The desktop market share

Regular readers of this blog,, know that we have been trying to track the desktop market share. We endorse W3Conter’s no-cost analytic service and their market share reports.

As of October 31, according to w3counter:

  • Microsoft Windows holds 79.69% market share, a 1.53% decrease from last month.
  • Windows XP is the most predominate at 44.17%.
  • GNU/Linux has a 1.49% market share.
  • Iphone has 1.31% market share.
  • Android has 0.25%.
  • Internet Explorer continues to plummet. We are now using IE 41.6% which is down by 1.7% from last month.
  • Don’t believe the FUD. There is no significant market share of IE9.

Microsoft’s market share is surely on the decline but will it have a minority market share come June 30, 2010?

Measuring market share is much more difficult that we had anticipated when we embarked on this project in June 2009. Web traffic is certainly an indicator of trends but it is highly skewed to the American and English speaking world who visits commercial websites. W3counter is the best in class since they have better global and website type diversity.

It is due to the web analytic market share counters that the myth of “Linux is 1% of the market share” persists. We present three reasons below.

1. Totally off-the grid systems do not get counted.

  • 1,494,500 deployed by One Laptop Per Child.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux desktops, SuSE Enterprise Linux Desktop, or Ubuntu desktops on corporate or government networks behind a firewall.
  • Appliance deployments like cash registers.

2. Nor do research institutions and Universities get properly counted.

For example, Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science uses Fedora on the desktop but it does not show up in Fedora’s update statistics. Why? The version of Fedora is so heavily customized to the environment that it needs its own update mechanism. None the less, with 26,307,719 unique ip addresses getting Fedora updates, Fedora alone must have have greater than 1% desktop market share.

3. I agree with Caitlyn Martin, with all of the netbook sales, something is not adding up.

A commenter asked for a 2009 and a 2010 market share report for netbooks. Here is one from November 2009 reporting 1/3 Linux market share. Regretfully, I have nothing for 2010 since the scoop is that netbooks are losing market share overall to iPad tablets. Never fear Linux Fans, The Android Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″ tablet has only been out for a month and has been selling nicely. By the way, Microsoft still lacks a significant market share in tablets.

We won’t stand for the lies behind the 1% myth any more.

We as non-Microsoft users need to stand up and say what we are using. If you use GNU/Linux, I urge you to participate in the Dudalibre “We > 1%” campaign. It takes one minute to say which distro you use.

We > 1%

Poke for my Fedora Friends: Does Fedora really only have 2.84% of the Linux desktop market share? Does Red Hat Enterprise Linux really have only 0.33% of the Linux desktop market share? Really?!? Take pride and say what you use.

When the truth comes out, Microsoft will not have a majority market share come June 30, 2011.

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16 Responses to The desktop market share

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The desktop market share | What Will We Use on June 30, 2011? --

  2. Stephane says:
    “Server not found”
    It seems to not respond, wrong address ?

  3. Jef Spaleta says:

    What netbook sales period specifically are you referring too? You need to be careful that you don’t look back at reported netbooks sales from 2008 when Xandros powered netbooks were a market player..before win7..before android…before ipad.

    I haven’t seen anything in terms of solid netbook numbers from 2009 or 2010 that bring useful quantitative data to the discussion about linux marketshare. Dell nor any of the other large OEMs release hard numbers on sales nor do any of the smaller linux netbook manufacturers. If you can point me to any netbook market analysis from the last year I’d appreciate it.

    Also realize that all the caveats you mention above about hidden off the grid systems are just as likely to be true for any operating system. You have to be careful about preferentially applying caveats that bolster the outcome that you already have a pre-existing bias for. Many analysts and scientists have blinded themselves by wanting an outcome so enthusiastically that they draw conclusions not supported by the data they have in hand.



  4. What Will We Use Editor says:

    The post is now fixed.
    Thanks for reporting the bug.

