy a cheap windows machine and extend it with Linux.

What are you going to put on that machine? Is the money you save buying it with Linux on it enough to pay for a retail version of Windows?

Re:For How Long? (3, Insightful)

burnin1965 (535071) | about 6 years ago | (#24474905)

How long do these machines stay running Linux?

If the customers are anything like the Windows customers they'll be running linux until the box is dead.

If they are an out of the ordinary customer who does their own OS installs then it wouldn't make much sense to buy a box with linux pre-installed when you can buy boxes with no OS, or to save even more purchase the parts themselves and build the box.

I'm sure some of them will end up running Windows but its more likely that it will be due to a want or need to go back to Windows apps rather than going through the trouble to get a cheaper box.

From what I've seen of vendors that sell Windows and linux boxes there isn't much of a cost benefit to buy the linux box over a Windows box, in fact its not uncommon for the Windows box to often times cost less than a similarly equipped linux box. Its never been fully explained why by the vendors selling the boxes, but its been speculated that they are subsidized by the proprietary software vendors.

If it does turn out they are being purchased on the cheap and a pirated copy of Windows is installed, oh well, I guess its pay back for me and everyone else who has purchased multiple laptops over the years and being forced to pay a Microsoft tax even though the laptops would be used to run linux.

Re:For How Long? (3, Funny)

spisska (796395) | about 6 years ago | (#24474931)

If someone wanted a new and cheap PC, get a Linux one and format c:

What's a 'c:'?

Re:For How Long? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 6 years ago | (#24475085)

If someone wanted a new and cheap PC, get a Linux one and format c:

But not all the PCs are like that. For example, the Dell machines that come preloaded with Linux like the 1420n have an excellent Linux (Ubuntu) implementation, well-configured and everything. And not only that, but the last I checked, the 1420n wasn't any cheaper than the Windows machines it is like.

The Asus Eeeiiieeeeiiiioooo is machine that you probably wouldn't want to load a different OS on when you consider that the thing is actually configured to be a sort of information appliance. Most people aren't buying Eees to get a full-featured laptop, because they're just not capable of being one.

Re:For How Long? (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | about 6 years ago | (#24475375)

you mean format /dev/hda1 right?

Re:For How Long? (0, Flamebait)

actionbastard (1206160) | about 6 years ago | (#24475679)

"I'm a big Linux user..."

Yeah, like most geeks, you're thirty pounds or more overweight from all the Jolt and chips, your complexion is pasty, you sweat a lot when you talk to girls [maximonline.com] and you still live in your parent's basement.

Re:For How Long? (1)

hoopshank (1113275) | about 6 years ago | (#24475687)

If someone wanted a new and cheap PC, get a Linux one and format c:

Actually it's been perfectly possible to buy a PC without any operating system in the UK for some time now, if not always. I first did it in 2001. Perhaps not from a big chain store but certainly from the shops and internet sites that actually know something about computers, which is also about the only way to even know what motherboard you're getting, for example....

Re:For How Long? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24475775)

Sure, for the people who can actually install an OS that would be great, but for the rest of the population who don't even know how to install Ubuntu, let alone XP, I think that they would pay $50 something to have it installed.

My guess is most stay Linux, however, I bet a lot of the ones pre-installed with Windows change to Linux.

Re:For How Long? (1)

baileydau (1037622) | about 6 years ago | (#24475803)

How long do these machines stay running Linux?

Probably not as many that start out running Windows and have been converted to Linux.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474343)

That is great for us, finally reaching a lot of linux installs.

Steps to surprising article everybody reads (4, Funny)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | about 6 years ago | (#24474365)

1. Find Marketing research company willing to give arbritrary statistic that surprises and enchants.

2. Write article citing (blaming) the marketing firm several times without really covering credentials.

3. PPPPPPPPPPPPPPP*cough*rofit

Re:Steps to surprising article everybody reads (0, Redundant)

linal (1116371) | about 6 years ago | (#24474425)

what no step ???????

Re:Steps to surprising article everybody reads (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | about 6 years ago | (#24474639)

Due to trademark issues, the ??? can't be displayed on Slashdot anymore. Microsoft trademarked the ???, because they saw that most users of Windows wrote that in their support emails.

Does that mean, these machines had Linux on (5, Funny)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24474391)

them before they existed? If something is pre-installed as apposed to installed, does that mean it was installed before the installation?

If I have to report a pre-existing condition to the insurance company, I wouldn't have to report anything because all I have is existing conditions, if any.

