There has been a lot of noise this week about new numbers from NetApplications showing Linux at 1 percent. That’s 1 percent on the desktop as measured by one firm’s sampling of a very large market.
The number of 1 percent on the desktop however does not show the full Linux picture. On servers, and especially on web servers Linux is somewhere around 45 percent if we take Netcraft’s numbers (assuming that the majority of Apache deployments are on Linux).
Yes I know I’m comparing apples to oranges (no pun intended on the apple and penguins don’t eat oranges). The 1 percent number is a reflection of a general web user base and it is interesting to see. On enthusiast sites (and tech news sites) the Linux users number are likely somewhat higher.
Looking into the future just a little, it’s easy to see how the Linux desktop number will shift dramatically between now and 2011.
Here are two reasons: