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1% Linux Market Share = 100% Dishonesty

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A PC desktop market share analysis of questionable reliability is being eagerly swallowed by Redmond's tame battalions of "tech journalists." Folks, if you're getting paid to be gasbags who are not required to publish anything of substance you're doing fine. If you're being paid to be real journalists, you're not succeeding. It's like you all have Alzheimer's and have forgotten the previous stories that you dutifully parroted stating completely different figures, like "Linux desktop market share to reach 6% in 2007."

Our very own GreyGeek came up with some different reports:

"Matt Assay said it was at 2.02%

ZDNet reported on Feb 24th, 2004 that the 2003 Linux desktop market share hit 3.2% and expected it to hit 6% by 2007.

In 2005 they reported that the 2004 saw the Linux desktop at 4%.

I believe that the all the ZDNet figures were spot on. If anything, the Linux desktop market share has continued to increase and is probably currently at 8-10% and rising. Dell and the other PC OEMs wouldn't have invested in selling Linux pre-installed if it appealed only to less than 1% of the desktop market.

It is quite obvious that NetApplications latest "report" is merely Microsoft's continuing attempt to control the news about Linux's success in replacing Windows on the desktop...."

Matt Asay published an interesting analysis, with nice colored graphs, that incorporated a study by IDC that included unpaid deployments. Imagine that, someone finally tried to count unpaid Linux deployments, which it is safe to say are the majority across all market segments. We grouchy Linux geeks have been complaining for years how the analyst firms ignore unpaid deployments, probably on purpose. This report focuses more on the server and enterprise, rather than the consumer desktop space, but it has something that 99% of reports of Linux market share don't have: data.

Why So Much FUD and Disinformation If Linux Is So Insignificant?

If Linux is such a pipsqueak, why are there such relentless tides of propaganda and deception against it? Nobody is attacking OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, or Mac OS X. Sure, Microsoft is trying to counter Apple's stylish marketing and healthy growth, but they're not name-calling or lying their heads off about how those religious zealot Communist Apple hippies are destroying America. Yes, that's a rhetorical question and we all know the answer-- because Linux/FOSS are the only genuine competitors to Microsoft on the planet. Microsoft has no idea how to compete on merit, or how to counter a competitor that cannot be bought off, legislated out of existence, or destroyed. Plus it props up a half-trillion dollar commerical ecosystem whose survival is dependent on a continuing stream of shoddy, insecure, throwaway products. All of those Redmond remoras are not going to go out and get honest jobs; they've tied their fortunes to Microsoft and will fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.

Why We Crazy Linux Hippies Get So Angry

Why do we wacky religious Linux zealot hippies get so mad? Just because the bulk of tech news reporting is so inaccurate and lazy? Why should anyone get upset at untrustworthy news reporting? (Don't make me insert sarcasm tags.) It doesn't much matter if they're slaves of Sauron or incompetent, because the results look the same. Cry me a river over the "death of journalism", if it can't be bothered to even try for honesty it deserves to die.

Linux Is A Dirtier Word Than Ever

This popular tactic from the Redmond playbook is not going away. Last year the Linux Foundation itself was all smileys and hugs over the silliness of actually using the name "Linux". See Who Are The Real Friends of Linux and Free Software? Or, Linux Is Still a Dirty Word. Ken Starks asked:

""My customers can turn on their cable television and in 30 minutes watch five Microsoft Windows commercials. When are IBM and HP going to put the same things on? When are my customers going to be able to see about Linux? Television and radio legitimize the product."

(replies:)

"Your question really ought to be aimed at the folks who make money specifically because it's Linux...."

"..you may see us offer solutions, services, and products...Linux is a component to build other things."

Today I ran across this little gem:

"The Best Linux Distribution Will Be 'Invisible Linux'

So if there is a successful Linux distribution for the mainstream -- which at this point I feel is optional, not mandatory -- it'll be one where the word "Linux" is not even the operative word."

The author cites as justification for this that Apple does not publicize its Mach/BSD core. Of course not, they want to maintain the illusion that they did it all themselves. Palm's much-touted WebOS is Linux, but you'll never hear anyone at Palm admit it. Hordes of set-top boxes and networking boxes are Linux Inside, but they'll never admit it. It makes me wonder how rampant GPL violations are.

And yet these same persons have no objection to "Intel Inside", "We Recommend Windows", or any of the thousands of brand names that are plastered over their Linux underpinnings. Branding is an essential part of differentiating products in a free market, and any Business 101 class starts off with extensive teaching on branding. Here is one example: Yugo, Honda. Do please try to tell me, while keeping a straight face, that neither brand name matters, nah, people just want something to drive and don't care what it is.

The Linux brand, in an honest market, would be touted to the heavens, and why not? Stable, flexible, secure, friendly, inexpensive-- contrast that to Windows and the Microsoft application stack: overpriced, malware-friendly, obese, restrictive, shoddy. Apple? A better performer than Windows, but even more restrictive and customer-hostile.

Thank goodness for smelly bloggers, radical hippie Linux commies, and the Internet that lets all of us talk to each other. It would be a different world without all that, and I doubt it would be a very pleasant one. Very likely much less free.


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