But, if I do have any pre-existing conditions, that means I had them before they existed, which means I had them before I was born, and therefore...I've gone cross eyed.

Re:Does that mean, these machines had Linux on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474429)

before the purchase

Re:Does that mean, these machines had Linux on (1)

jeiler (1106393) | about 6 years ago | (#24475171)

(A la "Goodbye, Blue Sky") Look, mummie, there's a joke flying up in the sky!

Re:Does that mean, these machines had Linux on (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 6 years ago | (#24475831)

Yes, the microcode is running Linux, and your BIOS is also running Linux

Cherry-picked numbers (5, Informative)

bjorniac (836863) | about 6 years ago | (#24474403)

Looking at the data, they just picked the lowest and highest points to get the factor. This is not indicative of an overall trend - I could pick March to March and say it had gone from 0.3% to 0.6% a factor of 2, not 28 - indeed from March to June of 07, things went DOWN by a factor of three...

Anyone not trying to fool themselves should really do some kind of best fit line and see that it's going at about 0.1% per month (number guessed). Yes, we're linux is making progress, and it's good, but let's be honest at least with ourselves about how much progress is actually being made.

Re:Cherry-picked numbers (5, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24474517)

No no no. Linux market share is booming! If your product isn't Linux-capable, you're going to get ditched on the sidelines. If your hardware doesn't work on Linux you're going broke any day now. Everybody, it's time to invest in Linux companies, this is the new dotcom era. Buy buy buy!

(Hey, while many made and lost a lot of money on the dotcom thing it sure got everything and everybody online. I'd be happy to see the same happening to Linux...)

Re:Cherry-picked numbers (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | about 6 years ago | (#24474745)

I haven't looked at the data but you can now buy from a number of different vendors, laptops and PCs with GNU/Linux pre-installed on them. Compare this situation with the one 3 years ago. Even if what you say is true and we are making little progress, it is nonetheless highly visible.

Microsoft's error in not predicting the potential market size for small, low cost systems running a full featured OS, is to everyone else's advantage and we will all progress because of it.

regards
p.

Re:Cherry-picked numbers (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 6 years ago | (#24474847)

Microsoft's error in not predicting the potential market size for small, low cost systems running a full featured OS, is to everyone else's advantage and we will all progress because of it.

MS is terrible at predicting computing trends; hell, they failed to predict the INTERNET. However, they usually manage to come up from behind and eventually dominate the market. Look at how Windows CE eventually beat Palm.

Re:Cherry-picked numbers (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | about 6 years ago | (#24474845)

They picked the launch date of Vista to the public, January 2007, and the most recent month they have numbers for. Does seem like they carefully chose numbers from anywhere, that's exactly the way I'd expect this study to be done, and their claim is exactly true to the word.

Of course the way you chose those number is obviously suspect, namely that is raises the question "Why isn't he including the data back to Vista's launch data?"

Re:Cherry-picked numbers (1)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | about 6 years ago | (#24474887)

Does seem like they carefully chose numbers from anywhere, that's exactly the way I'd expect this study to be done

Damn, meant to be doesn't

If it's 2.8% in the UK (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474413)

It's probably more like 18% everywhere else in Europe. England is the most conservative and Windows-fixated backarse of Europe.

FFS, this is the same country that made Bill a Knight. Same goes for Firefox market share

Re:If it's 2.8% in the UK (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | about 6 years ago | (#24474649)

It's probably like that in Scandinavian countries, where Linux originated (Finland, to be specific).

Re:If it's 2.8% in the UK (1)

lysse (516445) | about 6 years ago | (#24474901)

Hey, why break with the national habit?

(I hate my country.)

Re:If it's 2.8% in the UK (5, Informative)

Mr. Marabou Man (533239) | about 6 years ago | (#24475153)

England is the most conservative and Windows-fixated backarse of Europe.

No, that would be Denmark. (Yeah, we suck over here. Almost as much as the Dutch ;)
See Firefox usage, march '07 [xitimonitor.com]
Interestingly I can honestly say that I only know about one person who hasn't embraced the Fox. Who the hell are all those people ?

Linux will grow (3, Interesting)

kipman725 (1248126) | about 6 years ago | (#24474465)

Once people see you running linux they get curious, my crappy laptop running debian gets more looks than all the shiny apples. Slowly converting those around me aswell, also I increasingly find that lots of software is linux only or works better in linux. Also programing is much easier in linux at least for my hobbyist C programs.

