Bonum Certa Men Certa

Quick Mention: The Big Lie About GNU/Linux 'Market Share'

We wrote about this before, but the following new item is well worth reading.

As I recently reported, there is an order of magnitude difference between the market share of Linux "out there" in the world, and the market share of LInux on Scienceblogs.com and on this very blog. Subsequently, I was trolled by my very own brother "... so, when is Luniux going to reach 1% market share?...." and this item has come out on ZDNet (which we all know is essentially funded by Microsoft, right?): Linux - Still chasing that elusive 1% market share.

[...]

So I went and looked. Here is the description of the database used by the Market Share service that everyone seems to rely on:

We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month. The information published is an aggregate of the data from this network of hosted website statistics. The site unique visitor and referral information is summarized on a monthly basis.


WTF?

Is this supposed to be some kind of unbiased sample? But wait, there's more...

[...]

The complexity of this problem is actually rather large. But I can tell you one thing: If you were my graduate student and you came to me with this sampling strategy, I'd send you back to kindergarten. (If I had that power.)


The aim is clear: to demoralise, to prevent vendor support from materialising, and to support marketing decisions. As we showed before, in Boycott Novell over one third of the requests come from GNU/Linux users.

There is a Big Lie out there. Just like all Big Lies, it's hugely dangerous. Shoot it down whenever it comes up. Failing to do so makes the Big Lie a reality in people's minds, being the self-fulfilling prophecy it's intended to serve as.

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