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Desktop Linux Share Overtaking Macintosh

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the macintosh-is-dying dept.

Linux 926

prostoalex writes "Business Week magazine is optimistic about desktop Linux's future, telling a story of Capital Cardiology Associates, whose 160 employees migrated to Linux desktops. Furthermore, Business Week expects IDC to announce desktop Linux installations to reach 3.2%, for the first time overtaking Macintosh market share. By 2007, IDC forecasts, Linux will be installed on 6% of the desktops. It's also worth mentioning that desktop Linux market share for 2002 was 2.8% and that year it was behind Apple's operating system."

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FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277455)


WOW (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277457)

Woo! Six per cent! Six per cent!

Re:WOW (5, Funny)

Dukael_Mikakis (686324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277499)

Linux installations to reach 3.2%, for the first time overtaking Macintosh market share. By 2007, IDC forecasts, Linux will be installed on 6% of the desktops.

So that means in 2052 we'll have over 50% market share!

And in 2102 we'll be on 100% of all machines!!

And in 2202 there'll be 2 Linux distros on every machine!!!

And in 2302 ...

Re:WOW (5, Funny)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277551)

And in 2302 ...

We'll be used as batteries for our robotic overlords, whom I for one welcome :P

Re:WOW (3, Funny)

fromtheblueline (717915) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277581)

[pink elephant ballon wafts in, all eyes follow]

And a gay president by 2065?

"We're trying to be realistic."

Homophobic Moderation? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277629)

What is wrong with a Gay President?

Re:Homophobic Moderation? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277644)

Nothing, that was a Simpsons reference

So it'll pass BSD again! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277458)

I remember when the BSD guys said that with Apple=BSD, BSD would have > mkt share than Linux.

Fine while it lasted.

If the BSD guys wanted to win, they really should start using a better license like the GPL. :-)

if only apple was x86 (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277459)

i know for sure i'd be running mac os if it worked on intel

Re:if only apple was x86 (5, Insightful)

diersing (679767) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277546)

Moderators - why is this flamebait?

If Mac OS X ran on x86, it stands to reason the parent, myself and many others might give it a go. If you could run Mac OS X on cheap, available and upgradable hardware it would stand to reason that it would have a greater desktop share. Being that some out there view Apples as cost prohibitive. I feel the parent is on-topic, even if poorly presented/worded.

Re:if only apple was x86 (3, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277649)

This is flamebait because people have been crying wolf about Macintosh OS's going x86 for years, much longer than the cries about "BSD is dying" and typically, people will post about Macintosh going to x86 to intice a flamewar from Mac enthusiasts and PC users alike.

In fact, I already posted in this thread [slashdot.org] and in my post I was going to note that it would be interesting to see what the stats would be for x86 OSX desktop installs if such an option were available to the consumer. But wisely I decided to skirt that issue for the very reason you see in your parent post.

Re:if only apple was x86 (5, Insightful)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277682)

"If Mac OS X ran on x86..."

God Dammit, how many times does it need to be said? As far as the hardware debate, yes, Macs are more expensive. Yes, the retail cost of a new Mac is more than your average clone, or build-it-yourself project, and this is not where Apple is positioned.

I purchased a Mac because I was sick and tired of "tinkering" with my computer, constantly tweaking settings, ensuring everything worked properly. I set my PowerBook up 4 months ago, and guess what... It just works. Apple can NOT provide that same advantage using cobbled-together x86 components thrown together and hope the end user experience "just works" for the average consumer.

You really do get what you pay for.

Re:if only apple was x86 (5, Insightful)

Mr Pippin (659094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277594)

Regardless, I don't think this is bad for Apple.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Apple has more to gain from Microsoft losing marketshare to Linux than themeslves losing marketshare to Linux. Apple is a Unix proponent, and friendly to Linux in that regard.

Who knows that the future may bring!

Re:if only apple was x86 (1)

loco_0wnz (655629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277652)

Have you not heard of the Darwin project? http://developer.apple.com/darwin/

Re:if only apple was x86 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277691)

Maybe you would, but Apple would be out of business. When they allowed clone PPC machines in the mid-90s, total Macintosh market share actually went up somewhat, but it was a financial disaster for Apple since it cut into their profit margins on hardware. Its the cost of Mac hardware that subsidizes OS development; when you buy a Macintosh, Apple gets at least as much profit as they would from 5 or 6 boxed copies of Mac OS at the normal retail prices. So if they were to port OS X to the x86 platform, they would have to count on increasing their marketshare sixfold almost instantly to counter the devaluation of their hardware. Now the truth is, that can't happen. Every single current Mac user would probably switch to cheaper and faster PC hardware if it came out, and the dilletante dabbler crowd that install ten OS's on their computer might install it, although not all of them would pay. But as far as a large-scale shift from Windows, it wouldn't happen; ordinary end-users cower in fear even at the thought of installing a windows upgrade, much less an entirely new OS, and PC manufacturers are far too entangled with Microsoft to ship PCs preloaded with software from a company that, after all, has been a competitor of theirs for most of its history.

