Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 21st Aug 2008 23:44 UTC
Linux "Where is Linux the most popular, and where are the different Linux distributions the most popular?". Pingdom has taken a stab at answering this question using the Google Insights for Search. Read on for our observations on the results.
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This Is Good News
by Pro-Competition on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 00:48 UTC
Pro-Competition
Member since:
2007-08-20

I think Linux's popularity in the developing world is very exciting. The increasing diversity of users and contributors from different cultures and socio-economic groups can only make the platform better for all of us.

2. The popularity of Linux among the developing countries makes me wonder if Linux is perceived as a poor man's equivalent of some proprietary OS (*cough* Windows).


Being a "poor man's equivalent" of something else is no problem as far as I'm concerned, especially in the beginning. Example: MS-DOS started out as a poor man's CP/M.

Reply Score: 3

RE: This Is Good News
by WereCatf on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 01:44 UTC in reply to "This Is Good News"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Being a "poor man's equivalent" of something else is no problem as far as I'm concerned, especially in the beginning. Example: MS-DOS started out as a poor man's CP/M.

All good OSes have humble beginnings ;)

That being said, there's LOTS of brilliant brains out there in the developing world and I am eagerly waiting for them to get their hands on to computers and start hacking. Since all of the Linux codebase is totally open and accessible to anyone with the interest, even with no skills, there's lots of stuff there for the minds to play with. Who knows, open-source software (not specifically Linux, there's a lot more to opens-ource) might some day in the future prove to be one of the most significant things to happen in the software world.

Reply Score: 5

RE: This Is Good News
by iain.dalton on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 02:29 UTC in reply to "This Is Good News"
iain.dalton Member since:
2006-02-28

From what I've heard, MS-DOS was always a poor man's CP/M, until the end of its days. Weren't people (who had used more powerful OSes) always complaining about its inadequacy back then?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: This Is Good News
by flanque on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 03:09 UTC in reply to "RE: This Is Good News"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Not sure about that, but I know I really enjoyed MS-DOS from v5 upwards.

I couldn't stand that power shell or whatever it was. It looked like Windows 2.0 b1 with colour.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: This Is Good News
by danieldk on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 09:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This Is Good News"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Not sure about that, but I know I really enjoyed MS-DOS from v5 upwards.


I though it was terrible. We had 80386s, and were running a system written for a world without multitasking. OS/2 was far more exciting those days ;) .

I couldn't stand that power shell or whatever it was. It looked like Windows 2.0 b1 with colour.


It was called "dosshell', although 'doshell' would be a more appropriate name (seriously!).

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: This Is Good News
by rhyder on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This Is Good News"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

I've never heard anyone refer to DOS as a "good operating system" before. We all have great memories of the apps and games that we used to run, but DOS was just a CLI as I far as I'm concerned. And not a very good one.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: This Is Good News
by wowtip on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This Is Good News"
wowtip Member since:
2005-07-14

Doskey, anyone?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: This Is Good News
by rhyder on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 10:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This Is Good News"
rhyder Member since:
2005-09-28

"Microsoft Windows, from the team that brought you edlin!"

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: This Is Good News
by jack_perry on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE: This Is Good News"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

The joke I heard (and repeated) back then was that MS-DOS was an acronym for "Maybe SomeDay an Operating System."

Reply Score: 7

States
by jack_perry on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 03:41 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

Two of the major, and most influential, Linux distributions have had their starts in the United States, and neither one of the states where they started appears high. (Red Hat in North Carolina; Debian in Indiana.) Slackware is the brainchild of a guy whose degree is from Minnesota, but I don't know if he started it while he was there.

Weird, huh? Well look at the method used to determine popularity:

How we determined popularity

To have a way to judge popularity, we have looked at where a specific search term is most popular, i.e. how likely it is for someone in a region (country or state) to search for that specific term, for example "Linux" or "Ubuntu".
Well gee, maybe no one in North Carolina needs to search for Linux, since Red Hat's HQ is at NC State University in Raleigh? ;-)

I'm kidding, but I am curious whether people think this is a legitimate measure of popularity though.

(Edit: quotes corrupted, had to fix)

Edited 2008-08-22 03:42 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: States
by netpython on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 05:05 UTC in reply to "States"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

Ahum, the start of linux was in Finland, No?

