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Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the double-your-pleasure-double-your-segfault dept.

Linux 657

00_NOP writes "According to a report on Softpedia, citing Net Applications, Linux usage on the desktop doubled in 2006 — 07: though from a miserable 0.37% to a still not brilliant 0.81%. Given that Linux is free, is based on peer reviewed source (and so inherently more secure in the longer term) and that hardware support is now pretty good, how long are we going to have to wait for the big breakthrough?" Of course the focus of the article is that Vista is kicking butt over Mac/Linux, which is not particularly surprising.

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657 comments

Peer-reviewed source? Come on (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887233)

Given that Linux is free, is based on peer reviewed source

I used to develop a GPL app, the GNUstep-based character map Charmap. It had a few dozen users, and I'm pretty sure none of them ever took a single look at the source. Only the very biggest applications get attention, and very often quite uncritical examination at that.

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (5, Insightful)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887279)

But usually the most common aspects of a system (Firefox, Linux kernel, X, Core Utilities) all have many people looking at the source. And there is very rarely an attack on any system Linux or Windows that doesn't take advantage of the things that most everyone has (Think of all the Outlook and Internet Explorer spyware/viruses/Trojans) rather then some obscure program that say 100 people use. And the author was saying that it made it more secure, not that it helped development (which it does also) And for the uncritical examination it is mostly because the Free/Open Source community is in dire need for that application, think of Linux, even though the Hurd kernel was going to come out sometime soon Linux was used because it was there, not necessarily because it was the best (Even though now it totally demolishes the Hurd in capability)

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887291)

So you've extrapolated that because no users looked over your code that no one looks at linux? I'm not sure how anyone could think that follows. I made a video and put it on youtube. Nobody watched it but my family. That's why I don't know what the big deal about youtube is. Nobody looks at video on the site but family of people who submit stuff.

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887401)

I'm develeping a gpl app as well for a very small community. I got about 60 downloads on the previous version and 12 for the source code.

In two years I got help only once when a user helped me fix a bug.

I'm a bit disappointed there weren't more people helping out, but the biggest reason for me gpl-ing the app is that someone might keep working on it when I no longer am able or willing to do so.

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887509)

That's fairly understandable. In any random group programmers will be a minority. So unless you're application is for a very small community of programmers, it should be expected there wouldn't be many (if any) to help you. On the other hand by the sounds of it your community is so small that a commercial app wouldn't be produced in the first place.

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (4, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887417)

Next you'll claim science isn't peer-reviewed because no one reviewed an obscure sociology paper on the spitting habits of an insignificant african tribe?

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887611)

Any scientific journal worth its salt has some a mandatory peer review process, no matter how obscure the topic may be to the mainstream.

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887449)

Only the very biggest applications get attention, and very often quite uncritical examination at that.

Can I also suggest that applications that are more likely to be exploited by attackers or bring the system down would get more attention than a character map?

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887473)

You have one data point: a shitty esoteric application with next to zero users. There is a lot of middle ground between that and "the very biggest applications". And who the fuck cares whether your character map got peer reviewed anyway? It doesn't listen on any ports or sockets. It doesn't manage anybody's data for them. It's not bundled in any distributions (things get checked anyway when that happens). Nobody cares.

Meanwhile, I rest easy knowing that every piece of software that came with my distribution has been proven to be reliable. Uncritical examination? Are you fucking kidding me? People spend days at a time trying to break the big name applications! You thought those security updates just appear in the fucking mail, sent by some mystery hacker from the I.T. underground?! Sounds more like you're just butthurt about how few people gave a shit about your character map, so you're all like "Everybody thinks that Mozilla Firefox is so cool, but it's not! They're so busy fawning all over her that she's probably got all sorts of flaws that they don't even notice, and meanwhile *sob* nobody even cares enough about little *sob* old *sob* charmappy *sob* here to even give her a second look!!! It's not fair!!".

In conclusion, fuck MATLAB.

Re:Peer-reviewed source? Come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887641)

WAAAHHH!!! I demand that my hello.c program be peer reviewed, and if it isn't, I declare all Open Source to be a failure!

ARGUE WITH FACTS... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887661)

From the article post:

"(and so inherently more secure in the longer term)" - Posted by CmdrTaco on Sunday October 07, @09:03AM, 00_NOP writes
WINDOWS SERVER 2003 (ENTERPRISE):

http://secunia.com/product/1174/ [secunia.com]

Affected By 135 Secunia advisories
Unpatched 8% (11 of 135 Secunia advisories)

----

IIS 6:

http://secunia.com/product/1438/ [secunia.com]

Affected By 3 Secunia advisories
Unpatched 0% (0 of 3 Secunia advisories)

----

SQLServer 2005:

http://secunia.com/product/6782/ [secunia.com]

Affected By 0 Secunia advisories
Unpatched 0% (0 of 0 Secunia advisories)

====
vs.
====


http://secunia.com/product/2719 [secunia.com]

Affected By 132 Secunia advisories
Unpatched 10% (13 of 132 Secunia advisories)

(That's JUST THE KERNEL, & not including possible shell/usercode portions)

----

Apache 2.2x:

http://secunia.com/product/9633 [secunia.com]

Affected By 5 Secunia advisories
Unpatched 20% (1 of 5 Secunia advisories)

This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (5, Funny)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887243)

... now we have 2 installations :)

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (5, Funny)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887253)

Soon Linux will be passing AmigaOS installations at this rate!