Apple concluded, when Steve Jobs came back, that they could make more money selling computers to the current steady minority of Mac users, at a guaranteed huge profit margin, then try to take over the world. For that reason, they will never port OS X to commodity hardware.

just to get it out of the way (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277460)

ok, just to get it out of the way:

Apple is dying. Macintosh is Dying

No its not. OS X rules.

Now onto some actual discussion.

Re:just to get it out of the way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277627)

BSD is dying, apple is just along for the ride.

I thought it already had? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277464)

Get your story straight, you lying fucks.

As A Mac User (3, Insightful)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277476)

As a Mac user, I guess I'm supposed to be foaming at the mouth now, extolling the virtues of OS X, and denigrating the virtues of Linux. However, I won't. I don't care about Apple's market share, as long as OS X (and its requisite hardware) is available to me. I will gladly pay the price. Long live the king!

Re:As A Mac User (4, Interesting)

Dukael_Mikakis (686324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277528)

I think by default Apple users don't care about market share. In fact, my experience is that they abhor market share and extol the "uniqueness" and individuality that comes from being an Apple user. I mean, not any geek could hack on a purple box.

But also, lest you forget, remember that OS X, of course is based on Unix [apple.com] itself (FreeBSD). (Does that in any way qualify OS X for a "Linux distro"?).

Re:As A Mac User (3, Informative)

molafson (716807) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277591)

But also, lest you forget, remember that OS X, of course is based on Unix [apple.com] itself (FreeBSD). (Does that in any way qualify OS X for a "Linux distro"?).

No, BSD is a blessed version of the old school source, Linux is a clean re-implementation. They're both good, but OS X definitely ain't a Linux distro.

Re:As A Mac User (4, Informative)

burns210 (572621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277600)

no, it doesn't. It qualifies it as OS X, based on Darwin. Freebsd is indepedent of linux, and freebsd, netbsd, openbsd, and darwin(which borrows much from freebsd) are in no way a 'linux distro'.

To be a linux distro, the OS has to actually USE linux. *bsd and darwin don't use linux, they use their own open(and similar to eachother, in some parts) kernel.

Re:As A Mac User (1)

ianmorris (644822) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277630)

i think of more as having a commen ancestror

Re:As A Mac User (2, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277667)

OS X, of course is based on Unix itself (FreeBSD). (Does that in any way qualify OS X for a "Linux distro"?).
Of course not, it's based on FreeBSD as you said - linux is something different. It does mean that most applications that run on linux can be ported to OS X withput too much pain.

Re:As A Mac User (2, Informative)

be-fan (61476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277710)

Its not based on FreeBSD. It uses parts of FreeBSD, but the bulk of the code is derived from Mach 3.x and 4.4BSD-Lite2.

This and the Quartz "Extreme" bullshit are perhaps my biggest peeves...

Re:As A Mac User (1)

miu (626917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277567)

I love my Mac, really - but I wish we saw the kind of pricing and software that is available for Windows.

That World of Warcraft will be released for Mac gives me hope that good (and timely) games for Mac may yet come to pass.

Re:As A Mac User (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277569)

Don't worry, this whole "Linux" bullshit will blow over in a year or two. Compare Linux to Mac OS X and it is clear that while OS X sets the standard for reliability, security, ease of use and innovation, Linux only sets the standard for hype level. And that's just what it is, HYPE. OS X is better than Linux is every conceivable way.

Re:As A Mac User (-1, Troll)

Vargasan (610063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277657)

Except the hardware lock-in and cost ways, right?

Re:As A Mac User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277580)

Considering that Macs have been around roughly 20 years longer than Linux, and that even though Linux has been around since the 90s, most people still don't know what it is, I'd say this news doesn't speak very highly of Macs. Most people DO know what a Mac is, & still pick winders or Linux....

Re:As A Mac User (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277622)

Why should you care? It's not like Linux is stealing market share from Apple(if anything, I know many Linux users who have picked up Macs because of OS X).

