Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Linux On the Desktop: 0.24 Percent?

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the somethig-smells-a-little-funny dept.

Linux Business 684

Canyon Rat writes: "According to this story, less than a quarter of a percent of desktop users have adopted Linux. The survey was based on web surfers so it may be accurate." Anne Onymus adds a link to an interesting reaction over at

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

0.24% (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731332)

chances of fp

Never rub... (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731333)

....another man's rhubarb.

Re:Never rub... (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731476)

Can I rub his his walnuts?

That *can't* be true! (-1, Redundant)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731335)

I though that Linux had a *huge* share of the desktop market!

The problem is.. (5, Insightful)

Rosonowski (250492) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731340)

The problem with a web survey is that websites are targeted, much like television, to a specific audeince. That audience is more or less likely to be a windows/linux user, and as such, the results are likely flawed. Kind of like if you tried to do an OS survey on slashdot. Linux would have a much higher rating, would it not?

Re:The problem is.. (1)

Jagin (243283) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731345)

Actually according to a result poll on /. most readers are using Windows!

Re:The problem is.. (1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731349)

He did say 'more people would be using Linux', as in more than 0.24% (or whatever the figure was).

Typo? (1, Offtopic)

Kidbro (80868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731443)

Linux is the greatest, and microsoft suck!
(Sorry, this makes half the other \. comments redundant ;-) )

News for nerds. Stuff that matters.


Re:The problem is.. (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731353)

True... anyone know where we can find a list of the major sites that they polled? Somehow I doubt that they would be popular with *nix users.

Re:The problem is.. (1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731357)

HA, and the conspiracy threories come out already! I really don't think any one has motive to pretend that Linux has a lower end-user figure than it has, when it is such a minuscule figure - or are you suggesting that the figure is out by 20-50%???

Re:The problem is.. (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731398)

Would you shut your fucking shit-encrusted yap? No one cares about a pink-skirted, la la dancing, sailor fucking queer sack, like you.



Re:The problem is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731372)

I hear that the two websites polled were and

Re:The problem is.. (1)

swright (202401) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731416)

If its got anything to do with Hitbox, it's not sites that are polled but ISPs...

[HitBox take proxy logs from ISPs and process those - generating the stats and providing clickthrough information to sites].

If there's any skew, its going to be the ISPs that are chosen. (they don't say which ones...)

I was shocked when I first found out this sort of thing happened (especially with static IPs), but apparently it's quite common :(

Re:The problem is.. (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731382)

Actually, I kinda wonder about that. I *own* a Linux box, but I don't use it for surfing, I use it as a server (web/ftp/mail/etc). I do most of my surfing at work (shh! don't tell) where we run Windows NT. This story is leaving out a lot of info did they determine the votes? Was it an actual vote (ie, click a radio button, click 'Vote!') or did they detect what OS someone was running? IMHO, most 'savvy' computer users skip right over those surveys, ruling them stupid and a waste of time.

Lotsa things could have skewed this vote, so I wouldn't take it too seriously.

-- trb

Re:The problem is.. (2, Interesting)

swright (202401) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731395)

This is true - and not just for tech oriented sites.
I've done work on engineering sites and the distribution there has a much higher proportion of other *NIX flavours (mostly AIX and Solaris).

For the very consumer sites, even Netscape doesnt get a lookin these days....

Re:The problem is.. (3, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731425)

But I think that's really their point: If only small engineering circles use Linux, then it's a fundamental fact that the deployed base is small. The dream of Linux, and all other alternative OS', is that the oft stated scenario of "grandma using SuSe" will come true, and naturally grandma isn't going to start her browsing at Slashdot just because she installed Linux: She'll have the same general browsing as most other grandams.

In other words, if you're saying that websites always cater to a certain crowd then I 100% agree (though note that that stat came from information gathered from some 125,000 sites so it'd be less biased than, say,, however you're conceding defeat if you say that those who use Linux are of a different breed.

Where they get their stats. (5, Informative)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731449)

According to their Research methodology [] page
StatMarket publishes statistics based on the combined data from tens of millions of daily Internet users visiting the tens of thousands of sites that use WebSideStory's HitBox Enterprise and other HitBox Web audience analysis services. HitBox is an outsourced Web site measurement and analysis service that provides real-time statistics about online visitor behavior.


While the 125,000+ Web sites worldwide that HitBox monitors are self-selected, StatMarket's figures are culled from more than 50 million unique visitors who visit those sites every day

er? (3, Interesting)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731341)

The survey was based on web surfers so it may be accurate

Er, or it may not. Does the web surfing population necessarily represent all computer owners? I would suggest that web surfers are slightly more likely to be tech-savvy and therefore web-surfers will have a higher percentage of Linux desktop use than non-web users. So the figure may be even lower.