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: States
by evangs on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 07:04 UTC in reply to "RE: States"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Where does he say that Linux started in the US?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: States - the kernel or specific distributions?
by jabbotts on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE: States"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's a common confusion mostly premoted by the other fan camps who benefit from causing confusion but "Linux" is only the kernel, each distribution is a similar but different OS (using OS to mean kernel and userspace combination). If you stick to naming distributions it makes much more sense; like refering to cars by make and model instead of calling them all "cylindars".

I don't remember my history accurately enough to state if Linus was in university in the US or Finland when he started on the kernel. I just know that without GNU doing it's thing outside in leaving the kernel to last and Linus doing his thing inside out leaving the user-space until last; neither would have progressed very quickly.

Reply Score: 3

tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27

He was in Finland, Just finished reading his Bio.

Reply Score: 2

RE: States - was thinking the same thing
by jabbotts on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 12:34 UTC in reply to "States"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm usually one of the loud mouths stating that statistics are useless and that while more accurate, marketing statistics based on license sales are only accurate for a very small subset of operating system. Even webserver logs are bunk for tracking anything less superficial than hits and error responses.

In short, I was/am scheptical of these figures but I'm scheptical of all figures (Linux based OS understated, MS products overstated and all that).

The first thing I thought when I looked at the distribution ranking was; "but I don't search for 'Mandriva', I just go to the repository site or mandriva.com and get what I need".

I think it would have been slightly more accurate to base the figures off what browser/distribution combinations Google was getting hit with rather than what search terms where requested.

Interesting article in a superficial way (PDF'd and in my library already) but accurate measurements are still a vapourous dream.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ari-free
by ari-free on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 04:22 UTC
ari-free
Member since:
2007-01-22

the way i judge popularity is by the number of apps in active development.

Reply Score: 3

China
by netpython on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 05:04 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Nowhere there is a sign of china, remarkable.

Reply Score: 3

RE: China
by B12 Simon on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 09:59 UTC in reply to "China"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

I'm guessing China's low position is due to Google being less popular over there - they have their own search engine.

Reply Score: 4

RE: China
by agrouf on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 10:05 UTC in reply to "China"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

That's because they pick only western distros. In China, there are a lot of distros that are specifically tuned to the chinese language, like red flag linux. Linux is more than Mandriva, red hat, suse and debian. In Japan, they must use Turbo linux or something like that. There are many localized distros everywhere. Anyway, those kind of statistics are always inherently flawed and I never take them seriously. It's just for fun.

Reply Score: 8

RE: China - Google China
by jabbotts on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 12:41 UTC in reply to "China"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Google may be keeping the data collected from the China servers seporate. With broken telephone flow of information across the firewall of China, who knows..

Reply Score: 2

RE: China
by toogreen on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 15:33 UTC in reply to "China"
toogreen Member since:
2006-06-03

China LOVES Microsoft and Bill Gates. Even if most of them use 1$ pirated copies, they'd use Windows way before Linux. I know, I live there.

Sad isn't it. The government has even tried to push it onto the public by selling computers in big chains with Red Flag Linux, but nobody wanted it.

Reply Score: 1

v Comment by deathshadow
by deathshadow on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 06:33 UTC
Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 10:46 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

There are some acute comments below the article itself, pointing out that it's so hard to get accurate data that these results shouldn't really be seen as more than very broad brush. It's safe to say that more people use Linux in Cuba than they do on the Greenland ice shelf, but if you become too granular about what and where then the facts are increasingly dubious. In addition, the article only looks at Western-sourced distros. What about local ones of the Red Flag Linux kind? Knowing a bit more about them might help to explain the figures.

In a comment that caught my eye, one person suggested that part of Red Hat's success in some parts of the world may be down to their certification and qualification programs. In other words, in some countries folks see Red Hat as a way to get yourself a qualification and pull yourself up in the world. That is a very interesting and powerful idea, and a way for other distros like Ubuntu to give themselves an edge.

Plenty of ironies here, anyway. Utah's products are most popular among former commie countries. Red Hat is more popular outside the US than inside it. Ubuntu's stronghold appears to be in Italy and not anywhere in Africa. Debian is very popular in Cuba but I wonder how many Cubans Debian has on the roll as devs.

Edited 2008-08-22 10:46 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by moleskine
by asgard on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 11:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
asgard Member since:
2008-06-07

Plenty of ironies here, anyway. Utah's products are most popular among former commie countries.


Actually, this is wrong. The OpenSUSE is probably popular in Europe (and in Czech Republic in particular) because SUSE was a German company, which hired a lot of talented developers (especially in the Linux kernel area) here in Czech Republic back in the 90s. So this has nothing to do with Novell, they just came and bought SUSE almost a decade later.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by moleskine"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

"Plenty of ironies here, anyway. Utah's products are most popular among former commie countries.


