05.14.09

GNU/Linux Market Share is Not 1% (Net Applications Interrogated Further)

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Net Applications

Summary: Microsoft-sponsored Net Applications raw data is secret, different from what it’s claimed to be; more resistance to GNU/Linux and opposition from Microsoft sympathisers

AS SEVERAL readers have stated, there is a lot of anti-GNU/Linux venom in the press these days. A lot of it is reliant upon lies, which if repeated frequently enough, obviously become true in the minds of the less prudent observers.

Remember Net Applications? Those whom we have always recognised as FOSS-hostile reporters are repeating these lie over and over again in the press, just as some press parrots another lie about Windows being on 96% of sub-notebooks (or more). It’s a lie, and it’s no surprise that it comes from a friend of Microsoft (NPD). As for Net Applications, those just joining the discussion may also wish to read prior posts:

Sam Varghese has decided to investigate some more and he shared his findings in this new article of his. To quote a few portions:

I wrote to Net Applications on May 6, with the operative part of my query being: “Can you please elaborate as to the methodology employed to obtain these statistics and the geographical regions which are covered? I searched your site for information but could not find anything.”

Back came an automated reply which gave me reason for hope; it said, among a host of other things, “Messages are normally answered within 24 hours on weekdays.” But that was the end of the matter. A week later I am none the wiser as to how the statistics were collected and what geographical area they cover.

[...]

If one wants to look at anything other than the statistics as provided by Net Applications, one has to subscribe to something called “Geolocation Upgrade” and pay – the options cost anything from $US300 to $US1000.

But on that page, one does get an indication of the reach of the statistics. One option available is geolocation segmentation – “country, region, designated market area, city and postal code and combination reports for browsers, operating systems and search engines.” And it adds: “Postal code segmentation is for the US, UK and Canada only.”

Another option, titled demographic upgrade, is available for the US only. No mention of China, India or Brazil, three rather large countries where sizeable numbers of the six billion humans who populate our world live.

It is surprising that nobody has thought to ask these questions – it doesn’t take much intelligence to do so. There has been considerable angst among some at what they call under-reporting of the degree of Linux take-up on the desktop.

A KDE developer has just responded to this FUD from Net Applications as well.

You may have seen that, according to NetApps Linux is used by 1% (or in words – one percent) of online users. There’s one thing to note, and that is the fact that not all Linux users are using it to surf, and that some are changing their user agent strings to mimic IE on Windows. The other, probably more important thing is that NetApps base their studies mostly on surfers from US of A.

What is it about installed base which makes it so hard to measure? Is it the fact that people are usually forced to buy an operating system they do not actually choose? Speaking of which, the site nakedcomputers.org has just been launched to address this issue and other people are coming up with explanations for the guarding of monopolies.

With Folk Like This GNU/Linux Needs No Enemies

[...]

Since I am no longer fond of Microsoft products and have never been fond of Apple much I wondered how Kim handles questions about GNU/Linux a.k.a. Linux. Some searches on her site point to Linux questions that are only covered under her premium content. While I am curious how Kim answers these questions I am not curious enough to pay to find out. I also did some web searching with AltaVista and found that Kim has a regular column in the Gannett owned USA Today. Her last column there that had Linux in the title was in 2003. I read the column and discovered the typical “Linux is a command-line OS”, which it is not, and “GNU/Linux is only for tinkerers”, meaning geeks, information.

[...]

There are more “experts” like Kim out there on the WWW that make their living off of Microsoft created problems. For the most part they all denigrate adoption of GNU/Linux by average desktop PC users. After all, these “experts” are invested in Microsoft as their cash cow and do not want to kill that beast. I understand their motivation to keep people on Microsoft products even though I find this motivation repugnant. GNU/Linux is definitely ready to be used by average users buying preloaded desktop systems. The typical Microsoft “expert” is just not ready for GNU/Linux it seems.

There is a lot of hostility directed towards GNU/Linux these days. People are naturally resistant to change (justification of one’s own lifestyle), so the more ubiquitous GNU/Linux becomes, the more resentment towards it will appear publicly. Maybe it’s a good thing because it is an indication of growth which proves scary to some.

“There’s a lot of Linux out there — much more than Microsoft generally signals publicly — and their customers are using it…”

Paul DeGroot, a Directions On Microsoft analyst

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3 Comments

  1. Gentoo User said,

    May 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ll just refer to my previous comment on this topic which other than being voted down by you and your friends never actually received a reply. I assume that silence implies consent, as you like to say.

  2. amd-linux said,

    May 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Gravatar

    @ Gentoo User:

    The thing is that NetApps gets a lot of attention from US/UK IT press, while other observations that show MUCH higher numbers and are equally representative are more or less ignored.

    One example is OS stats on heise.de, which is THE mainstream IT new site in Germany. They have now 15% Linux users among their readers, and it would be way more if readers like me were in a situation to use Linux in the office where I read heise.de mostly.

    Another example, if you question heise.de being representative is spigel.de which is one of the leading sites of the world (133 in Alexa) and a mainstream news website. Here Linux has around 4%-6%, coming from nearly nothing 2 yrs ago. While spiegel.de is a German news site, is is read from around the world like the BBC site.

    It is IMHO safe to assume that Linux worldwide is closer to 2 % than to 1%. The only source who could reliably shed some light on this would be Google, but they refuse to publish any numbers.

    But the best, and this nobody can ignore, is the trend. Linux usage is virtually exploding with growth in the double digit percentage area quarter per quarter.

    Gentoo User Reply:

    I don’t disagree with the idea that the Linux desktop market share is higher than what Hitslink is telling me. For one, as you say, there are localized “hotspots” where the number of Linux users is much higher. And yes, I believe Hitslink is very US/Canada/Europe-centric, which fails to recognize the uptake of the operating system elsewhere in the world. Also, some of us are simply double counted because we use Windows at work and Linux at home (a fact that will earn you a custom smear, btw).

    But claiming that their metrics are a result of being in Microsoft’s pockets, implying yet-another-evil-deed, referring back to more opinions passed as flawed “analysis”, claiming you have a gut feeling that they’re wrong and cleverly pasting in off-context quotes by the alleged minions of Satan is not the way to go about making your point. Ignoring obvious logical holes in your claims isn’t, either.

    This type of deeply flawed toxic advocacy (and I’m referring in general to most of what is put forth on this blog) does far more damage than Microsoft could ever hope to afflict the FOSS community with.

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