Once Amiga Falls, It Will Over Take RC Cola (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887273)

It's hot on the tail of RC Cola [theonion.com] !

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887621)

Brainstorm: Get David Hasselhoff to endorse Linux, and watch the Germans finally make the switch from Amiga! Brilliant!

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (1)

badenglishihave (944178) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887311)

Scratch that two off the charts and mark it back to one; I just uninstalled my Ubuntu distro.

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (2, Informative)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887351)

Actually that would be a 100% increase. 0.81% is not a 100% increase of 0.37%

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (0, Redundant)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887353)

DANGER! He read the article (summary). RUN! Women and children first!

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887517)

That's right it's not exactly a 100% increase, it's slightly more. So... what's your point, or were you just ducking to get out of the way of his joke?

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887631)

It means the number of Linux users couldn't have increased from 1 to 2 (or anything else) in the past year because it would be a clean 100% increase, not a slightly more then 100% increase.

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887651)

In keeping with his joke, there are actually now 81 users of linux. I guess that must make me about #72 or so.

Re:This is the year of Linux on the desktop .. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887647)

... now we have 2 installations :)

Awww shucks.. Thanks for noticing my contribution. Just thinking; what would happen if 2 more people do installations on two machines each next year...

OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887249)

So in retrospective 2007 was the year of Linux on the desktop? How could I have missed that.. damn!

hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887255)

It's funny - the reasons Linux people use to convince Windows users to switch are the same reasons that Linux people should switch to FreeBSD. They never do because it's too hard. Irony of ironies.

Re:hypocrites (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887363)

FreeBSD costs even less to buy then Linux? No? Then how is that a reason to switch to FreeBSD?

Re:hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887427)

No, but it has less security holes and is more stable than linux.

Re:hypocrites (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887525)

Right so 1 reason used for switching to Linux can be used to switch to FreeBSD from Linux, while 1 reason can't be used to switch from Linux to FreeBSD. Now you get into the muddy issue of whether or not there are applications and/or features that meet a Linux user's demands on FreeBSD. That is a personal question that everyone has to ask of themselves. Its also a reason many don't switch from Windows to Linux.

Re:hypocrites (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887521)

Yes, he's switching because it costs less. Moron.

Obviously, I don't know why that guy uses FreeBSD. But I'm switching to FreeBSD or Solaris in the next few months, mainly because of idiots like you. It used to be, when somebody ran Linux, you knew they weren't completely useless. Lately, you can't really say that. Half the people running Linux anymore don't know what the fuck their doing, they just want to be "geeks". Or they jsut want to bash Microsoft. Think its a coincidence that Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distro, and it just happens to be the most dumbed down?

It's not that I don't like Linux, I just don't want to be associated with its users anymore.

Re:hypocrites (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887653)

Half the people running Linux anymore don't know what the fuck their doing, they just want to be "geeks". Or they jsut want to bash Microsoft.
Or they just want software that does what they need at a price that does it.

It's not that I don't like Linux, I just don't want to be associated with its users anymore.
That's cool, I'm sure many of us don't want to be associated with elitists like you.

Re:hypocrites (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887617)

i like Linux, the *BSDs do not support the perifrials i have, ever try to get sane & xsane to run a flatbed scanner? or how about a digital camera that wont mount like a usb mass storage device and needs gphoto2? and setting up a parallel port printer takes a few extra arcane steps, and rebuilding the BSD kernel is years behind in tools compared to Linux = what? no menuconfig? you mean i have to open DEFAULT with a text editor to make my adjustments and save as /root/MyKernel? hey the 1980's called and wants their OS back...

Awesome statistics work (2, Funny)

The New Andy (873493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887257)

...the two rival platforms have almost flatlined in terms of uptake in 2007. According to statistics provided by Market Share by Net Applications, starting in December 2006 and through September 2007, Linux doubled its market share....
That's quite a flatline if you tilt your head on the side.

OS X (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887259)

Why can't Linux be more like OS X? If the open-source development model is so great, why did it take Apple a couple of years to do what Linux has failed to do for almost 15 years?

Maybe the open-source development model isn't the panacea that some would like us to think it is.

(please don't bother pointing out that OS X is based on BSD)

Re:OS X (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887281)

Why can't Linux be more like OS X? If the open-source development model is so great, why did it take Apple a couple of years to do what Linux has failed to do for almost 15 years?
What have Apple managed to achieve with OS X exactly? Their market share isn't exactly fantastic, and this has been going on for twenty odd years now.

Re:OS X (1)

Ox0065 (1085977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887529)

Why bother with 'the OS X kernel is based on BSD?' most of their system is unix & unix-like programs with a shiny face.
Mac had always pinched, prettied & pawned well, ever since they pinched their first gui from Star... These aren't parallel efforts.

Linus is right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887261)

I am with Linus on this one. For the life of me I can't understand what this sucking up to RMS is about. Linus himself does not think GPLv3 is a good thing. So why do people keep adopting it.
Without Linus FOSS is tossed. Not following Linus is dangerous for the survival of FOSS.

Re:Linus is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887303)

True.
And further more businesses are afraid of all this RMS preaching stuff. They just want good stable software without all bs religion around it.

What Breakthrough? (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887267)

People talk about there being a breakthrough, but no one has ever defined what that is. How will we know when it happens?

Re:What Breakthrough? (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887297)

When we see a "switch"-type campaign from either MS or Apple directed against Linux users, you know that the breakthrough has come.

Re:What Breakthrough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887299)

People talk about there being a breakthrough, but no one has ever defined what that is. How will we know when it happens?