I won't though. Linux for my desktop and BSD for my servers. No one argue with me about my choice for servers, I can't help it. Some girl in this hot devil outfit came up to me and gave me this CD once, and that's the closest I've come to having a date... So I'm sticking with BSD for my fond memories of my closest encounter yet with a hot woman...

Now if we could just get... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277477)

Linux - 51%

and Mac - 49%

At this rate... (-1)

RoadkillBunny (662203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277479)

...we will beat Microsoft in 30 years!!!

Re:At this rate... (5, Insightful)

sloanster (213766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277664)

I highly doubt that it will be a nice linear function, for a number of reasons -

It will most likely be exponential at the tipping point, then going more logarithmic as the market sorts itself out.

Honestly, I don't care if microsoft keeps a healthy market presence, if linux gets a good 30% share I'm happy, since that's big enough that it can't be ignored, and microsoft can't get away with the old monopoly games any more.

Good news (4, Insightful)

mysterious_mark (577643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277481)

WE the Mac owners wish to be a small and exclusive club. (Too bad I can't afford the new G5) MM

Re:Good news (5, Funny)

phrasebook (740834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277506)

Sounds like its a little too exclusive if you can't afford to be in it. Oh well, maybe you can just peer in through the Windows.

Re:Good news (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277680)

Small and exclusive? That part sounds good. Just drop the 'combattive, annoying, petulant, defensive, sneering, exaggerating, elitist, partisan' crap and you'll be left with 'small and exclusive.' :)

Er... (5, Insightful)

aitala (111068) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277482)

Those percentages are probably new sales and do not reflect the existing desktops out there.


Re:Er... (4, Insightful)

wankledot (712148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277626)

They also don't reflect what people are choosing.

That might be a minor point to some people, but I think the number of people that actually CHOOSE to run linux is far far less than people that choose a Mac. Very few people say "hey, I'll get a new PC, I think I'll run linux." Most of the wins in the linux market are from installations where people have no choice... enterprise and business accounts.

FIrst post W00T (3, Insightful)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277483)

ANd to think the halftime ad in the Superbowl featured IBM's Linux ad...

History repeats?

Re:FIrst post W00T (2, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277693)

ANd to think the halftime ad in the Superbowl featured IBM's Linux ad...
But that was OK, they didn't show the nipple.

Re:FIrst post W00T (1)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277695)

Well, if that's true, then 20 years down the road we'll have to re-show the same ad, only this time we'll GIMP in a linPod, the finest portable virtual reality immersion device on the market.

I know, I know.. (5, Insightful)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277492)

This is about desktop marketshare.

But shouldn't this be more a story of Linux gaining ground on Windows? I like and use both, but I hate to tell ya, Apple's core market is safe from Linux for the foreseeable future.

Re:I know, I know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277511)

Are you kidding, sir?

One operating system known for having no real games or productivity software is edging out an operating system known for having no games and amazing support for Photoshop!

Fact: Apple is dead.

If this is true, why wont game companies port? (1)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277549)

Why do game companies port to Mac, but never Linux?

Re:If this is true, why wont game companies port? (5, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277599)

Supposition: Mac users actually buy software, Linux users demand stuff for free. Every platform has its user quirks. I think Linux's is that they all want everything gratis.

Who wants to port to Linux only to have hordes of advocates screaming "it's not Free Software!"

Re:If this is true, why wont game companies port? (1)

sloanster (213766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277704)

That's BS, Linux users gladly pull out the wallet for good software -

For instance, I haven't spent one cent on microsoft software in the last 10 years - but I've spent several thousand dollars in that time on linux software - games, scientific software, office suites, you name it.

Don't assume that because somebody expresses an opinion that it's automatically the opinion of all linux users.

Missing the point my friend, but then so did the p (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277614)

Missing the point my friend, but then so did the poster. Nothing is said about Apple loosing ground. Just that their is now another non-windows OS out there with users in the single number percentages. That they are a fraction higher just makes for nice headlines. It is a journalist thing.

Since real freedom fans are not out to destroy ms-windows but rather to make for a world in wich ms-windows is just another desktop this is good news. Apple and linux and bsd and beOS (whatever its new names is) SkyOS and tron and etc all have tiny shares. TOGETHER we are now beyond the 5% and closing slowly on the 10%. 1 out of 10 people is a significant number. That is the kind of number businesses have to respect or face loosing customers.

With Office on Apple uncertain this could mean that 1 out of 10 people need to get their documents in a more open format.

So this article shouldn't be about linux overtaking apple, wich is hardly a suprise considering it is happening on the office desktop and the gigantic price difference, but the share of non-ms-windows installations increasing.