Re:er? (2)

flacco (324089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731434)

Does the web surfing population necessarily represent all computer owners? I would suggest that web surfers are slightly more likely to be tech-savvy and therefore web-surfers will have a higher percentage of Linux desktop use than non-web users. So the figure may be even lower.

You've got it backwards. Most web surfers are LESS technically savvy - that's one of the only reason they bought their clickie-devil-machine in the first place. The serious users are heads-down in source code.

Re:er? (1)

abdulwahid (214915) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731447)

I would suggest that web surfers are slightly more likely to be tech-savvy and therefore web-surfers will have a higher percentage of Linux desktop use than non-web users. So the figure may be even lower.

I would have thought it would be the other way around. They don't say anything about which websites people were visiting. I am sure if sites like /., freshmeat, where counted the hits would change again. I am sure the sites I read every day weren't counted. The sites counted probably are the more commonly hit sites that aren't the same sites that the majority of Linux users read.

Re:er? (2)

shanek (153868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731453)

On the other hand, it may be that people like me get listed as half a Linux user and half a Windows user. I use Linux at home, but at work I generally don't have a choice and have to use Windows. So, you could argue that the figure is higher based on that.

Re:er? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731455)

I'd disagree. I once tutored an 85 year old man who just bought his first computer (a mac).
I disabled all the BS that pops up on a new mac, with women walking on the windows and telling you how to use your new mac... I digress..

Anyway, the first thing he wanted to do after we completed his AOL registration was get on the web. He barely knew how to use the mouse, and he was on the web, learning how to use bookmarks to save the sites he was interested in.

I know this is just one case study, and not a generalized view, but I'd have to disagree with your premise, that mostly savvy users use the web. I'd assert that it is generally the first thing even the most unsavvy user tries out these days.

Slow GUI Performance (0, Offtopic)

slimefurt (545138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731343)

Unfortunately Linux is burdened with the overhead of X Windows. This slows everything down. People that compare Linux desktops side by side wit regular windows know the difference.

Re:Slow GUI Performance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731366)

Yup - they know Linux is better =)

Re:Slow GUI Performance (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731378)

That depends....
X does seem to take time to startup, and some apps
(such as netscape and mozilla) take a god awfull time to open, but in most cases once the desktop is open things move along. Actually it DOES take windows itself some time to come up, probably LONGER than X11+Gnome does, but we don't think about this since the OS and the window manager are merged with windows.

I've never thought of X on Linux as being slow compared to windows (but then my experience has been on 500mhz and 866mhz PIII computers.....)

Re:Slow GUI Performance (1)

slimefurt (545138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731393)

The X Windows layer runs as a seperate process and is known to exact an overhead on all desktop graphics. Chances are you have gotten use to the slow down so you don't notice it. Someone coming to GNOME or KDE fresh from Windows will have a different reaction unless the Linux hardware is just plain lots faster.

Re:Slow GUI Performance (1)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731400)

It's all depending on what window-manager you have.

For example, if you're running fvwm/olvwm/twm, you have the fastest and smallest ones you can get.

If you're using Gnome/KDE, you have ones which have more overhead.

Re:Slow GUI Performance (1)

buzban (227721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731427)

"non-regular" windows=slow GUI performance=reduced representation in web stats


perhaps the most popular windows is not the same as the best windows.

or maybe you need more RAM...

Slugfart, please read this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731433)

previously on slashdot [] -- search the page for "slow".

How Do They Know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731344)

How was the servey done? Did they just read browser strings or something else? And what are the other ~2% using?

Possibly biased sample? (2)

Jeppe Salvesen (101622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731347)

I know we are still small on the desktop, but this is even less than i expected. One possiblity pops up, though. Have someone established that Linux users have the same surfing habits as other people? Are we as interested in general news? Or maybe we're all so 31337 that we changed our browser string..

Anyhow, when Linux-based web appliances start taking off (when, when, when), the market share will hopefully start increasing.

BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731454)

I think the point is that the average user is not using linux on the desktop. Of course us geeks are. But imagine if their numbers had shown 5-10% using linux. Then we could say, ``Wow, real people use linux, not just geeks!''

This makes for just one more ``Linux is not mainstream yet'' story.

Slashdot Stats (3, Interesting)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731348)

Maybe cmdrTaco should post the Slashdot stats of it's users OS

Re:Slashdot Stats (0)

Cheesy Fool (530943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731358)

It might not be a fair reflection though. People might be at uni or work where they are forced to use Windows.