Actually, this is wrong. The OpenSUSE is probably popular in Europe (and in Czech Republic in particular) because SUSE was a German company, which hired a lot of talented developers (especially in the Linux kernel area) here in Czech Republic back in the 90s. So this has nothing to do with Novell, they just came and bought SUSE almost a decade later.
"

Er, but the whole point is that isn't what the maps show, thus leading one to question the basis of the data and the article. I know about SuSE. I used to use it precisely because it was an example of European excellence. That's only partly true today. Novell have had SuSE for a while now, too. They didn't buy it yesterday.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

France is number 5 on the list for Mandriva and it's a french distribution natively.

Reply Score: 3

agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

Contributors to Mandriva are:
90% Humans from all over the world
5% Brazilians
3% French
2% Rest of the world

Edited 2008-08-22 13:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Interesting to compare the developer side of it. I suspect most distributions get contributors from outside there source country. I was more surprised to see that Mandriva was not higher on the user side within France with that being the home of the parent company.

But then, this is mesured against search terms so it's not going to be any more accurate than measuring where people are searching for the words.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by moleskine
by markjensen on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 13:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by moleskine"
markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

Plenty of ironies here, anyway. Utah's products are most popular among former commie countries.

Actually, the "Utah anomaly" could probably best be summed up in three letters:
S C O
;)

Reply Score: 2

Google bias
by stooovie on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 12:44 UTC
stooovie
Member since:
2006-01-25

I think these statistics are next to useless. Try to run any other keyword in Google Insight. Most searches for "Adobe After Effects" are from Philippines and Belarus? I don`t think so.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Google bias - could be true
by jabbotts on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 12:48 UTC in reply to "Google bias"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'm sure Adobe is pirated in those countries as much as anywhere else. "shareing" is surely not unique to other regions anyhow.

Reply Score: 4

Brasil + Slackware
by 2501 on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 16:15 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

I went to Brasil last year and this is true...I met a lot of Slackware fans down there! Why? I was told they like the simplicity of it and since it is very easy to hack, they can mold it to their needs right away.

Very interesting article.

Reply Score: 2

Proof
by dotMatt on Fri 22nd Aug 2008 22:24 UTC
dotMatt
Member since:
2005-07-29

Aha! Proof that Linux is communist!!

Reply Score: 1

I'm aware of
by Havin_it on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 01:37 UTC
Havin_it
Member since:
2006-03-10

at least three people using Gentoo in Edinburgh, which probably makes it a world hotspot ;)

Reply Score: 2

Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 02:47 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Remember folks, a computer is only a tool to get a job accomplished; all this debate over 'operating systems' is meaningless when people are fixated on the technology rather than the end result.

People haven't suddenly fallen in love with MacOS X - they've fallen in love with the product called Mac. The operating system and hardware are viewed as one in the same - a symbiotic relationship. How many end users actually purchase their computer based on the operating system it runs? the question I see end users ask isn't "does it run Windows" or "does it run MacOS X" - its always, "does it run [name of software]".

As for the third world; the third world will eventually drop the 'poor mans' operating system once they have more money. Just like a customer who starts buying name brand food as soon as they get a pay rise - the same can be said once the third world moves to first world, and want all the trappings of the first world lifestyle.

How is that any different to a person who lives in a cardboard box, has enough money to move out - are they really going to continue to live in a cardboard box when they can buy a better place? the cardboard box was functional - but one expectations rise once one acquires more money.

This fixation on the 'low end market' is eventually going to dry up as that 'low end market' starts merging into the market where people want more than just the 'bare minimum, good enough' solution.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Remember folks
by netpython on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 07:15 UTC in reply to "Remember folks"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

So one day there will suddenly be no third world anymore?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Remember folks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So one day there will suddenly be no third world anymore?


Assuming that these countries keep reforming, instilling property rights, crack down on corruption, ensure that the justice system is untained by political interference and corruption - yes it is possible. But given the number of clueless westerners hell bent on resurrecting socialism (but those individuals not having the slightest clue about economics to begin with) - I wouldn't be surprised if we see yet another experimentation with socialism in the third world.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Remember folks
by agrouf on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Remember folks"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

I'm afraid you don't know what you are talking about here. Your view is twisted by western propaganda. The free market and all that shit won't magically solve poverty, on the contrary, it is much more likely to make the problem bigger.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Remember folks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm afraid you don't know what you are talking about here. Your view is twisted by western propaganda. The free market and all that shit won't magically solve poverty, on the contrary, it is much more likely to make the problem bigger.