No MS is not going to go bankrupt over this. But with these kind of statistics IE only websites are becoming just a little bit less good business sense. That can surely only be a good thing.

WHere is my half life2 and photoshop? (5, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277493)

The marketshare is there now right? Most linux installs are for home users who are nerds, cad engineers, and some servers here and there.

The server software is comming and cad software is just now being ported. Home software is still nowhere in sight.

Also most nerds now download iso's from Debian and Gentoo, and FreeBSD. They do not pay for there rpm hell anymore. Are these users being counted as well?

If there could be a way it would tell these software makers to port home software.

Re:WHere is my half life2 and photoshop? (1)

Veridium (752431) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277709)

I'd say server software has been here for a while. I know nothing of cad software. But home software? Most home users of Linux are nerds, and if we're using Linux, we use gimp and can't justify the cost of photoshop(it's quite pricey). Of those that aren't nerds, I'd guess the Lindows type distros would account for the majority of them. And those users, who buy cheap computers from Walmart, likely can't afford photoshop and don't tend to play games(at least, not the latest and greatest fps. The sad thing is, we Linux users screwed ourselves when we didn't support Loki. Had we, HL2 may well be on Linux right now. Ah, but we didn't...

More design software for Linux on the cards then ? (5, Interesting)

bushboy (112290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277501)

This starts making Linux a very viable software platform in terms of established software companies such as Adobe and Macromedia.

Being a designer, this is the key area I'd love to see Linux flourish in.

To be able to ditch windows and natively run applications such as Photoshop or Dreamweaver would be a dream come true !

Are servers a subset of Desktops? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277503)

Would these stats include Servers as well? A server is well defined, but the term desktops is not.

So would this actually be saying more computers will be running linux vs. a Mac OS?

Re:Are servers a subset of Desktops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277658)

Desktops = computers used/placed at desks.

Servers aren't generally around desks, therefore servers != desktops.

Most Linux Desktop Users (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277508)

Are dual booting with Windows.

They ARE including Linux hobbyists.

The number of Mac users that use Windows is FAR lower than this, and therefore, the data is skewed.

The real data comes from numbers they dont calc (1)

Clinoti (696723) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277556)

It comes from users who want a simple plug-play-forget about it OS. The people who's desktops really matter are the people most ignorant of the technology that runs the desktop, it's like the mechanic syndrome.

You need to replace the rear axle", Sir/Ma'am it's your alternator".

As much as I love the OSS movement, it really boils down to the teachers (educational migrators) and the flock. The numbered statistics are just # code.

Not the point. (4, Insightful)

marcsiry (38594) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277512)

Who cares if it's overtaking Mac- as long as the share it's taking over from is Windows.

If Linux was *replacing* Mac on the desktop, that would be worrisome. Instead, you're seeing municipalities, counties, even countries switching from Win to Lin. You're not hearing about ad agencies doing mass migrations to Linux, replacing Photoshop with the Gimp and Quark with... with... um, well, you're not hearing about it.

Meanwhile, the mac addicts will single-click along, content with their 3%- and happier still that they've got some stronger allies against the real threat to their desktop security.

Mod parent up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277535)

This is absolutely true.

Re:Not the point. (3, Interesting)

dalutong (260603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277673)

It seems a lot of people think that overtaking Mac is not a newsworthy feat. It is a huge deal.

They're not replacing Photoshop with Gimp, Quark with nothing, etc. But, if they have developed Photoshop for Mac, including MacOSX, then they now have a reason to develop it for GNU/Linux. This would be a reason for a lot of businesses to get into gear and start porting.

I am aware of all the reasons they might not -- different distros, harder to support, not as focused a userbase, etc. but at least the list no longer includes "it's not even as popular as Mac!"

Sun's Java Desktop will help (-1, Informative)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277516)

Sun's Java Desktop [sun.com] , which is based on Linux kernel and Suse Linux, will only help to increase the share of the Linux Desktop.
Sun Java Desktop System is full featured desktop OS that includes StarOffice + Support from Sun Microsystems, and is available for only $100.
Here are some more presentations on Sun Java Desktop [xml-dev.com]

Re:Sun's Java Desktop will help (1, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277552)

How much are you paid by Sun to astroturf on Slashdot?

Sun's Java Desktop offers diddly over a regular linux distro besides a big brand name. If you want support Redhat or Mandrake will do you just fine and for less.

Plus, more peripherally, there's the horrible marketing department produced name of "Java Desktop". ALMOST THE WHOLE THING WAS WRITTEN IN C AND C++!!!!

