posted by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 21st Aug 2008 23:44 UTC
Icon"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.

Pingdom has done a good job of picking interesting categories and nice visual representations to show their results. They have links to the Google Insights for each category. But when I tried the Insight for Search it gives me nothing but a non-descriptive error (maybe that's why it's still in beta).

Observations:

US didn't even make it on the top 10 for world wide Linux interest. But a break down of the different states show a slightly stronger interest near west coast than the central and east coast side. Utah tops the list among the states, followed by California. I could see California right up near top, but Utah on the top was a surprise.

Noteworthy is that the results are normalized by the size of the population. As Pingdom explains:

It might also be worth pointing out that the results are normalized, so the size of each region is removed as a factor. In other words, everything is in proportion to the size of the region (the total number of searches in that region, we assume). That means that larger regions are not favored over small, as would be the case otherwise.

On a global level, the interest in Linux seems to be the strongest in India, Cuba and Russia...

I was (pleasantly) surprised to see that India tops the list on Linux popularity. There is a lot of enthusiasm about Linux in India right now.

Questions:
  1. What effect does the great (fire)wall of China have, when we do such analysis using Google's Insight for Search?
  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).
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