Again, a rude reply from a person too cowardly to put their nation of residence on the profile - why aren't I surprised.

Pleas tell me - what is the solution to poverty? because apparently YOU have appointed yourself as having ALL the answers through your snarky and rude reply.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Remember folks
by agrouf on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Remember folks"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

Sorry about my crude reply, but you called me a clueless westerner. I'm from Romania and living in France, been living in Blegium previously, but that doesn't matter I'm a resident of the world.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 12:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Remember folks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry about my crude reply, but you called me a clueless westerner. I'm from Romania and living in France, been living in Blegium previously, but that doesn't matter I'm a resident of the world.


Excuse me, you need to take a class learning English, because I most certainly didn't call you a clueless westerner:

Assuming that these countries keep reforming, instilling property rights, crack down on corruption, ensure that the justice system is untained by political interference and corruption - yes it is possible. But given the number of clueless westerners hell bent on resurrecting socialism (but those individuals not having the slightest clue about economics to begin with) - I wouldn't be surprised if we see yet another experimentation with socialism in the third world.


Now where did I specifically refer to YOU as the clueless westerner? I never said anything of the sort; it was a generalised reply that anyone who held the view that socialism was the answer to the ills of the third world as being clueless. It is YOU who made that leap into the unknown by declaring that some how that paragraph was addressing you, and only you specifically.

I'm not interested in giving a economics, but when you don't have property rights, businesses can't grow, borrow money, when the justice system is corrupt, property laws are enforced. When there is a political system that is unstable - the climate isn't conducing to investors providing funds and required expertise. When there are first world countries subsidising goods to high heaven and artificially depressing prices - third world countries can't trade their way out of poverty by having the economic incentive for farmers to go back onto the farms and produce (give that the cost of product is higher than the price returned on the investment thanks to the depressed prices due to the over production which results from the subsidies).

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Remember folks
by agrouf on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 12:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Remember folks"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

OK, sorry that I didn't get your message.
I just wanted to point out that anyone who think that without property rights business can't grow, or that farmers who produce will become rich, or who don't see that their production don't belong to them and that businesses don't need stock holder parasites doesn't know what he is talking about and is clueless.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Remember folks
by agrouf on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 07:46 UTC in reply to "Remember folks"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

Remember the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer. Once upon a time there was no third world (not so long ago). The third world is going to be bigger and bigger.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Remember folks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Remember the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer. Once upon a time there was no third world (not so long ago). The third world is going to be bigger and bigger.


There has always been a third world, developing world etc. The only time when there wasn't a 'third world' was when the west was raping and pillaging natural resources in what was known as their 'empire'. Third world is all relative. Hell, going by the GDP per capita comparison between NZ and American, NZ comes off looking like some third rate backwater.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Remember folks
by agrouf on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Remember folks"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

The GDP and all that shit doesn't measure poverty. It's the sum of the dollars of the capital and that of the salaries of the workers, and just that. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Brunei have a high GDP, but it's all in the hand of a few and poverty is a real problem in both those countries, despite the high GDP.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Remember folks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The GDP and all that shit doesn't measure poverty. It's the sum of the dollars of the capital and that of the salaries of the workers, and just that. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Brunei have a high GDP, but it's all in the hand of a few and poverty is a real problem in both those countries, despite the high GDP.


Do you know the difference between GDP and GDP per capita? Saudi Arabia's GDP per-capita is $21,200, which is lower than NZ (based on PPP). But hey, don't allow annoying little 'facts' get in your way of a voice spew of hatred against me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Remember folks
by agrouf on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Remember folks"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

GDP per capita is the GDP divided by the population. What's your point? Greece and Portugal have a lower GDP and GDP per capita than Saudi Arabia and they have less poverty. Maybe because the GDP of saudi arabia is only in the hand of the few rich families?
Anyway, this discussion is degenerating. I was just pointing out that you shouldn't call those who don't believe in free market clueless. They just have different opinion.

Edited 2008-08-23 12:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Remember folks
by tupp on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 09:34 UTC in reply to "Remember folks"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Remember folks, a computer is only a tool to get a job accomplished...

For some, their computer is a lifestyle statement.


People haven't suddenly fallen in love with MacOS X - they've fallen in love with the product called Mac.

This discussion is supposed to concern the geography of Linux popularity, not Mac OSX.


