"The truth is we really don't know how many Linux
desktop users there are. That's a pity because those numbers do
matter. The more Linux desktop users there are, the more likely it
is that ISVs (independent software vendors) and PC manufacturers
will support desktop Linux. If Linux is to ever stop being
considered a 'niche' desktop operating system, it needs more than
just users, it needs an accurate way to count those users.
"Web site surveys are all well and good, but they only tell part
of the story. And, as the numbers I cite above shows, Web site
numbers show an enormous range. Some of that may represent bias.
The Boycott Novell Web site, for example, recently proclaims that
Net Applications' operating system numbers are a "Big Lie" and
pointed out that Microsoft was one of Net Applications' biggest
customers. My own site focuses a lot on Linux, so it's no surprise
that I have a high percentage of Linux-using visitors."