Re:Sun's Java Desktop will help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277643)

Plus, more peripherally, there's the horrible marketing department produced name of "Java Desktop". ALMOST THE WHOLE THING WAS WRITTEN IN C AND C++!!!!

It's just marketing. Names mean nothing. Calm down. Take some happy pills. Enjoy life.

Re:Sun's Java Desktop will help (1)

ncr53c8xx (262643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277656)

Sun's Java Desktop, which is based on Linux kernel and Suse Linux, will only help to increase the share of the Linux Desktop.

That would be the short term view. Sun executives have said that they intend to switch to Solaris on all these systems eventually. In the past they have been spreading FUD about Linux. All that has happened now is that they won't be talking about it out loud. And Sun is one of the two companies funding SCO activities against Linux.

FACTS PLEASE (3, Insightful)

mitchell_pgh (536538) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277517)

In the unparalleled words of Jerry Mcguire "Show Me The DATA".

I'll believe it when I see some kind of data. I have yet to see Linux being used in a desktop environment. I've seen a few macs, but a majority have been Windows based.

Re:FACTS PLEASE (3, Funny)

dameron (307970) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277561)

I'll believe it when I see some kind of data. I have yet to see Linux being used in a desktop environment. I've seen a few macs, but a majority have been Windows based.

And I've never seen Bigfoot but I know it exists. Your point?


Google says 1% (4, Informative)

bhny (97647) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277520)

Google Zeitgeist [google.com] still says Linux is 1% and Mac 3%

Re:Google says 1% (3, Informative)

OneFix (18661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277625)

Probably because most Linux users change their user agent string to report as a windoze variant...

Re:Google says 1% (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277678)

I think you're just pulling ideas out of your ass to make up for lack of marketshare for Linux.

Obviously... (0)

bsd troll (680181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277696)

Google is a M$ shill.

Usage vs Install (3, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277708)

I bet the discrepency comes from the fact that IDC is measuring installs and google is measuring hits. There are probably a lot of people who have Linux installed but still use Windows as their primary OS, and/or use Windows at work, and therefore visit google using Windows more often than using Linux.

Predictions are like ***holes (4, Insightful)

tyrione (134248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277523)

Everyone's got one.

This presumes the rate of growth for Linux on the Desktop will be as prolific as it has been for Enterprise deployment, not to mention OS X isn't once mentioned in the article, just the Macintosh Operating System.

Market researcher IDC expects to announce within weeks that Linux' PC market share in 2003 hit 3.2%, overtaking Apple Computer Inc.'s (NasdaqNM:AAPL - News) Macintosh (news - web sites) software.

Macintosh software? Could this article be particularly more vague? I guess being overly general is good to cover their butts?

Good luck on Linux overtaking OS X's momentum.

Since over 40% of pre-OS X has switched since its inception I would expect in a year from now another 30% and climbing, especially with the G5 and soon-after G6.

My daily OS is Debian so no I'm not coming from a Mac biased viewpoint.

Re:Predictions are like ***holes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277601)

The vast majority of Linux users who I have shown my G5 powerbook to have almost immediately switched. Once they get a look at the power, flexibility, speed, applications, security, and professional slickness that is OS X, they are quite frankly embarassed to go back to their lame PC's running Linux. And with all frankness, they should be. What self-respecting geek would see what OS X has to offer and then go back to the amateur technology of Linux? You might as well walk away from your Audi TT for a Subaru.

Small but significant (5, Interesting)

Hamster Of Death (413544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277524)

This just goes to show that you don't need to be an 800lb Gorilla to succeed, you just need to be useful. This is where both Apple and open source competes. They are both useful to different groups (with some overlap) but since the user base of all computer users is so large, 3% is still a large number of people. I guess it's proof that if you are good at what you do, people will come to you.

huzzah (5, Interesting)

BortQ (468164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277529)

While the desktop linux market share is rising about that of macintosh, that isn't a bad thing for the mac. The loss is market share will be to windows.

One of the driving factors behind this is cost (especially in emerging markets). The change is coming in business environments, where the macintosh has always lagged far behind windows.

I can't see any of the traditional macintosh markets switching to linux. The same UNIX base is present on the mac along with other more exclusive things.

Anyway, I think that this is in fact a great thing for the macintosh. The compatibility of programs is much better between os x/linux then it is between os x/windows. And Apple has been showing it is more than happy to take up open-source created standards.

In conclusion: go linux, go mac os x, die windows die!