The operating system and hardware are viewed as one in the same - a symbiotic relationship.

Well, a lot of naive Apple fans have such a view. Such a notion is obviously inaccurate.


How many end users actually purchase their computer based on the operating system it runs?

Probably most people. People know the difference between OSs.


the question I see end users ask isn't "does it run Windows" or "does it run MacOS X" - its always, "does it run [name of software]".

I have rarely heard anyone asking either of these very basic questions, because the answer is usually obvious if one has already used the desired software and/or OS.


As for the third world; the third world will eventually drop the 'poor mans' operating system once they have more money.

Is that a reference to Linux as a cheaper, inferior OS? Linux is certainly cheaper than proprietary OSs such as OSX and Windows, but it is definitely not inferior to them.

A more apt reference would portray Linux as the "smart man's" OS.


Just like a customer who starts buying name brand food as soon as they get a pay rise - the same can be said once the third world moves to first world, and want all the trappings of the first world lifestyle.

So, the computer is actually more than just "a tool to get a job accomplished?"

People using Linux are generally not prone to the myth that "switching" to OSX or Windows will improve their lifestyle (nor the perception of their lifestyle).

Linux offers a lot that proprietary OSs don't, and most who try to switch will miss those Linux advantages. Even Microsoft knows this, hence, their original fear of the Linux OLPC with their subsequent takeover of the OLPC's OS.


How is that any different to a person who lives in a cardboard box, has enough money to move out - are they really going to continue to live in a cardboard box when they can buy a better place?

Perhaps because they realize that OSX and Windows are not a "better place" than Linux. Inaccurate analogy.


This fixation on the 'low end market' is eventually going to dry up as that 'low end market' starts merging into the market where people want more than just the 'bare minimum, good enough' solution.

Then someone should tell Microsoft not to bother trying to indoctrinate the "low end markets."

Linux is a robust, world-class OS, and all OSs have plenty of problems. There is just no substance to the portrayal of Linux as a "bare minimum, good enough solution," compared to OSX or Windows.

Edited 2008-08-23 09:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Remember folks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Remember folks, a computer is only a tool to get a job accomplished...

For some, their computer is a lifestyle statement.


For those in the third world - it isn't. It is a means to an end; a tool to make themselves either more efficient at work or a way of educating themselves (and thus improve their lot in life).


People haven't suddenly fallen in love with MacOS X - they've fallen in love with the product called Mac.

This discussion is supposed to concern the geography of Linux popularity, not Mac OSX.


Maybe you can learn what a damn example is before posting off snarky posts - or are you always this rude?

The operating system and hardware are viewed as one in the same - a symbiotic relationship.

Well, a lot of naive Apple fans have such a view. Such a notion is obviously inaccurate.


The end user makes no differentiation between the hardware and software, They see a big magical machine consuming electricity that does stuff for them. Join the real world one day and you'll see what the sheeple do.

How many end users actually purchase their computer based on the operating system it runs?

Probably most people. People know the difference between OSs.


Which then destroys the typical assumption that an end user has no choice in the operating system market; if they did know what an operating system is, and knew how to install it - then people wouldn't care about OEM installs of Linux, they would do it themselves.

the question I see end users ask isn't "does it run Windows" or "does it run MacOS X" - its always, "does it run [name of software]".

I have rarely heard anyone asking either of these very basic questions, because the answer is usually obvious if one has already used the desired software and/or OS.


If the hardware is running a new version of the operating system/hardware combination, they want to make sure that their software can work - refer back to the 'magical box' statement I made previously.

As for the third world; the third world will eventually drop the 'poor mans' operating system once they have more money.

Is that a reference to Linux as a cheaper, inferior OS? Linux is certainly cheaper than proprietary OSs such as OSX and Windows, but it is definitely not inferior to them.


No, I never said that. I said that banking your whole future on being the 'cheap mans operating system' whilst ignoring the high end of town is foolish at best.

A more apt reference would portray Linux as the "smart man's" OS.


Of course Mr Alpha Male, chest better - real men don't eat quiche

Just like a customer who starts buying name brand food as soon as they get a pay rise - the same can be said once the third world moves to first world, and want all the trappings of the first world lifestyle.

So, the computer is actually more than just "a tool to get a job accomplished?"


They'll move up market to what they deem as being the 'thing' which middle class have. A computer gets work done, but when you have more time, more money - your priorities change.

People using Linux are generally not prone to the myth that "switching" to OSX or Windows will improve their lifestyle (nor the perception of their lifestyle).