So what is the percentage for /. surfers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731350)

So how many of us are actually using Linux/*BSD/etc to browse slashdot?

Right now, I'm using windows at work. Doesn't mean I want to be.

Websidestory,Inc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731352)

More like wastesidestory. I have their statistical package duplicated right here (in perl of course):

if ($browser eq "Netscape") { #check netscape share
} else { #check ie share here
$ie ++;
#calculate apple share
$apple = "4.8";

#round netscape share
$netscape = "15";

#check for errors here
$ie = $ie - $apple - $netscape;

return reverse "Linux programmers are winnies";

How to craft a response. (4, Funny)

glowingspleen (180814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731354)

[Insert Pro-Linux Outcry]

[Insert Rambling Out-Of-My-Ass Reasons why Survey Can't Be Correct]

[Insert Attack on Microsoft]

[Insert Short Insult To Silly Un-learned Users Who Don't Know Better]

[Insert Reminder That Survey Can't Be True]

[Close with Name, Followed By Witty Anti-M$ Slogan, Being Sure To Substitute A Dollar Sign For The "S" Because Doing That Is Inventive And Hilarious]

Re:How to craft a response. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731376)

I prefer xml-format...

Linux? (1)

inf0rmer (545195) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731355)

As soon as Linux is taken up by the general business population, we'll see it infiltrate the general home desktop scene. That won't be for years. Windows has too much of the market share at this point for that to happen and whilst Microsoft are offering software such as Windows XP which is essentially 'eye-candy', Linux won't take hold.

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731374)

I know a couple of linux desktops, and they carry even more eye candy.
But i think you right that the force users onto windows policy of MS, makes it hard for Linux desktops , how fast userfrienldy and eyecandy rich, to gain a much higher share.
But We will sucseed!

Re:Linux? (1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731384)

As soon as Linux is taken up by the general business population, we'll see it infiltrate the general home desktop scene.

As soon as pigs start to fly, there will be a car that can travel 1,000,000 miles on a teaspoonfull of petrol.

Sorry, just my interpretation...

Never Trust... (2, Insightful)

Over_and_Done (536751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731356)

A survey that does not reveal its methodology. Until you know how they did it, how can you really trust the results? Does anyone how the survey was conducted?

Re:Never Trust... (1)

swright (202401) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731437)

If it's HitBox that got the stats, they take proxy logs from ISPs and process those. Their primary business is in selling traffic patterns about specific sites (to the sites' owners of

Here we go... (5, Insightful)

forgoil (104808) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731359)

I bet that there will be at least 100 posts saying that you can't trust this kind of data, that it's complete bollocks and yada yada yada Linux is so good it will for Bill to eat Linus used shorts.

Please don't care about that article, it's not interesting really. It's not really news. We all know what we use ourselves (XP and linux in my case) and I suggest that our time should be spent on something better than surveys and such things.

Writing serious and useful documentation for linux for instance, and putting it into XML and making it readable and searchable in different applications (such as the exellent Konqi, the only other browser besides IE I would ever dream of using). Go do that instead of reading all the pointlessness that this news consists of.

Where are the Appliances (3, Informative)

dunstan (97493) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731360)

I think we can all start from the premise that these statistics are:
a) flawed
b) backward looking

What would be more interesting is some insight into where browsing is headed. For example, there will be some sites which will attract mobile traffic much more readily than others - traffic updates, or train running info, or today's tube (as in London Underground) breakdown. Then we are going to see amounts of traffic from appliances such as set-top boxes.

But then I suppose "We produce rubbish statistics" won't be as headline grabbing as "You Linux folks are all losers".


So? (1)

wagadog (545179) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731361)

And why do we care about surfers rather than *servers* in the first place? Obviously people are MS shills.

Looks like to me that the choice of word "surfers" is intended to cast FUD on the real figures on Linux' and Unix *server* market dominance.

Re:So? (1)

TeraCo (410407) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731387)

Did you even read the article?

The article makes reference to Linux's amazing penetration into the server market, but points out that penetration into desktop has not been all it can be.

[This is probably true.]

The LowEndMacs reaction is flawed (2, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731363)

The stat that 0.24% of desktop users use Linux came from 125,000 disparate, largely general purpose websites (i.e. not "WindowsUserFanatics" or "BillGatesFanBoys": Indeed there are extremely few sites that are geared to specifically Windows users): Comparing these general stats against the stats against a technologically biased site is absolutely absurd. And if only fanatics and fanboys use Linux, well then they've proven their point about Linux' low acceptance right there...

