Linux desktop marketshare miniscule

Linux may continue to gain favour as a server operating system, but for the desktop, and in particular amongst Internet users, Linux is a washout.

That’s the word from market research firm WebSideStory Inc., which reported Wednesda that Linux operating systems have failed to gain any significant marketshare either from Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system or Apple Computer Inc.’s Mac OS, when it comes to the open-source operating system’s use by Web surfers.

WebSideStory said that as of Monday, Linux held a global usage share of only about 0.24 per cent of the market. The figures come from WebSideStory’s StatMarket service. The firm defines usage share as the per centage of Internet surfers who are using a particular operating system.

“This compares with Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Macintosh operating systems, which hold a combined global usage share of more than 98 per cent,” noted the firm. Linux’s share, meanwhile, has fluctuated between 0.2 and 0.3 per cent of the desktop market with no substantial growth over the course of the last several years, despite extensive hype in technical publications.

WebSideStory cautioned that these figures are specifically for Web usage. StatMarket vice-president of product marketing Geoff Johnston noted that Linux is a popular alternative in corporate markets, where the operating system is used for servers and other non-desktop operations.

“Linux has made inroads as a server operating system, but not on desktops. Its adoption rate among Web users remains miniscule, even in three years’ time,” said Johnston.