You'll know when it makes the front page of digg and three days later is posted on slashdot.

Re:What Breakthrough? (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887505)

***People talk about there being a breakthrough, but no one has ever defined what that is. How will we know when it happens?***

You'll know when you walk into the big box store and say "I want one of those", and the salesman says "You want that with Windows or Linux? Now about our extended warranty ..."

Re:What Breakthrough? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887671)

The breakthrough will be the point where people aren't so locked in to proprietary formats...
That is, when the question of "will it read my files" goes away.
Once you have a level playing field, linux will take off far more rapidly because you can choose it based on its merits (of which there are many), and microsoft will no longer be able to hold your data to ransom in proprietary formats.

Usage doubled? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887285)

There's like -200- people using it now?

Re:Usage doubled? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887581)

There's like -200- people using it now?

Yep, at least that many at Microsoft have a Linux desktop.

Wow, these people are idiots. (5, Insightful)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887317)

According to statistics provided by Market Share by Net Applications, starting in December 2006 and through September 2007, Linux doubled its market share. This detail would sound nothing short of promising, except for the fact that the doubling in market share is equivalent to a jump from 0.37% to 0.81%. In the past month, the open source operating system only increased its footprint on the market by 0.4%, from 0.77% to 0.81%.
Only increased by 0.4%?

Try again, that's a 5.2% increase in a month...after more than doubling in the previous year. That is huge. If adoption doubled every year as a percentage of the marketplace, Linux would have 100% of the market within 7 years.

Hey Softpedia...I'll give you $100 a day for a month, if you give me 1 cent on the first day of the month, 2 cents on the second day, and so on, doubling the amount each day for the 30 days.

Re:Wow, these people are idiots. (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887387)

In today's immediate gratification society the idea of having to wait 7 years (and we all know of course it isn't going to double every year. It takes a better statistician then I to even begin to guess how much Linux's use will increase next year). Its also why Japan is having its densely populated cities (along with other areas) laid down with fibre optic while we're stuck with inferior methods of internet access. Japanese businesses are willing to look at the long-term while American businesses only look to the next quarter.

Re:Wow, these people are idiots. (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887433)

Try again, that's a 5.2% increase in a month...after more than doubling in the previous year. That is huge. If adoption doubled every year as a percentage of the marketplace, Linux would have 100% of the market within 7 years.
Wow! And the year after that Linux would have 200% of.. oh, this kind of calculation is completely meaningless. Try imagining 0.4% as 4 geeks in the front (or back, whatever) row of a crowd of 1000 people and it doesn't seem so significant.

Re:Wow, these people are idiots. (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887561)

In 1992, the only people using Linux were those willing to code entire operating systems.

In 2003, it was still the computer nerds, and generally the more extreme ones, using Linux.

Now, I'm seeing people who aren't computer nerds, but are still technically minded, using Linux.

In another five years, I suspect that, for anyone who could overcome the interface differences between two operating systems, it'll be a matter of which desktop environment they like most.

meh (0)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887345)

Linux will always be a niche player on the desktop. OSS wont have an opportunity to be huge until there is a truly monumental shift in the way we use personal computers. I think all the work on Linux, and the lessons learned now about closed source and the negative impact it has will go a long way in helping open code to really have a chance at that point.
 
And maybe after that big shift, the big OSS player will have roots or ties to linux, but it wont be the linux we know now.

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887573)

Explain how closed source is so negative? Sure, you don't have the option of multiple people looking at things and fixing bugs, but when it comes to an end user only thing, does that really matter?

Be serious with yourself here - no mom-and-pop is gonna see "ooh, this program has a bug, we better look at the source and fix it" - at BEST you'd find then posting, on a forum, the bug, and someone else fixing it. Other times, they just deal with the bug and continue.

*** how long are we going to have to wait for the big breakthrough?" ***

There won't ever be a big breakthrough until there are games out SOLELY for Linux systems that can compete against the mainstream games out there nowadays....games that make people WANT to run linux and NEED to run it in order to play the games.

Once that happens, then you'll see your breakthrough.

Too bad we'll all be dead before it happens.

Re:meh (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887695)

My problems with closed source:

No guarantee the software will always be available. This could be because the development is stopped or because the price is raised to the point I cant afford it. With open source this never need be the case.

The people who develop open software are not inherently motivated to try and force users to 'upgrade' to new versions. They are not inherently motivated to break compatibility with previous versions or other software.

Closed source software tends to become tiered with highly desirable features costing more. Open Source has no such issues.

I work with closed source software every day. I have for years. And I'm always annoyed with the crap I have to deal with. I hear comments like yours all the time. It implies that the only advantage to open source is that each individual can themselves modify the code. This couldn't be further from the truth. There are many, many advantages that extend out from the openeness of the code.

An advantage open source has over closed source is that advances made in one project have the potential to aid and further any and every other open source project. Rather than hiding new ideas and technology, it is proliferated to the benefit of users.

I could go on for a while, and a lot of smarter people than I am have done so. It's not hard stuff to find. But I think this is sufficient for now.

RE: Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007 (5, Informative)

TheGreatDonkey (779189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887349)

Background: I am a sysadmin for a 300+ node Linux shop, and have fairly lengthy experience in Solaris, Windows, and AIX as well.