Re:The LowEndMacs reaction is flawed (1)

Skirwan (244615) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731464)

Comparing these general stats against the stats against a technologically biased site is absolutely absurd.
Yes, of course it is. But there are a number of non-technologically-biased sites that nonetheless attract a far different cross-section of users.

Imagine doing a study of browsers hitting Yahoo, and then doing a study of visitors to Google - Google will show a far higher percentage of Linux users (conjecture, mod me down), simply because it's more popular to the sort of person who's likely to use Linux.

What LowEndMac's rebuttal is trying to point out is that because different websites attract different groups in much the same way that different operating systems attract different groups, there will inevitably be some degree of statistical clustering present. Nobody is proposing that we use Slashdot or a Mac-centric site [] to determine marketshare among desktop OSen - for the simple reason that trying to determine marketshare based on visits to a website is logically flawed.

I am Ghorak Zo, hear me roar.

first AH post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731367)

HOT []

Lynx will never show up on these stats (4, Insightful)

andyr (78903) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731369)

Since the stats are gathered in one place, a hitcounter, my lynx-browsing will never be tallied, as I do not download those little GIFs. Even under Galeon [] I flag it to not download pictures from other sites - so I will not show up there either.

Cheers, Andy!

Re:Lynx will never show up on these stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731406)

I'm sure the dozen or so people that still use Lynx are throwing these stats way off.

Will Get Faster then More Popular (3, Insightful)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731370)

I tried using Linux KDE as a desktop last year and was disappointed with the speed of the graphical interface. I could watch the dialogs painting and this was on a 900MHz machine.

This is not an issue with Servers.

I, like most users, expect performance to be at least as snappy as on other systems using comparable hardware.

As hardware gets faster, the GUI sluggishness will be less apparent. That along with the advent of more mainstream compatible apps will make it more prevalent as a desktop OS.

Re:Will Get Faster then More Popular (1)

bain (1910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731417)

First of, KDE is one option. if you are that speed anal use a less resource hungry GUI. I use WindowMaker and it screams compared to other GUI's
even on a P166/63MB machine


Re:Will Get Faster then More Popular (2)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731462)

KDE and GNOME are the whole point dude. Those desktops need to be as at least as snappy as Windows. Unfortunately they are not at this time.

Switching to less snazzy desktops to recover speed misses the whole point of KDE and GNOME in the first place.

Re:Will Get Faster then More Popular (1)

zloth (536522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731472)

Thats odd, when I last used windows (a year ago) I though KDE was snapier (this on 600mhz ) machine. Linux is definitely faster !

This seems high actually. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731371)

Isn't that one in 400? Think about that. Of all the THOUSANDS of PCS that Dell, Gateway, and others sell each day, how many of these get Linux put on them? I am trying to comtemplate all the computers I have ever seen on my life on the desktop, myriads! And maybe 2 have had Linux running on it for the desktop. EVERYONE (speaking from mid america here) today has a computer, most families have two, think how many run Linux, none. Think how many have heard of Linux, practically none. This seems ridiculously high, its probably much less than .24 percent.

Re:This seems high actually. (1)

zloth (536522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731461)

Yea, try and buy a laptop from dell w\ith linux preinstalled! You can only do it in special batches. Its cheaper to pay the MS tax . By the way I don't run MS (or Mac) software at home or at work . Just Linux; who cares what the other fools do?

Great (0)

Pussy Is Money (527357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731375)

I hope this kills off for once and for all the tinny cheerleaderism about "Linux on the desktop", so that we can put that absurd, counter-productive, and frankly idle fantasy to rest. Please, leave us alone, fuck off, and please don't try to fix what was never broken. Thanks.

A recent survey conducted by mobile telephone.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731379)

revealed that 100% of people own mobile phones.

stronger (1)

CordMeyer (452485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731380)

24% may seem small, but Linux is the only OS making headway in the broad OS marketplace, the one OS with the strongest compounded growth projection over the next couple of years (at least), and the one OS which supports more hardware platforms than any other. This didn't happen with any high-powered marketeering or monopoly power, but out of grass root free choice.

Re:stronger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731394)

thats .24% not 24%, sorry buddy. in decimal, its not .24, its point .0024, lol! go lee-nux!

Re:stronger (1)

CordMeyer (452485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731407)

24% rather

Re:stronger (1)

CordMeyer (452485) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731431)


Slashdot user stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731383)

I want to see the stats for the page that story [] is served from. Fools will see more Linux desktops than they thought existed!