Re:huzzah (1)

Dukael_Mikakis (686324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277548)

Yes, isn't there an adage:

"The enemy of your enemy is your friend"

Critical mass RealSoonNow (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277536)

If desktop Linux starts to hit Microsoft where it hurts, it will happen not so much among typical office employees but among specialized workers. These include stock traders, bank tellers, engineers, customer-service reps, and warehouse employees. They rely on just a few applications and need PCs that are simple to use and rarely crash -- which Linux can handle.

The last part from the article is an understatement, but it shows BusinessWeek gets IT. It is a pretty well written, but short article, from the business perspective.

Some disadvantages do remain in the near future (eg., the home desktop user still has to get around to installing a working DVD player for movies), but even businesses see the snowball is gaining in size and will soon pass the critical mass (to mix metaphors)!

Linux overtaking Mac... (4, Insightful)

Pathway (2111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277553)

Well, I think it's important to note that it's not the MAC which is loosing ground to Linux, but rather that it's Microsoft's Windows users who are primaraly making the switch.

I just don't think that the Mac is going to disappear because of linux. The Apple zealots are worse than Linux'es own!


Re:Linux overtaking Mac... (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277590)

hey i resent that!

Still not there yet... (4, Insightful)

d.valued (150022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277554)

I think we're going to succeed in pissing off the Macophiles in the crowd with this one. I like OS X as much as anyone, and its multipedia capabilities are utterly obscene, but for general apps most people don't need it.

To be fair, most people don't need the capabilities of any modern system. I'm going to get a 64-bit based laptop, and the only people I can think of who need such power are gamers, video/audio editors, and the highest of power users.

Linux based systems tend to hold the line on excess hardware bloat. You don't need to stay on an endless treadmill of forced hardware and sofware upgrades for support; a skilled tech can keep your setup running. Security is potentially higher, with proper configuration. And virii are pretty much a null threat.

Most office productivity can be handled with F/OSS analogues of Windows tools. Programs like OOo and FireFox, The Gimp and the myriad SQL databases do a great deal of work.

I'm going to help out here... (1, Offtopic)

IchBinDasWalross (720916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277555)

I'm switching to Linux on Sunday. I'm still undecided which distro, although I'm looking at either Debian or SuSE. Suggestions?

I know that your distro of choice is very good, I'm looking for suggestions, not trolling.

Re:I'm going to help out here... (1)

CoolMoDee (683437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277616)

It depends on what you want and what your experience is. If I were first making the switch and were a newbie to linux, I would wait for a 2.6 distro to come out, such as Fedora Core 2 or Mandrake 10. If you are more of a poweruser, I would go with Gentoo or Debian. In the end, you will probably switch distros a few times until you find the one that fits you just right, or close enough.

Re:I'm going to help out here... (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277666)

Haven't tried SuSE. Debian has its good points (and is on one of my servers). But it is famous for its installation -- which, although ok for a person familiar with linux, I challenge anyone to say is "switching to" friendly.

However, you could play with Debian by downloading a Knoppix ISO -- and then it's quite easy uncompressing an install to hard drive actually. And it gives you an impressive amount of desktop for that minimal effort. Generally, if you want a desktop, a lot of people start with Mandrake or Red Hat/Fedora/whatever. I've had Red Hat installs _significantly_ easier than Windows installs.

As a new convert I can say one thing... (0, Offtopic)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277557)

...KDE is beautiful on this POS Toshiba Laptop I have.


How exactly do you do this? (5, Insightful)

Durin_Deathless (668544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277558)

There strike me to be several problems with this: 1) Many linux users(myself included) download iso images, from which it is hard to get an idea of number of users 2) most linux installs are not traditional desktops, for Joe Schmo. Most are for more technical users. 3) When do they 'expire' a machine? For nubmer 3, I mean this: when is a machine no longer held to be in use? I didn't get Panther(it won't run on my Beige G3), does that mean I don't count? What about the Macintosh SE in the basement, still getting daily use? The other beige G3 here, still on OS 9? 2 or 3 years is fair for Wintel boxen as an average IIRC, but a Mac tends to outlast that. I know of several people using first generation PPC machines, simply because they do everything needed. This isn't as simple as OS sales in a given year, I would say harder for Macs than for other machines because the life of a Mac is so much longer than many other platforms, especially without any trackable upgrades. Without knowing from whence these numbers came, they are pretty meaningless.