I still run Windows XP as my desktop of choice. I only run it because it came with the laptop that was provided to me by IT, or I would probably still be running Windows 2000. Very simply, I use the OS as a tool to get my job done, and Windows 2000 was doing the trick. Windows XP is now doing the trick. When there is something I want to do that Windows XP can no longer do, I will look beyond. If Linux starts to pioneer in new features and areas that Windows and the Mac OS cannot answer, then I will certainly consider it for my desktop OS. Meanwhile, I deal enough headaches from users at the server level that I don't feel like battling with my Linux wifi drivers, sound card strangeness, or having to jump through other hurdles to just stay productive. Of course there are patches and ways around most/all of the issues I have seen, but that doesn't mean its acceptable to me.

Now, cue over to the server arena, and Linux is certainly replacing Windows boxes for all standard day-to-day servers. It does what I need, it does it well, and even offers features and ease of use that the Windows boxes simply cannot match. That was a compelling reason, with cost also being a close secondary, that we now run so many nodes.

Meanwhile, who really cares. If _XXXX_ does what you want, use it.

Re: Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007 (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887407)

I work with Oracle running on AIX. I was given a Windows laptop for work. I got really tired of all the crap I had to do to simply work with my servers. I scrounged up an old optiplex and installed Linux on it. Work is so much easier for me now. The windows laptop sits on the side - I don't really need it any more.
 
If I'm off site - the wi-fi thing is an issue. But at work, windows really gets in the way of productivity.

Re: Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007 (1)

TheGreatDonkey (779189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887439)

Excellent, and my point exactly! You found the tool that works best for you. And to come back to the topic question, do you feel a genuine concern over why others don't do the exact same thing or for some big breakthrough?

Re: Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007 (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887495)

No - I don't feel a concern about people doing things the way I do. I would like to see greater adoption of linux so that some of the issues you've brought up are more likely to be resolved more quickly.
 
At the same time I do feel a level of concern when Linux is presented as being incapable of being productive, especially in an environment where it has such great advantages, like a shop using Unix, Linux or some other *nix. I'm wracking my brain trying to think up a scenario where that really makes sense.
 
If I want to surf the web over the free wireless at Panera and watch a dvd - I can see some advantages to windows. If I were working in an all windows environment I could see some possible advantages. But as an admin in a non-windows environment, I can't see what windows brings to the table that is meaningful.

Re: Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007 (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887637)

But the point is also that he had a choice, many people have no choice at all, and the people taking their choice away have never (or often arent equipped to) evaluated all their options objectively.

Re: Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007 (4, Interesting)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887489)

I still run Windows XP as my desktop of choice. I only run it because it came with the laptop that was provided to me by IT, or I would probably still be running Windows 2000. Very simply, I use the OS as a tool to get my job done, and Windows 2000 was doing the trick.
I used Windows back when using Windows wasn't cool. When Works was what people used and I was being different by using Word. I migrated from Windows 98 to Windows XP quite happily because of one very important feature: the damn thing stopped crashing. It was in fact the only feature I migrated for. Now with the release of Windows Vista I've realized that it has no new features I want. I'll be migrating to openSUSE today or tomorrow and already I'm seeing some benefits just by a little research (Something that's been annoying me is the limitation in columns that Windows spreadsheet programs have. I use Excel/OOo Calc as a flatfile database because it has a nice and easy to use interface. KSpread I've discovered has a lot more then Excel 2003/OOo Calc so I'm glad to finally be rid of that annoyance) already, I anticipate more and more advantages making themselves known.

If Linux starts to pioneer in new features and areas that Windows and the Mac OS cannot answer, then I will certainly consider it for my desktop OS.
Don't you mean have to pioneer new features that Windows XP doesn't have? Otherwise Windows and Mac OS have to compete with these new features AS WELL AS Linux's price ($0.00).

Meanwhile, I deal enough headaches from users at the server level that I don't feel like battling with my Linux wifi drivers, sound card strangeness, or having to jump through other hurdles to just stay productive.
In the past I've tried to migrate and had these difficulties you mention which has stopped me. I'll admit that this time I'm not going to accept failure and I will migrate, but given the many postings on the web these problems are past for most of the popular Linux distros (at the very least for openSUSE 10.3) and so installing it should be as painless, if not less so, then Windows (which many of those I know simply pay the store clerks to install for them because its so difficult). Regardless I'll see later today for myself if the rumors of Linux's installation ease have been greatly exaggerated.

Re: Linux on the Desktop Doubles in 2007 (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887649)

Meanwhile, who really cares. If _XXXX_ does what you want, use it.
Normally, I would agree with you. It's not really my problem if people want to use Windows (I would rather consider it their problem), but it's not really just that simple.

The problem is that Windows has made the entire segment too homogenous. People are expected to be able to read MS Office documents, visit IE-only websites and install programs (particularly drivers) that only work under Windows, and that is troubling me in my usage of Linux and FreeBSD. Maybe not in my everyday usage, but certainly far from never.

Therefore, I don't really care if people start using my operating system(s) of choice, but I do rather much care that they stop using Windows. I couldn't really care less if what they switch is Linux, Solaris, AIX, OSX, Plan9 or Unununium, all I care about is that Windows usage drops to, say, 50% or so, where not only other people, but even Microsoft themselves will recognize that it is important to start following standards for information exchange, and for hardware developers to recognize that it is important to release specifications rather than just Windows-only drivers (anyone remember the days of old when you'd always get a protocol reference with a printer or modem?).

I have no doubt that Microsoft will last for at least a decade, and I don't really care if they stay in the market forever, but I really don't think it is impossible to achieve heterogeneity within a year or two.