More alpha male chest beating I see.

Linux offers a lot that proprietary OSs don't, and most who try to switch will miss those Linux advantages. Even Microsoft knows this, hence, their original fear of the Linux OLPC with their subsequent takeover of the OLPC's OS.


And what advantages are these?

How is that any different to a person who lives in a cardboard box, has enough money to move out - are they really going to continue to live in a cardboard box when they can buy a better place?

Perhaps because they realize that OSX and Windows are not a "better place" than Linux. Inaccurate analogy.


So they should stay in a cardboard box in otherwords, "don't raise your expctations, just keep them really low so that I have my ego regular massaged by the number of Linux users".

This fixation on the 'low end market' is eventually going to dry up as that 'low end market' starts merging into the market where people want more than just the 'bare minimum, good enough' solution.

Then someone should tell Microsoft not to bother trying to indoctrinate the "low end markets."

Linux is a robust, world-class OS, and all OSs have plenty of problems. There is just no substance to the portrayal of Linux as a "bare minimum, good enough solution," compared to OSX or Windows.


I've always said they shouldn't waste their time on the low end of town, just as I've said that the 'race to the bottom' in the PC industry is hurting more than it is helping the over all IT industry.

Edited 2008-08-23 11:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Remember folks
by tupp on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Remember folks"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Maybe you can learn what a damn example is before posting off snarky posts - or are you always this rude?

No intention to be rude. The OSX example just seems rather abrupt and appears to be a non sequitur.


The end user makes no differentiation between the hardware and software, They see a big magical machine consuming electricity that does stuff for them. Join the real world one day and you'll see what the sheeple do.

Sounds like a very cynical underestimation of the typical end user.


Of course Mr Alpha Male, chest beater - real men don't eat quiche

I wish that all women would see me that way.


Linux offers a lot that proprietary OSs don't, and most who try to switch will miss those Linux advantages.
And what advantages are these?

Off the top of my head:
- choice (in OS version, configuration, applications, type of UI, etc.);
- instant/speedy boot (with Splashtop, and/or open-source BIOSes, and/or optimized init systems);
- convenient package managers, with thousands of apps and no registration/waiting;
- no cost;
- no DRM;
- no "kill" switches nor artificial restrictions motivated by greed;
- no waiting in line for an inadequate product;
- quick bug fixes;
- no outdated hardware (light-weight versions);
- no regular payments for updates;
- LiveCDs/DVDs, with multisession capability;
- ability to modify the source code;
- cutting edge features, yielded from freedom to experiment;
- speedy installs (Sidux asks about 4 questions and takes 7 minutes;
- etc.


So they should stay in a cardboard box in otherwords, "don't raise your expctations, just keep them really low so that I have my ego regular massaged by the number of Linux users".

No. As I said, the cardboard box analogy is faulty. Linux already has superior, world-class software, and the potential of future Linux software is greater than that of OSX and Windows. Linux expectations are much higher than those of other OSs.


I've always said they shouldn't waste their time on the low end of town, just as I've said that the 'race to the bottom' in the PC industry is hurting more than it is helping the over all IT industry.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Remember folks
by zaine_ridling on Sun 24th Aug 2008 06:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Remember folks"
zaine_ridling Member since:
2007-05-13

No. As I said, the cardboard box analogy is faulty. Linux already has superior, world-class software, and the potential of future Linux software is greater than that of OSX and Windows. Linux expectations are much higher than those of other OSs.


Having switched from 22 years of Microsoft OSes, I can vouch for that. I thought I would use Wine more, but after about a month, I quickly found better Linux equivalents to my favorite old software. And like many folks today, I spend most of my day working with information and services through a browser. There's more extremely good cross-platform and webware/cloud apps -- OpenOffice and Gmail to name two -- than most Windows and OSX users may be aware of.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Remember folks
by google_ninja on Sun 24th Aug 2008 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Remember folks"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05


Of course Mr Alpha Male, chest better - real men don't eat quiche


I swear kaiwai, you are hands down my favorite mac zealot on the web ;)



I was listening to the stack overflow (joel spolsky and jeff atwood) podcast the other day, and joel brought up cognative dissonence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance) as a reason for peoples knee jerk reaction about tech stuff.

I used to be a Linux zealot, and I remember thinking all that same crap about free software being inherently better. I recently switched my dev machine over to ubuntu, since I virtualized my dev environments and the OS the host is running is pretty irrelevant. To be polite, I'll just say that I find it hard to believe that I ever thought the things I thought about free software.