Windows is for surfing - Linux for serious stuff (2, Insightful)

kill-hup (120930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731389)

While I doubt the numbers, I suppose it could be true. At my current company, they insist on supplying *everyone* with a windows box, regardless of need. As a sysadmin, all I use it for is surfing (google searches, sfocus, pstormm slashdot =), since my Linux desktop is where I get all my real work done ;)

Maybe, Maybe Not... (2)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731390)

I've got some issues with this... mostly in what sites were used. I mean if it was yahoo, geocities, aol, etc... obviously we know that that .24% was some random newbie who just happened to click the wrong thing in mozilla (slighty kidding). If it was slashdot... than well that .24% is still probably accurate. Look people... linux isn't ready yet. It will be, maybe soon... kde 3.0 looks promising, the kernel gets better overtime, etc. But not yet. People have tried, and people have failed. This isn't a flame, I use linux... but right now, I'm on a win 98 box due to a damn winmodem. But thats the thing... think about it... how many computers do you think are in the world? How many of those are on the internet? How many of those also happen to be running linux? Say there are 200 million pcs in the US (which may be accurate). Now say 100 million are on the internet (close). Now, .24% of 100 mil is 240 thousand, which seems alittle low. By how much? I have no clue... but from what I've seen linux is primarily servers and research machines. Either way, this number is close to the truth, probably with a margin of error of 100 thousand either way. Of course this all comes down to what you consider a desktop machine. I mean if you're using the machine to be dedicated to squid, but you play solitaire on it all the time... is it a server or a desktop? Oh well... i've got 2 linux desktops so you can mark those down.

Re:Maybe, Maybe Not... (2)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731402)

Whoops... gotta quit hitting submit so damned fast. Just wanted to clear up... usually 100 thousand should be a large margin of error... but when this is in relation to 100 million then its not that big of a deal.

.24 percent? (3, Interesting)

Minupla (62455) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731391)

Damn, that's much better then I would have guessed. Think about it, that means, one out of every 400 users is using linux as a desktop system. I'm impressed, honestly, I didn't know there were that many clued lusers out there.


Re:.24 percent? I totally agree (1)

snatchitup (466222) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731452)

How many millions is this. Oh, and by the way, this reminds me of an Umberto Eco quote regarding the
MAC vs. PC Religious war.. []

He didn't even bother with Linux. But his concerns of DOS being protestant apply to Linux. Or maybe he believes Linux is atheist?

Who cares? (2)

rknop (240417) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731401)

As long as the web is based on open, broad industry standards (as opposed to de facto Microsoft standards), I don't care what most web users are using. As long as the web and websites are based on open standards, I can use whatever the heck I want. Mozilla and some others have enough impetus now to keep up more or less with the basic standards. If I'm in a tiny minority, so what?

I do care, however, if too many sites use this as a justification to create "IE-only" sites. I've seen a few of those, and those are stupid and annoying.


Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731445)

IE ONLY sites are develop by morons. IE always have security holes big enough for a whole truck to drive through! Haha! Maybe, this is why they want people to use IE. Yucks!

Biased stats from LowEndMac (2, Informative)

Mwongozi (176765) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731403)

(I'm a poet and I don't know it...)

The stats [] from LowEndMac claiming a higher %age of Linux users is probably bias, since it's a techy web site about low end Macs, probably the best techy thing to do with a low end Mac is to install Linux on it. (They even have a special Linux page [] .)

The stats from WebSideStory is based on the stats from 125000 sites, and so is arguably more realistic.

linux shells (0, Redundant)

The_Flames (184659) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731404)

I tink the problem that linux faces, is no matter how user frendly the GUI gets the command line is sill needed for many tasks. I couldnt imaging dropping into a command box on 2k just to start word, I may browse to the installed directory and start it there, bu i woudlnt type \progra~1\microsof~2\office\winword.exe unless the os was totally crashed.

as soon as linux has a GUI that was able to run any app easly then there would be more linux web surfers.

just my thaughts on the topic :)

Representative data (5, Informative)

Cpyder (57655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731405)

well, as the mac article points out, the Hitbox users aren't really representative... But what about Google??? About everybody uses google... So let's see what they have to tell [] :
Windows (all versions): 93 %
Macintosh: 4%
Linux: 1%
Other: 4%

Detailed figures on browsers and operating systems on their site. I think Google can be considered quite representative, not?
(posted with Konqueror / Linux)

Skewed results Possibly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731411)

I'm wondering if they took into account the fact that many Linux users change their user agent settings on the browser to be compatible with web sites. I know some sites that won't let you on with other than IE settings.

Not quite surprising (1)

Neorej (398404) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731412)

While I like Linux and run it whenever I need some server somewhere the whole thing is still quite far from being suitable as a normal desktop OS.