Installs (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887361)

I have my new and old machine dual boot linux, and take a bootable DVD with me if people ask for computer help (usually to fix Windows). So that's 2 1/2 more installs.

who cares about market share? (4, Interesting)

poptones (653660) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887397)

"Market share" only counts MONEY, not "free" installs. If I download ubuntu and install it on my laptop, how do they know? They don't - and they don't care, because there are no beans for the bean counters to count.

Likewise, bootleg installs. I have not yet had a single person seriously inquire about "upgrading" to vista. Many people have, however, brought in spanking new machines to be retrograded - either XP or linux. Many more come in with Vista licenses on the box and unregistered XP installs on the hd.

emachines, gateway and all are now shipping with vista and yet the users are still screaming abou tit and doing everything they can to undo the damage. These folks can spin numbers all they like, real world surveys provide ample proof of the suckitude of vista.

Web site we've never heard of says (2, Insightful)

Ice Station Zebra (18124) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887409)

that Linux is practically non-existent on the desktop. I say who are you softpedia? An encyclopedia of free software downloads you say? For linux too? Really, well we have apt-get, emerge, etc. No wonder your statistics suck.

Nothing New. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887453)

Not to surpassing, the fact that people upgrade their computers, they will get the latest version of the OS.
Being that the average turn around for computers a new computer every 5 years. About now we would expect Vista
to be double what TFA said Vista is. Vista Right now should have close to 14%, not approaching 8%. Anyone who think
Vista will not be a leading OS is hopeless lost in the realm of Fanboyism. But what the data does show that Visa is not
growing at a rate that would statically be at. But looking at the Data... Somewhat distorted by the fact the graph has
Power PC OS X and Intel OS X as different OS (Keeping the Market share artificially lowered where combined it would be just
under Vista). Seriously the path to least resistance would be buy a new computer, with the latest OS, and use that OS that
comes with the computer no matter if you like it or not. Macs are only one platform while Windows and Linux allows you to
choose your hardware. If you switch to Linux it is the path of most resistance, Still unpolished compared to XP/Vista OS X.
Requiring you to install the OS separately, for only a couple of Major advantages (Security mostly), at the cost of loosing support for most of
your products and services, less software availability, Websites that don't work, and joining a user community who is notoriously unhelpful
towards people who just started, tricking them to deleting their drives and other things. So yes people will stick with XP/Vista if they are that
annoyed they may switch to a Mac, if their budget allows them too (with Macs having no Low End equivalent), otherwise they will just stick
to what they know. Most people really don't care about the politics they just want to get the stuff done.

Re:Nothing New. (2, Interesting)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887609)

Anyone who think Vista will not be a leading OS is hopeless lost in the realm of Fanboyism
Anyone who thinks ME will not be a leading OS is hopeless lost in the realm of Fanboyism. Windows will remain the leading OS in the foreseeable future, however Vista is by no means guaranteed that slot.

Still unpolished compared to XP/Vista
Really? Less polished then Vista? Then why am I hearing about all this trouble with installing drivers and hardware support while Linux keeps touting how it supports most hardware now?

for only a couple of Major advantages (Security mostly)
And:
* Free OS (for those of you who aren't suckered/forced into buying from stores that bundle the OS price with the hardware price making the two inseparable)
* Free upgrades. Forever.
* Lots of software bundled with the OS. Cutting down on the need to buy all of these other apps at premium prices.

Just those two minor advantages.

Websites that don't work
I can't remember the last time I went to an IE only website. Besides all Windows users should be using Firefox due to its superiority to IE. Most places I see now have both installed.

joining a user community who is notoriously unhelpful towards people who just started, tricking them to deleting their drives and other things.
Funny I've had nothing but help from Linux users in selecting a distro and installing that distro, even many years ago when I eventually gave up on installing Linux the people were still helpful and invited me to go to them if ever I wished to try again.

Most people really don't care about the politics they just want to get the stuff done.
Sounds like a good reason to avoid Vista.

Carrot and Stick, Brutality and Fear (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887629)

Linux doesn't have fear on its side. There is not nor have there ever been choice in computers. What keeps people using Windows is what will happen if they stop. I for example, against my will will have to install a Windows Server 2003 machine in a VM because my university Class requires it, otherwise, the teacher will fail me. (There are certain assignments I can get by on with Linux, but maybe one or two where he has INSISTED on seeing screenshots of a Windows Desktop, as for Application.

Right now, in peoples minds, the fear exists that if they use Linux they will most fail and if they use Windows there is no way they can fail. Until Linux has the applications nessessary to hold users by that iron gauntlet of fear, Windows will hold people in its Iron Gauntlet of fear. People love Linux, but they don't fear it because Windows is there. We need to be loved and feared.

By the way.

To those who say Linux has no productive applications. I did this in Cinelerra just yesterday. I find I'm terrible at Cinematography. I made a Youtube Video about a Linux game called FreeDroid RPG, but this is the first time I have ever done anything for youtube. I plan on re-uploading it later. but just keep in mind. I did this with Linux programs on Linux for a Linuix program, with a functional Linux capture card.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUCY9cu3eac [youtube.com]

There you go.

Sell it (5, Insightful)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887467)

Here is the problem: you can't convince people that "Peer reviewed source, therefore more security, and oh it's free" is a good reason to switch to Linux.

Most people don't understand what peer reviewed source means, have no idea of the security of their PC (and not a care in the world anyway if they can just drop a virus checker on it and "solve" it) and, Windows and MacOS came with their system anyway, so are ostensibly free.