  5. Pingback: Links 25/11/2010: Jolicloud (GNU/Linux) in the UK, KDE 4.6 Previews Imminent | Techrights

  6. Stephane says:

    I was wondering why did I only have a “Tux” logo (despite I’m using Fedora too) in my blog post header…
    Maybe it’s related to the fact that I’m using a “Minefield” build of Firefox, which does not contain the “fedora” string in its user-agent.

  7. “None the less, with 26,307,719 unique ip addresses getting Fedora updates”

    That’s not really how that number works. 26m IP addresses have ever got a Fedora update. That doesn’t mean all those systems are all running Fedora exclusively all the time. The number will count anyone who tried it out and switched to another distro, or back to Windows.

    “Poke for my Fedora Friends: Does Fedora really only have 2.84% of the Linux desktop market share? Does Red Hat Enterprise Linux really have only 0.33% of the Linux desktop market share? Really?!? Take pride and say what you use.”

    Yes. I suspect those numbers are fairly accurate.

    Systems behind firewalls: there’s no reason to believe the percentages here are any more Linux-friendly; do you think there’s no Windows systems behind firewalls?

    “1,494,500 deployed by One Laptop Per Child.”

    1.5m is pretty much a rounding error counted against the worldwide desktop computer market.

    “Appliance deployments like cash registers.”

    They’re not desktops. Certainly if you count the market share of operating systems running on anything-that-can-vaguely-be-described-as-a-computer, Linux’s numbers will be good (though those for various other embedded OSes will probably be even better). But for most of this post, you’re talking about *desktop* market share.

  8. “Yes. I suspect those numbers are fairly accurate.”

    well, actually, I’d have guessed maybe 5-10% for Fedora, but I can believe 3.

  9. says:

    The dubralibre website is a pain in the neck as it does always come up with wrong image code. If you do a survey it should be easy and quick as people don’t have time to deal with those things.

    Good luck

  10. Johan Spånberg says:

    Haha! What a funny blog. Not one of your numbers are correct. 😀

    Anyways. Good luck with your bet. MSO is at 70%.

  11. Dood says:

    LOL!Indeed your numbers are all wrong.The OS market continues to be DOMINATED by Microsoft.From a programmers perspective here, id be a fool not to write my program for Windows.

    As of June 30,2011 most of the home OS operating system market will continue to dominated by Microsoft- Windows 7 in particular.

  12. Joe says:

    The problem with saying Microsoft isn’t being counted behind the firewall is just silly. MS Windows shipments always get counted. Companies might swap licenses however they do get counted. GNU/Linux is not an easy target to track. Companies may even end up with MS Windows licenses for GNU/Linux machines. That is just how Microsoft licenses it and all of these things skew the numbers. GNU/Linux does have a bigger market share than people think. Even amongst non-technical users. We sell and support non-technical GNU/Linux users and MS Windows users alike. Believe it or not some people are still on DOS too. However GNU/Linux does make up a significant portion of the desktop PC market. We’re a small company and yet 50% of our customers are either on GNU/Linux or moving to GNU/Linux. It helps we have a product and entire product line geared toward them. We expect to be able to reach about 80% of the desktop market within the next year.

  13. Joe says:

    As a programmer you would be dumb not to target the MS Windows market if that is your market. You also miss something about the market too. People aren’t lining up for 7. They are only being forced into it. It still has only a sliver of the market compared to Vista and XP. We’re not big believers in the Microsoft market. It just isn’t as profitable as targeting the GNU/Linux market. That is to say if you take your MS Windows users to GNU/Linux as we have you will make more money than if you stick with Microsoft.

  14. Johan Spånberg says:

    I will quote you on this Joe:
    “It still has only a sliver of the market compared to Vista and XP.”

    And then I will tell you the reality:
    Windows 7 has about 32% market share and is growing by approx 2% each month.
    Windows XP and Windows Vista combined has about 59% market share and is diminishing by approx 2% each month.

    I will add your quote again:
    “It still has only a sliver of the market compared to Vista and XP.”

  15. desktop mall says:

    desktop market will be decrease, but we always need desktop for many occassions 😀

  16. huan says:

    A-ha,Believe it or not ,linux users will be honest with there choice.

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