Linked by Tony Steidler-Dennison on Mon 7th Jul 2008 18:18 UTC, submitted by Dale Smoker
Linux While I was trawling through Net Applications' operating system share trend data for the past 24 months, something struck me. June 08 marked a big month for Linux. The OS saw the largest increase in market share for the whole 2 year period - a growth of 0.12%.
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The old marketshare saw.
by Quag7 on Mon 7th Jul 2008 19:05 UTC
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Market share only really matters to me because of the theory that significant market share = more drivers and hardware support, and possibly more commercial software (everyone always mentions Photoshop) releases for Linux.

But I'm wondering if that's even fully necessary to increase market share to get that done. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Linux users somehow organized a kind of Linux user's union, and then applied e-mails, letters, and other kinds of pressure to manufacturers to support Linux.

I wonder if 150,000 letters, say, to Adobe, might make a point. In theory, it should not be impossible to get 150,000 people to send a postal letter to Adobe asking for a Linux version.

Such a union could potentially be used for other projects as well.

In the US, it is pretty well known that broadcasting companies freak out and/or pull the plug over obscenity concerns on the basis of an extremely small minority of letter writers.

I have to wonder whether such pressure could be brought to bear on corporations for things like drivers.

Alternately, maybe, when looking at market share, the wrong question is being asked. Maybe it's not so much about increasing market share, but increasing *market share statistics*, which are calculated in a number of ways, depending on who is releasing the stats.

I also wonder how much market share has to do with the enthusiasm (or lack thereof) of others adopting an OS in question. For example, the Mac's market share has increased notably (congrats Mac users), and I'm wondering how much of this is momentum, and how much of this is something else (if I had to posit a theory, I'd say that from OS X on, geeks and developers have joined the artists and the like because of UNIX).

What effect would a television or mainstream (non-tech mag-related) advert campaign do for Linux?

Lastly, does anyone know of a Linux hardware certification? I'd love to be able to buy products off the shelf that are certified for compatibility/driver availability under Linux. One of the biggest pains in the butt is researching what is and isn't compatible with Linux, and to what degree.

A combination of these three things might make a difference. As much as developers and power users may scoff, an advertisement during the Super Bowl showing a fully blinged Linux desktop in action (doing "iLife type stuff" - music, video, etc.) might really create curiosity about it.

Anyway, I've been using Linux on my desktop for 6 years now and I'm not going anywhere, in any case...Best major change I ever made in how I use computers. Linux is still not for everyone, but I still think it's appropriate for more people than the market share numbers would indicate.

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