I use a PC at work which runs MS-NT and I got a machine at home which uses MS-XP. At work I don't have a choice but NT does what it needs to do and adinistrating the whole lot isn't my job so I really don't care.

At home 75% of the time spend behind my computer is spend on gaming. Gaming under Linux sucks, and don't give me all these rants that gaming under linux rules supreme or anything 'cos you're not convincing me. There's hardly any games for Linux and they usually (I SAID USUALLY, AS IN, NOT ALWAYS) come out way later.

So I'll stick to MS for my desktop until Linux gets better support from game developers. This does not only go for me but for many people I know who all love Linux but would also like to play a lot of computer games. Since a lot of games need patches etc. most people also do their surfing from within windows, so, however this survey came into being, it really isn't all that surprising.

Survey says... (5, Insightful)

adubey (82183) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731413)

I've had some training in statistics, and I see a number of problems. First, the slashdot editors are making the perennial journalists' mistake of misinterpretting statistics. Statmarket only claims to be measuring web client usage, and doesn't make any claims about the desktop market in general (at least from what I saw).

In terms of the study itself, statmarket admits that the sample is "self-selected" rather than randomly selected. This results in a biased sample. In particular, since they are offering a service to business users, the sample is likely biased in favour of business sites. The bias is then against more "arty" or technologically-oriented sites, resulting in lower-than-expected numbers from Macintosh and Linux users. It might also be biased against home users.

That said, while the survey may be off by an order of magnitude, I wouldn't expect it to be off by more than an order of magnitude. Most other surveys don't put Linux usage at more than 2 or 3%

Re:Survey says... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731467)

You know as well as anyone, that although /. is basically posting flamebait with the way they posted this story, the original publisher is also doing just as badly.

While you may recognize the flaws in a non-random study, PHBs and microsofties and the like will probably not. They generally just read the headline, and use that as ammo in arguments.

It's like the study about second hand tobacco smoke that gets bandied about so often by anti-smoking people. They don't even pay attention to the fact that the WHO later released a paper dewbunking the results, showing that second hand smoke was not a significant cause of cancer.

Windows bashing Windows users (1)

croftj (2359) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731414)

I've always been amazed at the number of Linux users who bash Windows daily and yet still keep thier Windows boxes up to date and running full.

If you want to change the stats, bite the bullet and switch to Linux all the way. Yes, t's scarey, but you will find that you will probably only miss a game or two. I can't believe that anyone in thier right mind uses MS Office for home stuff. I'm mean what the hell, they can't write mom without frilly fonts?

Our Stats ... (5, Funny)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731415)

.. as taken from our counter for the site, a site that has NOTHING to do with computers.

Win 98 80178 (45%)
Win 2000 33183 (18%)
Unknown 17948 (10%)
Win NT 15051 (8%)
Mac 13085 (7%)
Win 95 11717 (6%)
Linux 2459 (1%)
Win 3.x 1055 (0%)
Unix 761 (0%)
WebTV 226 (0%)
OS/2 24 (0%)
Amiga 4 (0%)

The scariest thing is that win98 is still 45%. If not being part of that 45% is wrong, I don't wanna be right, baby!

Re:Our Stats ... (1)

bain (1910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731432)

Maybe we should approch google. They are by far the most accessed website with no subject appart from people searching for things, Or maybe even all search engins to provide stats on OS stats on their servers


Re:Our Stats ... (3, Insightful)

JiveDonut (135491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731446)

Why is it scary that 45% run win98?

Windows 98 is a perfectly good OS for home users. I have two linux boxes in my house that I use for programming, file serving, wireless network, etc.

Guess what the third one runs? Win98.

News? (1)

Sinjun (176671) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731419)

Is this really news? I mean, come one, Google Zeitgeist [] has been reporting on browser access statistics for over a year now and it's CLEARLY Internet Explorer with the HUGE majority of use. Anyone simply looking at the corporate world can see this. My guess would be that the most reliable statistic on Linux use on the desktop would be the number of unique visitors to /. excluding a small percentage of those who are forced to sneak in a few minutes of /. from their Windoze box at work. And Will Wheaton.

Garbage In, Garbage Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731421)

This report is based on how browsers identify themselves to websites.

I use Konqueror and Opera, both of which by default identify themselves as MSIE 5.

If I had left these settings alone I would be counted as a Windows user rather than Linux.

A independet site statistic: google-zeitgeist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731426)

Scroll down a little bit, take a look at "operating systems"..

i think google is pretty fair, 1 percent is not much, but it is about 400% percent higher then those in websidestory

Dual Boot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731438)

Just out of curiousity .... how would dual booting effect this percentage?