Re:Linux will grow (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | about 6 years ago | (#24474573)

I increasingly find that lots of software is linux only or works better in linux.

I think it's a cultural thing.

Whenever I have something reasonably complex in mind to do in Windows (let us say... some kind of manipulation of PDF files), and I think 'Somebody must surely have programmed this already - I'll check online!' - I find pages upon pages of applications promising to do just as I wish, but they're all crippleware, non-functional unless I pay somebody money for them. Or they're riddled with advertising, or worse. Because every Windows programmer who has faced this problem has found a solution and immediately had fantasies of making a million selling software on the internet.

Whereas when the same notion strikes in Linux, the results are all free software, and far more functional than the Windows shareware shite, because some hacker in the past has faced the same problem as me, and has published his solution to the community.

Windows programmers hoard their creations and try to make money from them, and no one programmer can really benefit much from the work of any other. Linux hackers release their creations freely, and every hacker can improve and build upon the work of any other. Small wonder then that in order to get any decent software on Windows, one must either pay a licence fee to a corporation and sell one's soul to an EULA, or hope to hell that some software from the Unix world has been ported across.

Re:Linux will grow (1, Troll)

DogDude (805747) | about 6 years ago | (#24474735)

non-functional unless I pay somebody money for them.

Yeah, so? I don't begrudge paying people for their work. It's kinda' how the world works. Obviously, based on Linux's mind blowing, astounding, progress all the way to a high of 2.8% market share for one short period, in one medium-sized market, after more than a decade, that a few other people agree with me as well.

Regardless of what other people are doing, you're still whining about having to compensate other people for their work. Cry me a fuckin' river.

Re:Linux will grow (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24475163)

Yeah, so? I don't begrudge paying people for their work. It's kinda' how the world works. (...) Regardless of what other people are doing, you're still whining about having to compensate other people for their work. Cry me a fuckin' river.

And trying to avoid paying is also kinda how the world works. Saying "this is payware" and offering that is a fair deal, the problem is when you're trying to find a gratis solution in the Windows world. Some are very upfront about that there's a gratis version and a payware version and what the differences are. Others are plain old deceptive, probably not to the point of being criminally fraudulent but where it turns out the gratis version is so crippled it's practically useless and only a ruse to make you pay. Or that it comes bundled with ad/spy/malware that they hid way down in the EULA or otherwise downplayed until you try to install/use it.

Open source software has a refreshing air of honesty. It tends to do as advertised, even if it only claims to do half of what the Windows solution claims. Often the shortcomings are in fact pointed out in a TODO or as potential future improvements. Just knowing the license type is generally enough, there's no reason to read to see if it requires your firstborn or anything like that. All of this cuts down on the transaction costs [wikipedia.org] .

It's often been said that open source software is only free if your time is worthless. Well, in my experience trying to chase down a gratis/cheap Windows solution is even more costly than a free Linux solution. Natural selection doesn't happen much in shareware, you find oodles of crap hanging around waiting for some sucker to buy it. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but they are typically larger, more well established projects and not the kind of half-hobbyist shareware software.

Re:Linux will grow (1)

lee1026 (876806) | about 6 years ago | (#24474785)

You know, of course, that most OSS software makes it to the windows world, right? So in the windows world, you just hunt down that same piece of software and use it.

Re:Linux will grow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24475115)

But what about you, Mr or Mrs poster ? Do you make money from what you do ? IF so, why are u different from a windows person- you surely are not going to give away whatever it is that lets you charge others are you ?

Back in the real world (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#24475261)

Whereas when the same notion strikes in Linux, the results are all free software, and far more functional than the Windows shareware shite, because some hacker in the past has faced the same problem as me, and has published his solution to the community.
.

He has also ported his solution to Windows - assuming it did not begin as a native Windows app.

Re:Linux will grow (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24475595)

You're trolling or you've just been looking in the wrong places. The latter is something easy to do in the world of windows where you have > 90% of the world's applications to choose from. Snapfiles [snapfiles.com] freeware section is a good example of free software that is not "cripleware", though there are also shareware selections available.

For Linux, you can also find free software, but MANY times the programs themselves aren't fully functional or contain serious bugs. If you have the time and know how to fix it yourself, that is an option, but not a viable one for most people.