If someone is experiencing any sort of pain due to their computer platform, they have a choice. Either you can believe you have wasted a part of your life which you will never get back on something that is really not worth the effort, or you can believe that the befits you are getting are actually worth the pain. Since the latter doesn't require you to admit you made a pretty dumb mistake, most people go for that, since typically people don't like admitting to themselves they are stupid.

Next weekend I am switching back to vista, because the bizarre bugs, all around instability, and poor performance that I experienced when pushing ubuntu even a bit past normal usage are driving me bananas. But I know if I had been doing this a few years ago, I would have rationalized all of those problems away because open code is the fairy dust that makes things secure, and morally correct, and while I was experiencing these problems NOW, surely they will get fixed if I hang in just a little longer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Remember folks
by tupp on Sun 24th Aug 2008 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Remember folks"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

If someone is experiencing any sort of pain due to their computer platform, they have a choice. Either you can believe you have wasted a part of your life which you will never get back on something that is really not worth the effort, or you can believe that the befits you are getting are actually worth the pain. Since the latter doesn't require you to admit you made a pretty dumb mistake, most people go for that, since typically people don't like admitting to themselves they are stupid.

Ah... so that's why there are so many rabid Mac and Windows zealots. Don't be too hard on the fanboys!


Next weekend I am switching back to vista, because the bizarre bugs, all around instability, and poor performance that I experienced when pushing ubuntu even a bit past normal usage are driving me bananas.

Never used Ubuntu, but I did use Mepis when they briefly employed the Ubuntu package repositories. I agree that there can be bugs in the Ubuntu packages. However, Linux/open-source is not Ubuntu -- it is much, much, MUCH more. Try a more solid distro/project.

Furthermore, Vista might have some bugs/instability. I think I have heard of one (maybe two) problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Remember folks
by google_ninja on Sun 24th Aug 2008 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Remember folks"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Ah... so that's why there are so many rabid Mac and Windows zealots. Don't be too hard on the fanboys!


Don't get me wrong, mac guys do the same thing about the evility of apple and the overpriced hardware, and windows guys do the same thing with the whole "The operating system doesn't really matter, its all about the apps" thing.

The only reason i was talking about linux is because i was talking anecdotally.

Never used Ubuntu, but I did use Mepis when they briefly employed the Ubuntu package repositories. I agree that there can be bugs in the Ubuntu packages. However, Linux/open-source is not Ubuntu -- it is much, much, MUCH more. Try a more solid distro/project.


Regardless, ubuntu is widely considered to be one of, if not the best for desktop use.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Remember folks
by tupp on Sun 24th Aug 2008 20:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Remember folks"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Regardless, ubuntu is widely considered to be one of, if not the best for desktop use.

The majority of Linux users probably don't consider Ubuntu to be the best (or one of the best) desktops, as there are one or two KDE users that might disagree.

Even Mark Shuttleworth uses KDE over Gnome: http://www.itwire.com/content/view/19456/1148/

Reply Score: 2

RE: Remember folks
by tupp on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 09:40 UTC in reply to "Remember folks"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Oops. Sorry. Can't delete this.

Edited 2008-08-23 09:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Remember folks
by Gone fishing on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 10:28 UTC in reply to "Remember folks"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

This fixation on the 'low end market' is eventually going to dry up as that 'low end market' starts merging into the market where people want more than just the 'bare minimum, good enough' solution.


I partially agree but is Linux a low end solution? I think not. Microsoft, however, does have a fixation with low end solutions for the third world. Windows starter edition for e.g. a stripped gutted version of a low end OS (XP home) and I would argue that any version of XP is now low end.

How about Vista Home Basic - hardly a high end OS. However, Ubuntu, Open Suse, Debian, etc, do qualify as serious OSes with all the features any power user could want.

Also I don't think the cost problem will go away Vista Ultimate for example is months of wages for many in the third world and beyond the pockets of for example students.

Possibly the question is which will be the solution of choice a Linux OS or a pirated MS OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Remember folks
by kaiwai on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 11:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Remember folks"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I partially agree but is Linux a low end solution? I think not. Microsoft, however, does have a fixation with low end solutions for the third world. Windows starter edition for e.g. a stripped gutted version of a low end OS (XP home) and I would argue that any version of XP is now low end.


Microsoft has this fixation that if they get the country when they're 'young' and 'under developed' that later on they'll continue to want Microsoft software - in other words, the 'indoctrination effect'. There is a double edge to that - it is assuming that the end user will continue to purchase the product after their standard of living has improved.