What if some poor sap just happened to hit the site while logged in under Windows?

WHO CARES !!!! (1)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731439)

The methodology is bogus, hell how many Linux system hits does slashdot get , then how many does say MS or MSN or MSNBC get ?

I use it and thats all that matters, I am happy, I am also not a frothing at the mouth Linux Preacher, If theyre smart enough to use it great, if not so what, I dont run around telling people what TV to buy or car to drive, let them choose, education is one thing but cmon.

I typically see about 10% *NIX hits on 40 websites I host at about a million users a month total , thats High, But Im also dealing with a lot of companies that do some serious engineering. hence Unix....

Linux is great, it can do everything I need it to well, and better than windows, its free and stable. I use it at home and work, but theyre are clients that I would suggest NEVER use it, they couldnt possibly use it effectivley, and would in fact become less productive. Why am I going to tell my customers to be less productive ? If someone dosent belive you they probably never will, human nature is such that even when a person is proven wrong they still wont change, people are stubborn.

No wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731441)

Linux versions are mostly in unstable versions or they are ancient. Linux STILL lacks window managers that would be good to use. For instance KDE is nice, but it's in the use of useability far far from the standard Windows[tm] interface. For nerds perhaps *nix is aok, but John Doe wants that things feel good. Not that the mysterious security aspects are dealt with.

Linux also lacks software. Still. Where is Photoshop? A packet that really could compete with MS Office? SoundForge? Winamp? All the games? Good browser? (Ok, Opera is great on Linux! It's just commercial.) Good email client like Outlook Express? (Don't laugh, it is USABLE despite the fact that it is buggy and stupid as a brick.) Big email client system with shared calendars, video conference and all goodies such in Outlook? Enterprise software such as reporting systems?

Sure there are many software projects and alternatives. The best of them are 99% as good. But it's the 1% that counts. That's what Linux is missing. In support, useability, neatness etc.

The problem with Linux community is that everyone is researcing the same wheel again. Go to Freshmeat, do a search for an email client. Whoa, LOTS of projects. If all those guys collaborated and worked together, they could in all areas create killer applications in a few months. But they will not. Some program has some nice feature, some other then other features. Getting all them is pain in the ass if compared to putting the CD inside and starting clicking next next next next like in Windows world. Because there is no coordination, Linux applications will never rock Windows applications. Sorry.

Then, where is my hardware support for my integrated sound chip? My cheapo network adapter? How about making us a real dvd player software that actually could beat PowerDVD? Blah. At least Counter-Strike would work. And my Geforce.

I don't mean to flame or troll here. It's just that until Linux has it all, it will never succeed. From an old geek's perspective Linux has already what it should have. Try telling John Doe "No you can't buy that hardware, buy this or your computer won't work with it." when all the products DO support Windows[tm]. Won't work.

Try to get them to jump into a completely new software world where most of the software is in early alpha stage. Won't work either.

The fact is that most of the computer use in homes nowadays is Internet surfing and entertainment. You have to either tweak Mozilla a lot faster and less demanding or make Opera free or something similar. You will also need an email client that is usable, supports many users (protected with simple passwords etc) on the same computer (this kind of a client does not exist on Linux. Outlook express is one.). Full DVD functionality with stunning quality would be also required, including 3d sound and such. Linux would also need a lot better hardware support, people want all kinds of gizmos. Linux needs multimedia player that plays EVERYTHING, including all the MS formats. Natively, wine and such are resource hogs and they won't work perfect in all situations. Get all the games working on Linux. Max Payne and such. All external things like emulators and VMWare are too complicated for John Doe. It must be more or less native. Ahh.. I could go on for a while.

I really, really don't wonder why Linux was just a bubble and it will never be used widely on desktops. Linux developers should really rally and look at what counts: John Doe. Not other nerds.

Browser Identification Strings (5, Interesting)

Rushuru (135939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731448)

The other problem that may drive *nix browsing market share is that there is a gazillion browsers who all have different identification strings. Very often, poorly designed stats system will not even notice that a given browser is actually a linux one, and will classify it as unknown.

Also, many poorly designed sites ony lets people with Ms IE 4 or Netscape 4 visit the site. Opera, mozilla, konqueror users have to fake the identification strings to be able to see the site. And, as a matter of fact, I know several people who have set their browsers' id string to be IE like, to avoid troubles.

There's no arguing that Linux's desktop market share is far lesser than that or windows and mac, but I do think and hope it's above 0.24%

I don't believe it. (0)

Martigan80 (305400) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731450)

All survey's are biased. What websites did they use? How did they determine which ones had a good mixture of users? Do you think the inlcuded an OSDN site?