Penguins Eat Apples For Lunch? (4, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277559)

Actually, this should not be surprising nor alarming.
On the face of it this is a very misleading statistic and /. post. What would be more relevent would be to compare Linux penetration across hardware architectures seperately. Saying Linux has more installs than OSX is rather slanted and not all that informative since there are many more x86 compatable PC's on the market than PPC compatables. Linux is not hardware, Microsoft does not make PC's. OSX is a desktop yes, but tied to the hardware needed to run it.
So let's see the percentile of Linux installs on x86 PC's vs Linux installs (Yellow Dog et al) on PPC architectures.
That would give a better overall view of the marketplace and usage trends. For I'd suspect the migration to Linux from OSX would be microscopic at best while the real breakaway would those migrating from Windows.

Re:Penguins Eat Apples For Lunch? (1)

Durin_Deathless (668544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277634)

You mention migration from OS X to Linux. This is interesting, because I just put a bigger drive in my Mac after I started filling up what I had. I reserved space for a Debian/PPC install. The partition is still mounted on my OS X desktop, simply because I haven't bothered. I thought it would be handy to have, but I keep putting it off until I really need it. I haven't yet, and it has been months. I just can't tear myself away from OS X long enough to do the install, much less use it.

Re:Penguins Eat Apples For Lunch? (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277701)

Hahah, well in this light Linux has overcome Mac OS running on the PC by quite a bit.

Google Zeitgeist (3, Interesting)

BlueEar (550461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277562)

Google's Zeitgeist [google.com] still has Linux at 1% and Mac at 3%. I also find it not very encouraging that even with Longhorn delayed by 3 or so years predicted Linux desktop share gains are 3-4%. Maybe our New Years resolution should be to install Linux on at least one computer that was monopolised by Windows. I did just that :-)

dotdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277583)

You the elitist mac user please...

It doesn't matter (4, Interesting)

Hornsby (63501) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277584)

I'm a long time Linux user who's just about to purchase my first Mac, a G4 powerbook. I use Linux on the desktop everyday, and while I like it, I'm not afraid to admit that compared to an OSX desktop, it lacks polish. I don't blame X, Gnome, KDE, or anyone for this. I really believe it's simply a matter of Mac development being more focused due to Apple spearheading it's development.

Linux is awesome because it's affordable to everyone, and it's become a very nice alternative to Windows; however, I don't think that it's going to steal a significant number of users from the Mac market since OSX has a major geek appeal as well.

It's silly to think that users have to be either here or there. I plan to continue to use both Linux and OSX after the purchase of my laptop, and I don't understand why everyone is so black and white about what you run on your desktop. Anybody that's used a Mac knows what the appeal is about. Linux has a natural attraction to anybody that wants a stable and cost effective OS. Why not enjoy both?

The Question (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277588)

Consumer: Hello, I just bought a new foobar2000 how come the monotior flickers?

Distro: The foobar2000 doesn't have drivers yet, go buy a foobar 1999 or wait 6 months.

As long as this scenario continues Linux will not "take over" the desktop market. I am on a ATI radeon 9600 and am using VESA drivers as we speak cause the Radeon drivers break X. So that Unreal2004 you all enjoyed. I sit here "waiting 6 months".
Although this situation has gotten significantly better we are no where close to windows or Mac yet. There are still too many cases where if you buy some new hardware you have to upgrade distros or recompile the kernel. Still not acceptable for joe.
Haha jokes on you, by the time you mod me down 100's of people will have read this and heard the truth! take that my slashdot overlords!

Uhm... duh? (5, Insightful)

solios (53048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277589)

To run MacOS requires a PPC. Not just ANY PPC, a Macintosh. That's ONE breed of computer. Just one.

To run Linux, you need a computer and some means of getting linux onto it. Linux runs on Sparcs, Ultras, SGIs, Alphas, x86, m68k, several different PPC variants, pdas, cel phones, the Game Cube, the Dreamcast, digital watches, and the IBM 390 mainframes.

Not only does linux run on practically everything, it handles almost identically across ALL of these architectures. Your debian experience won't be much different on an Ultra III than it will be on a Dell or a Macintosh G3 (aside from hardware support, obviously).

I can install linux on any computer I can find in the dumpster.

Every other OS on the planet (BSDs excepted) are much less portable and available on a vastly narrower variety of hardware.

So. DUH. Of COURSE it's a growth industry. Linux is popular on the x86- and there's got to be at least 10 PCs for every Mac, just in terms of volume of existing hardware. Linux will continue to gain marketshare because it isn't tied to any specific hardware, making the cost of entry incredibly, amazingly cheap.

Can I get a HELL YEAH! ?