What you fail to understand, is that within the Windows world there are different types of programmers. Those who, like you say, horde their creations. Yet, there are also those that release free software for absolutely no charge. Both types exist, but you only present one side. No decent free software on windows? Liar.

so that means... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24474537)

2.8 percent of the british population take it up the ass. sorry, arse, for the british faggots. fucking dick smoking faggot british.

i bet the percentage is higher in france. especially among the muslim population.

it seems like only yesterday... (5, Funny)

notgm (1069012) | about 6 years ago | (#24474571)

it seems like only yesterday, penetration was only at 2.7%. my, how time flies.

Ugghhh (5, Interesting)

Karem Lore (649920) | about 6 years ago | (#24474593)

When I got my work laptop back in january I struggled for about a month with Windows XP (let alone Vista) SP3 before installing Suse Linux. My productivity has gone up, my boot-up time is not longer than my morning shower, and I just find it so easy to use.

I of course have a couple of niggles but that is due to hardware and their drivers not 4 Linux kind of situation (my printer)...

Having said that, I wouldn't have enough space here to list my issues with Windows.

I do use Vista (and like it) on my family home PC. Good for games, browsing (no better than Linux) and using my printer...

I use a Windows VPC in my Windows Vista for doing specific test cases for my work (I have still to figure out vmware with Suse 11) but other than that I am Linux all there way...

So, I as a consumer for my business laptop will, from now, be asking for linux pre-installed. It is by far the most convenient O/S to date for my business needs...no doubt in my mind. Karem

Hit me! (0)

fm6 (162816) | about 6 years ago | (#24474595)

"Linux Pre-Installs Hit 2.8%". That doesn't qualify as a "hit". More like a soft nudge.

What is it with OSS enthusiasts and their lame statistics that don't even sound impressive? Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased that desktop Linux is finally getting some mindshare. But gaining an itsy-bitsy percentage of the market in one particular country is not significant milestone.

Re:Hit me! (2, Interesting)

muszek (882567) | about 6 years ago | (#24474959)

Before Dell started pre-installing Ubuntu last year (announced ~Feb, selling since ~May, don't quote me), the pre-installed market share was probably less than 0.1%.

I haven't RTFA, but if it's really true, it is a big deal.

Re:Hit me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24475049)

I think Mark Ballard took the percentages and then screwed up the factor by assuming that the percentages were exact. 0.1% normally implies it could be anywhere between 0.05% and 0.15%. Similarly for the 2.8% figure. So it could have gone up anywhere between 18 and 57 times.

Re:Hit me! (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 6 years ago | (#24475357)

From teeny-weeny-tiny to teeny-tiny. Interesting definition of "big deal".

Re:Hit me! (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | about 6 years ago | (#24475225)

The hope is that it snowballs. The more people that see a box running Linux (especially if owned by a not-so-techy person), the more will inquire about it and possibly consider purchasing one. While 2.8% is not huge, it's enough that people will start to come across them. It'll move from "yeah I've heard of that somewhere" to "yeah I've seen that somewhere." The expected/hoped_for effect will be impressive, even if the current numbers aren't. Everything starts small.

Re:Hit me! (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 6 years ago | (#24475369)

Yes, I know that's the hope. And when it does snowball (I think there's a good chance, people are sick of bloatware) it will be news.

Profit (0)

MrKaos (858439) | about 6 years ago | (#24474663)

If a linux distro was charged at the same price (or half) as a windows machine maybe the sales guys could derive profit from not paying license fees on installed.

It would be one hell of an incentive for salespeople to start pushing linux installed on machines.

and the numbers for Vista are? (3, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | about 6 years ago | (#24475089)

It seems that the percentage of systems pre-installed with Linux has gone up 28 times since Vista shipped, from 0.1% in January 2007 to 2.8% last June
.

So what are the numbers for Vista?

The picture isn't quite as cheering for the geek if pre-installs are 97% Vista and 3% Linux

- - - that 3% gain is mostly at the expense of XP at End-of-Life and visible only at the very bottom of the OEM market.

To put it another way - the numbers look less impressive if pre-installs of Vista Premium are growing at the rate of 1% month and Linux BASIC 3% every 18 months.

Re:and the numbers for Vista are? (3, Interesting)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 6 years ago | (#24475405)

That's just silly. The numbers (if accurate) are very good news for Linux, considering the bazillions of dollars MS has put into pushing Vista. Of course their numbers are higher! Besides, every customer who goes home with a Vista box is an excellent candidate for using Linux in the future.

Alternative Explanation (1)

awitod (453754) | about 6 years ago | (#24475391)

I bought a Lenovo with Suse on it because I have an MSDN subscription and didn't want to pay for a license I already have. I imagine that more than a few of the Linux installs are just to avoid duplicate Windows licenses.

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