Linux has to actually expose a feature people want and do it so that it increases productivity and feels better than Windows or MacOS X. There was a podcast on The Register the other week with Mark Shuttleworth - the basic premise of part of it was that Compiz is cool, but useless, and it's the hope that enabling it by default means developers will turn it from a cool whizzy 3D smooth suave thing into something that improves user's experience, and their lives.

And that's why MacOS X and Windows win, because MacOS has Genie Effects (this is the carrot) but it also has Spotlight, and iTunes, and iPhoto, and Quicktime, and all the other stuff people want and need every day (this is the stick). Where MacOS has a soft, warm and inviting stick, brandished by a really hot chick in leather and a penchant for candle wax, Linux's stick has a poo on the end, and is brandished by a 300lb atheist liberal.

Re:Sell it (4, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887579)

Linux's stick has a poo on the end, and is brandished by a 300lb atheist liberal.

That would be a 300lb atheist libertarian. Get your facts straight. Sheesh.

Linux is secure because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887471)

It's used by people who can respect and work around and with it's security. If it hits the mass market you can bet it'll be as helpful as the UAC on vista. That inherent security is dependent on the users.

Meaningless Vista stats (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887487)

Don't forget that the stats for Vista include all those PCs sold with Vista where the buyer had no choice. If you were to limit the samplings to only the cases where the buyer had a genuine choice of OS, including no pressure by the sales people to go with one over another, then the stats might mean something about market preference. Even if it was just a choice between Vista and XP, then the stats would at least be indicative of the true preferance of the market for a particuler version of Windows. Instead, what these stats tell us is more about the financial benefits to Microsoft and Apple (or the lack thereof in the latter case), since this is based on actual sales (however it is coerced), rather than actual choice.

Yeah, thanks to ME. (3, Interesting)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887491)

I'm proud to say that I'm one of those new Linux users (Ubuntu). I'm honestly very impressed with it; I expected to like it, but not find anything mind-blowing.

I love the application manager, I love the ability to switch desktop workspaces, I love how I can update everything from one spot.

However, one thing has kept XP on my system (dual-boot)-- drivers. I can't find drivers for my printer (Lexmark x7350), or newer ones for my webcam (Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX). I can't use my printer at all, and my webcam is using some way old drivers and is very blurry-- looks much better with the newer ones on XP. I've looked around, but not found anything to help me out... and I'm not even close to being talented enough to write my own.

That area will always "suck" on linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887677)

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE linux and just can't stand windows (am using it now because I am upgrading my Linux machine with a complete new set of HD's and even I am not hardcore enough to read slashdot from links). Why can't I stand windows you ask? Because it is a black box and it never tells me what is wrong or what it is doing or why it is has frozen this time for no good reason and how the hell can you crash on a fresh install straight from the factory you worthless piece of shit.

Anyway, Linux being great and all suffers from the fact that someone needs to write drivers for it, this means that the best drivers for it will either be written by people that want those drivers for themselves, have a burning desire to get people to use linux OR want their product to work with linux.

Some companies don't give a shit and driver coders tend to stay away from products from those companies.

Simply put, how the hell am I supposed to write a driver for a product I don't have the specs for and that I will never buy on my own? (Even if I should want too).

The greatest thing that a linux advocate might do is present a simple list with supported products. NOT supported chipsets, simply a list with product numbers and a rating (Does not work, works for some, works most likely, if you can't get this to work you should run for US president).

Linux has some excellent support for printers BUT notall printers, same with webcams. The problem is that there are TONS of them, all sligtly different and who has time to write drivers for them all.

Next time, read some reviews first, you might be suprised, the best products out there, are also the most likely to have linux support, either by the company OR from the community. The last is obvious, the better the product, the more likely a linux code is to buy it.

I can't help you out, just remember this, the exact same thing happens to you when you upgrade to the latest windows release, except that upgrading linux (and all the other software you on linux) is free, and MS charges you several hundred dollars for the pleasure.

For now, just wait, it seems you are not alone with this particulair model (google says so) so sooner or later someone might figure it out.

Re:Yeah, thanks to ME. (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887689)

"However, one thing has kept XP on my system (dual-boot)-- drivers."

I think you have just discovered the MS lock-in tactics and why you HAVE to use MS products.

The easy way is to stop buying products that lock you and make you, as a customer, have NO CHOICE.

When hell freezes over? (1)

konohitowa (220547) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887493)

how long are we going to have to wait for the big breakthrough?

The day MS releases Office for Linux is the day that will happen. Which I figure will be never. I'm certain the only reason that MS doesn't offer Access with Office for the Mac is specifically because they want to provide barriers for Apple in the business market. If MS had been split into OS and applications companies, there might be some chance of that port getting done. But not the way things stand now.

Re:When hell freezes over? (1)

messner_007 (1042060) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887639)

Office isn't such a big issue. Other programs are more impoportant. My Palm is almost useles without windows, I can't use ma Polar software without windows. And most of the people (I donn't) like to play games. Games on linux suck.

Re:When hell freezes over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887659)

I can't see any problem - I use Excel daily with Crossover Office and have yet to encounter any problem related to this setup.

Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887513)

...business people usually do not look at the base but at the rate of growth... Linux' increase is 100%, Vista increase is 7.4 % clearly the winner here is Linux...
oh, and the potential market for Linux is very big... the potential new market for Windows is very small since they already do have almost the whole market.

Measurement Noise (1)

mark99 (459508) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887515)

What is the error here? I wonder if .4 or .8 percent are both essentially zero in the context of measurement accuracy.