Re:Uhm... duh? (2, Interesting)

loco_0wnz (655629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277677)

2 words... Hell [expletive deleted] Yeah! I personally have an agenda against closed-source programming and I do everything I can to promote Linux on the x86 front.

only 6% in 2007? (4, Interesting)

skillio (594945) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277598)

hmm, i wonder if they're taking into account the ever-growing usability of linux to casual desktop users when giving this projection. it seems to me that in 3-4 years, just observing the trend, adoption percentages will be much higher than that. it isnt linear because as it gets better, more people try it, recommend it, etc, and obviously the price factor is big. in addition, i'd think something like the walmart cheap PC thing will be multiplying greatly as linux is shown to be user-friendly, with many more major vendors pro-offering linux in some form on their systems. maybe i'm just being optimistic, but i'd hope linux desktop adoption in 2007 would be 10-15% or higher - i guess we can hope (:

firs(t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8277605)

To looK into [goatse.cx]

To paraphrase Disraeli (5, Funny)

pixelgeek (676892) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277609)

There are lies, damn lies, and market share percentages.

Linux acceptance on the desktop .... (1)

Roberto Qwerty (103036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277611)

Linux acceptance on the desktop should create a wake for further adoption by the Mac as well.

Proof that companies and/or individuals can successfully windows will also benefit Mac OS X.

It should break a lot of preconcieved barriers about the OS - especially in light of Linux's difficulties.

I expect as Linux share of the market increases, so will the Mac.

And all at the expense of windows - not each other.

That would be a very welcome thing too - we need stronger influencers for standards and common platforms.

it is interesting that OS X and Linux share their code freely, while Windows doesn't. They have more in common with each other than Windows does with either...

Anyway, I could easily see version 10.4 allowing Linux apps to run without any preconfig'ing of the OS if Linux does gain marketshare...that would be a savvy move by apple too.

Sun and Mac and everyone else (1)

modder (722270) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277628)

So with Sun's JDS sold in China [lwn.net] and not to mention red flag linux [redflag-linux.com] -- naturally owned by the king's son -- all over the desktops of an extremely populous nation, and now according to the original slashdot posting, Israel and so forth, worldwide Microsoft is going to take a big hit.

I've also heard rumors that 75 percent of servers are running Microsoft. (I'd guess this is due to the "ease of administration"... probably can pay their admins a lot less.)

My guess is, once the desktop market gets chipped in to, the server market will also get hit since more capable admins will be easier to find (Since those on the bell curve who tend to be admins will become more familiar with linux.)


Anyway, I always figured some day a tech company whose "technology" is only marketing would eventually fail, but it will still take years and years.

And posted directly below me, as if on queue (1)

modder (722270) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277650)

I can see how many years and years it will take :)

Linux Compatibility (4, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277668)

This was on Mac OS Rumors [macosrumors.com] two weeks ago; since they no longer have archives I pulled it from the Google cache:
One of the biggest Mac OS X 10.4 features: Linux? It's that time of year again, folks - last year's big operating system release, Panther, is about to get by far its largest and most mature update yet in the form of 10.3.3 and Safari 1.2 in the next couple of weeks, and Apple's attention is beginning to turn to its next major release.

One of our oldest sources has reported in on the beginning stages of this process, and the first item on his bullet list: Linux. Mac OS X 10.4 will more closely merge the Apple experience with that of Linux in several key ways that will visible to users as well as developers. Panther already implements a number of Linux APIs, but Apple hopes to make 10.4's adoptions higher-profile and therefore mirror (rather than cannibalize, we can hope!) Linux's success in creating an "opening wedge" into the Windows world.

We expect to get more details as Apple fleshes out its concept work and gets coding. Stay tuned....
Interesting follow-up to that:
Apple's 10.4 "Linux initiative" could work both ways. Today's crop of new reports on this topic not only provide considerable confirmation that Apple is indeed pondering a "Linux adoption" move, but hint at an angle we haven't covered yet. It has been suggested that Apple could gain quite a bit of attention and support from the GNU/Linux/OSS communities by porting more of its key pieces of software to Linux: Xcode, Rendezvous, QuickTime, iTunes, and iChat have all been mentioned. More on this later in the week as we continue to analyze this particularly tantalizing line of inquiry....

Where do I fit in? (1, Troll)

ImTwoSlick (723185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277688)

I'm a long time Linux user who now has a nice Dual G5 AND Linux boxes. Who's market share am I taking away from or contributing to now?

Business Desktops (1)

KidSock (150684) | more than 10 years ago | (#8277702)

But what percentage are used for business purposes. 3% would suggest that 3 in 100 are Linux. I don't see any Linux desktops at my company. There are quite a few Linux servers but no desktops here.
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