Linux Pride (1)

lauch (185110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731458)

Well at least I can stand up and say I am proud to be 1 of the .24% that uses Linux almost exclusivly for my work (servers at an ISP) and at home. I think it is fantastic to think that it may be true that 1 in 400 surfers are now using this fantastic operationg system. One day soon it may even be 2.4% . Well done Linux! No matter how much Microsoft lovers put down Linux. I am just glad I have the choice to not use Microsoft products(and Mac, and Sun, and BSD...and even Linux if I didn't want to). Where as only a few years ago if I wanted a cheap desktop computer with a sturdy usable operating know what choices I would have had!

Linux in the office (1)

siemce (544739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731459)

In the company I work for we have quite some people that use their PC to access mail, surf the internet or type a document. Some of them have their nice and shiny HP-UX boxes and use a Citrix client to connect to the server and open their Outlook clients. Well, the Citrix server isn't too stable and if it goes down they can't check their mail. Two HP released Gnome for HP-UX, so I put it on their desktops and they love it. The for the ones without the nice UNIX boxes I set up a linux terminal on 130 mhz boxes - KDE + all office suites. All of them got Evolution (they complained that it was too slow and the phonebook lookup was inconvenient). They can do almost everything but _ONE_ (we run Exchange) - use the shared calendar. And this is the reason why the linux terminal didn't work even if the users liked the setup. It is a large corporation, so switching to something else than Exchange is not going to work. The bottom line is - no robust Exchange compatible client = no Linux desktops (in the corporate world anyways).

Circular circle? :) (5, Insightful)

ishark (245915) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731465)

I like the answer on lowendmac. Not the article, but the statistics. Beside that, could it be that we're witnessing the same "netscape effect" of the web? The article says that lots of web developers use those statistics to build sites. Translation: they only target IE. I can believe this, since I use galeon and I often have quirks in commercial sites. Now, if your site works well only with IE I'm not surprised that 98% of the visitors use IE.... Just like netscape-enhanced sites used to justify their attitude by saying that "90%+ of the visitors use netscape"....

(Note: I use Windows == IE. I don't know the statistics of Ns/Mozilla/Opera vs IE on windows, am I guessing right that they are a tiny %?).

Rejection of Cookies (2, Insightful)

guisar (69737) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731466)

I will also bet that Linux users are MUCH more likely than other users to reject the cookies which these sort of tools rely on. As a result, we are probably left on the table.

My penis (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731468)

It's so cold out my penis lost all the blood in it and then snapped off!! I am penisless!! However will I fuck my daughter now!?!?

The joke you knew was coming. (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731470)

So what the survey really tries to say is...

...Linux is dying?

Junkbuster is your friend (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731473)

Mostly use junkbuster to hide what kind of operating system and browser I use.

Never understood why I need to tell the webbserver that information.

I want all webb server to conform to the standard and stop sending out specific HTML code for specifik browser so if a site can't send me correct HTML code - I never visit them again.

Don't blame the surveys.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731475)

..blame the Linux desktop.

The fact still remains, that Linux's desktop is far from usable. Hell, I only write code with it. Everything else I do with Windows better, faster, easier. And anyone who says "oh but Linux has StarOffice".. Oh come on! It's a shaky, overweight kludge that still doesn't work! I was being a bit too enthusiastic one day and tried do my documentation work with SO, but it failed so miserably in all tasks and ate my memory right away, so I sighed and switched back to Windows.

Also, being a UI designer most of my paid work time, I notice that Linux hasn't got what MacOS and Windows has: widely adopted interface design rules and principles. It seems that most Linux application programmers are too pride to copy directly from Windows' etc. UI design. Now there's a lot to learn from there..

My conclusion: tweak and use the xterm with Linux desktops, use others for real work.

This is surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2731477)

Well the article seems like it was written to be kind of hostile to Linux, and I doubt the number is really accurate, but nevertheless... I'm surprised at the /. readers who think it is too low. I actually wouldn't be surprised if it was too high. I did cable modem installs here from about a year and a half ago to 6 months ago. So basically I saw 5 different peoples' computers a day. During that time I saw ONE computer with Linux installed on it, and that system was dual-booting with Win 2000. And yes, it was required to have someone come out and do the install, even if you were capable of doing it yourself. So let's see...that means one out of 1825 systems I saw ran Linux.

I am the only person I know personally who runs Linux. (well, I've got a Debian install on my gf's system as well, but she can't use it because I cannot get her DAMN USB DSL MODEM to work with Linux...)
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>