How about Vista Home Basic - hardly a high end OS. However, Ubuntu, Open Suse, Debian, etc, do qualify as serious OSes with all the features any power user could want.


True, but as I said - the saviour to Linux shouldn't be focused on the 'low end of town' at the expense of the ones who will pay the bills. Boasting that you have 300million users - and not a single one has the money to purchase your the products you make as a programmer, it doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.

This is the reason why I keep stating that this dream of the 'third world' suddenly becoming a new market for software is a fiction at best; these folk can barely scrape together a few hundred for a computer; do they really have the money to then purchase localised and supported versions of these applications.

Yes, there are free versions - but the issue is this; this fiction that an expanded market can yield improved profits for software companies is a fiction at best.

Also I don't think the cost problem will go away Vista Ultimate for example is months of wages for many in the third world and beyond the pockets of for example students.


Correct - but then again, students in NZ can get low cost loans form the bank, $2000 interest free over draft, $1000 government loan for course related costs etc. etc. So students in the first world can afford to pay the 'premium' - the question is whether the premium can be justified. Windows Vista Ultimate can't be justified when one looks at MacOS X or even a commercial Linux distribution like SLED 10.

Possibly the question is which will be the solution of choice a Linux OS or a pirated MS OS.


Depends on the end user. People will always want Windows because that is what their favourite application run on. That is why this drive for 'cracking down on piracy' is a double edged sword in the end; before students could easily pirate copies of Microsoft software, now students are either going for Mac's with a cheap office suit (look at iWorks '08 for example) or they go with Linux.

Edited 2008-08-23 11:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Remember folks
by Gone fishing on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Remember folks"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Microsoft has this fixation that if they get the country when they're 'young' and 'under developed' that later on they'll continue to want Microsoft software - in other words, the 'indoctrination effect'. There is a double edge to that - it is assuming that the end user will continue to purchase the product after their standard of living has improved.


Agreed that is Microsoft's stratagem however, it may well be that by selling cut down rubbish into the markets it backfires, if users feel they are being exploited other OSes look like a viable alternative and MS looses a bit of its mind share.

'cracking down on piracy' is a double edged sword in the end; before students could easily pirate copies of Microsoft software, now students are either going for Mac's with a cheap office suit (look at iWorks '08 for example) or they go with Linux.


Totally agreed by clamping down on piracy Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot. When pirating XP, or dealing with consequences of an un-patched pirate version becomes too much trouble then people may change to another OS and MS looses a bit more of its mind share.

This is the reason why I keep stating that this dream of the 'third world' suddenly becoming a new market for software is a fiction at best; these folk can barely scrape together a few hundred for a computer; do they really have the money to then purchase localised and supported versions of these applications.


Not sure about this India, China and Russia are developing fast, the West is going into recession, if the emerging middle classes in these counties have used Linux as students etc. why will they not continue to use it when they are affluent? A big Linux mind share in India for example could be very important in the future.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Remember folks
by tweakedenigma on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 14:00 UTC in reply to "Remember folks"
tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27

I think you might be looking at it from the wrong way. I think it is more likely that these countries will build up Linux as they develop and bring it a long with them. I don't think they will just dump a home grown resource just to by the same type of product from someone else.

Reply Score: 4

Not very trustworthy results
by irbis on Sat 23rd Aug 2008 21:29 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

If a high proportion of the searches in a country are for the term Linux, this should also indicate that Linux is popular in that country, or at least that there is a high interest in Linux.

These kind of purely quantitative studies are not very informative if you don't also remember to take into consideration the qualitative aspect of the field studied.

Why do people use Linux as a search word in Google? Because they are active Linux users? Not necessarily. People using the query word Linux might be looking for some very basic introduction to the OS etc. because they don't yet know much about the subject. Active Linux users, on the other hand, would probably use more exact Google query words as Linux could be all too broad a term for them to be useful. If someone wants exact information on how to, say, configure a certain thing in Linux, he is much more likely to use the exact distro name (instead of Linux) he is using in order to find more useful and exact information.

The other results where the regional popularity of various Linux distros is compared according to Google Insights for Search could be more informative. But again, one has to keep in mind that curiosity about a certain subject does not yet mean active use, only interest, and that interest could be based on various things like recent news (both negative and positive).

If Adolf Hitler, SCO or Al Qaeda have been used a lot as Google query words, it doesn't yet mean that they would also be loved and popular among people who searched that information using Google.

Edited 2008-08-23 21:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3