However most IT people I know have a linux box or two in addition to the Windows boxes that they have bought and use for their main office-type work. I imagine a poll like this would not have captured those.

In the end though Linux and Apple are missing a huge window of opportunity - Microsoft has rarely been so vulnerable as they have been in the last year with this botched release of Vista. You can be sure they are aware of it and are closing that window as fast as they can.

Re:Measurement Noise (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887597)

"You can be sure they are aware of it and are closing that window as fast as they can."

New operating systems aren't created or rectified overnight. That window is actually a door. That little speck of dust in the distance is the horse.

If this is market share, it is pretty good (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887527)

Because the market itself is growing very fast. Even if the market share for Linux on the desktop would remain the same it would mean lots more Linux desktops out there.

Also have you considered that 0.81% is more than twice as much as 0.37%? If Linux on the desktop can keep up that growth rate another 5 to 7 years it will end up at more than 120% market share ;-)

People are surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887533)

That more .Net apps are run on Windows than other platforms?

Peer Reviewed Source (1, Insightful)

foxxer (630632) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887541)

When my wireless isn't working, my delete key does weird unexpected things, and there is the most offensively named program ever (The GIMP), I can take solace in the fact that my operating system source is peer reviewed.

Patience! (1)

z0M6 (1103593) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887553)

We'll get there. And when we do, it's because we have the better product.

We already have that you say?

Well, I am inclined to agree, but we are willing to learn something new, to tinker with it, make it our own. The same cannot be said about the rest. They will come around eventually.

Gamers! This is the group we should capture. Compiz candy, working drivers and a finished Wine that works with whatever game they want to play. Needless to say that the potential for improvement is evident.

According to Moore's law (3, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887555)

With doubling every 12 month, Linux should take the market in 7 years with 103.68% desktop share (you can have more than one desktop per person, right?). Hey, what do you mean it's not a valid application of Moore's law, which is no law?!

Re:According to Moore's law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20887693)

Moore's law is about doubling the number of transistor in a given area over a period of time.

But XP is kicking Vista's butt! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887557)

They do try to illustrate the idea that people have migrated from XP to Vista but the rate is pretty damned poor. I wonder where they are getting their data and if any of it reflects new PC purchases? I particularly like the way they throw about words like "Loyalty to the Windows brand." People don't use computers out of loyalty. Many, if not most, were initially pushed or forced into it in some way... at least where professional use is concerned. And the human reality from that point on is not "which to choose" but rather "to change or not to change" and 'not changing' is what we all find to be the easier solution. It's human nature... and it takes an angry human to choose change over staying the same. Looking at the numbers, I'd say it indicates a growing force of angry Windows users out there.

It's from their fucking access_log statistics (5, Insightful)

SignupRequired (1165001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887559)

Their article, and to a greater extent the inflammatory Slashdot article, incorrectly portray these statistics as some universal truth handed down from the gods. In fact, if you look at the article, you'll see that they're merely talking about their own browser user-agent statistics. In other words, they pulled them out of their ass last time they stuck their head up there (perpetually about one minute ago according to the site).

Ubuntu is king of the Linux desktop, and Ubuntu users get the vast majority of their software through Synaptic, a genius piece of software which if introduced in Windows would put "Softpedia" out of business within a year. In fact, I can't think of any reason for a user of any major Linux distribution to need anything from "Softpedia's" website. We have our own more community-centric sources in every case.

Fuck Softpedia.

When No Building is Required (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887569)

I tried to install Kubuntu on the striped drives of my windows xp box in a dual boot configuration, but linux didn't see the stripe. Turned out it doesn't recognize SATA drives that are striped on windows installs. Many searches on the web for the solution kept saying how SATA raid is not REAL raid so why not use Linux's built in software raid. Because I have windows on their and want to dual boot since I need the windows install for several things. And to me when it runs on windows when I start the machine, it is a 'real' raid. It is a very common configuration. I found out that there is some method to make it work but like many of these situations in the Linux world it is too much of a pain in the ass for me to bother with any more. At one time I had the energy to do this. Not any more. I am more like John Q Public. I just want to use the tool that is my computer. I no longer want to build it. Windows XP works fine for me on this box... it is my only dual core machine and the one I want to use the most as it is fastest.

So not to totally give up, I installed Kubuntu on the machine my xp box replaced. Still a pretty good, though single core machine... with no striped drives. It installed nicely, except that I could use my wireless card. A Linksys (I don't want to hear about what I should have bought... I can go to any damn computer store and buy a Linksys, it is a market leader. Those are the cards that should 'just work' when you install them... the market leaders). I use WPA encryption because it is the more secure choice. Except I find out that wireless encryption in Linux 'is like a box of chocolates', you never know what you are going to get. Except that the box of chocolates are always edible, and Linux it seems has a huge problem digesting WPA encryption without have to read half a dozen 'how-to's and again spend hour building the tool. I caved in and hard wired it to the router.

I like the idea of Linux. I like the idea of someone pushing a thorn in the side of monopolies. I have had, and continue to have Linux installed on at least one machine at home for something like 7 or 8 years now. And I do use it for certain tasks... usually programming related. But I am older and just would like to use the tool and not have to build it every time something changes. Especially with important items like disk striping and wireless. I am sure that it is this sentiment that keeps it at less than 1% of the market. How about less 3D desktop frills, as cool as it is, and more functional stuff like being able to use WPA encryption on my wireless card, or recognizing my windows striped raid when I want to set up a dual boot install.

How did they measure linux on desktop? (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887583)

I'm sure a downloaded/compiled Linux wasn't counted anywhere.
While a pre-installed Windows which was quickly erased was counted.

why we haven't switched to Linux (1)

myc (105406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887585)

most users are not computer geeks who have time to install/learn/ test drive/reinstall operating systems for fun. For instance, my wife is a biology professor who uses a Mac. There is something seriously wrong with her Mac Book. There is a perceptible 0.5 sec. lag between when a key is hit before it appears on the screen. However, it STILL works good enough for her that she doesn't want to reinstall OS X, because that will lead to down time. (it would drive me insane, but she is a slow typer so it doesn't affect her). She is a smart person obviously and given enough time she probably could learn to run a Linux laptop (e.g. Ubuntu), but why would she want to do that? It would be counterproductive. She already has a laptop that does everything she wants.

I use Windows XP because I hate Macs, but I hate Windows slightly less :) granted I haven't looked at Linux in a few years but back when I tried it, the learning curve was way too steep. I gave up and went back to XP so I could get work done instead of trying to configure the X server to work right with a scrolling touchpad.

For most people, there is nothing wrong with Windows and Mac OS. They may be crappy/non-free operating systems, but they're usually good enough to get some job done.

Look to the past... (1)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887587)

Whenever i see discussions like this i always think to myself, "look to the past". (I use the word linux here alot, but in reality i mean a whole host of things like apache and mysql, etc).

If you go back and look at the past, you may see the future spelled out for you.

The one known constant in the software industry so far has been almost-0 innovation from MS except in the area of the user interface. Everything they've done has been driven by someone coming up with an idea, MS taking it, putting a more usable UI on it and then (ab)using the market to kill off competition.

But go back not too far and you'll see linux as the dominant player in the (small-fry) server game with MS playing a very big role of catch-up. Linux didn't have the desktop by any stretch of the imagination and MS was simply in the right place at the right time. So they (ab)used their desktop dominance to steal the server role. But it doesn't really change much. MS still doesn't inovate. MS Live is a good example of that.

These days, linux is playing a catch-up game with the UI and its going to be a slow game, but i really dont think its a game MS can win in the long run given their lack on innovation. I dont think there will every be a big break through, but we've already seen a few medium sized ones. People are shipping linux as a desktop OS on blackbox computers and thats a huge step like it or not and it can only get better with time.

But the point im trying to make is linux does innovate significantly (or at least, the players in the OSS industry). What you can do with linux on a server still far out-paces MS in many many ways in terms of functionality if not in terms of usability.

But that will change.

Apple will always be a bit-player tho, they're a hardware producer and they might as well stop producing an OS and start spending their efforts doing something useful (though they really dont seem to understand that at all which is a shame).

New hardware. Counts as Vista (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887589)

This year we picked up a couple new laptops. Needless to say they count as Vista. There wasn't much else on the shelf pre-configured with the manufacture's warranty. On the other hand, my Core 2 Duo homebuilt and the converted PIII and P4 machines are probably not reported and counted properly.

Just how are they counting the Linux installations. I hope it isn't just from browser User Agent strings, or from sales figures of new hardware. If Linux is such a small showing, then why is VMware stock doing so well? Somebody is interested in it.

One important issue... (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887613)

...here is that MS Vista GETS bundled with OEM machines. Users who don't know better just get it, and in most cases think a computer is MS Windows (sad state of affairs really - shows the real level of intelligence of the average person).

If a GNU/Linux distro was bundled with the machine, the user still wouldn't know any difference, but GNU/Linux sales(whatever they are!?)) would be up.

Fortunately moves are being made to stop the 'bundle MS' (i.e. MS Windows tax) with new computers, and allow the purchaser to select an OS. That at least makes them aware that at least there is far superior OS than the MS offerings.

How can Vista 'kick' any butt? (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887615)

I thought Vista was a huge butt by itself, with multiple orifices !

Vista doesn't have any 'feet' to even outpace XP... this news is surprising.

Breakthrough == applications (4, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20887691)

TFA asks:

Given that Linux is free, is based on peer reviewed source (and so inherently more secure in the longer term) and that hardware support is now pretty good, how long are we going to have to wait for the big breakthrough?"

What is holding Linux back from massive adoption is software. Very simply, it's just not as good as the proprietary stuff found on Mac/Win. This is NOT to say that the stuf on Linux is BAD, but it's just not equivalent. OpenOffice is very very good. But not as good as MSOffice. GIMP is very good. But not as good as Photoshop. And so on down the line.

The strength of Linux and FOS is also its weakness - having a volunteer developer army. Herding cats isn't as effective if you don't have a big sack of kitty kibble for incentive, or the ability to cut off the kitty kibble as a goad.

Perhaps this will change a bit now that China's getting more involved with Linux - perhaps they can come up with dead-solid apps that are absolutely equal to, or even exceed the abilities of the following applications that are (for me) essential:

1. Photoshop
2. Ilustrator
3. InDesign
4. MSOffice suite
5. FinalCutPro
6. Ableton Live
7. Propellorheads Reason
8. Soundtrack
9. iDVD
10. Flash
11. Dreamweaver
12. Contribute

That's what I use, and I use all of the above, all the time. Some are Windows, some are Mac. I am not a programmer, and I don't have the time to do that. So, it's A: Not My Problem and B: Someone else's job to come up with these apps.

Until the above are developed, I will have little use for Linux.

RS

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