Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 12:00 UTC
In the News Since it's nigh on impossible to produce accurate figures of operating system usage, we have to make do with figures that provide a rough estimate, at best. One such set of statistics are the figures from Net Applications, which tracks the 160 million monthly visitors to its hosted websites. The latest figures from January 2009 have been published, and they show that the rise of Mac OS X continues, as well as that of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Unsurprisingly, Windows 7 did quite well too.
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you lost me at "comaparing figures"
by jabbotts on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 13:30 UTC
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

At best, the figures from webservers present what the browser chooses to report. At worst, they are a complete waste.

When comparing retail only OS, the best you have is what the company chooses to tell you; only Apple knows what osX actual usage is and only Microsoft knows what Windows actual usage is.

- how do you account for activation and ongoing updates to measure actual use of the OS since only Apple and Microsoft know what those figures are.

- how do you account for OS licenses imposed on consumers but replaced before or soon after first boot.

- how do you account for multi-boot systems or does that use get counted under each brand name?

But it gets more complicated; when comparing all OS in the greater software world, you have to separate the various Linux based distributions and BSDs since each one is a separate OS that happens to use similar lego pieces. Red Hat != Mandriva != Debian; they are distinctly different though very interoperable.

- how do you account for freely downloaded installs

- how do you account for freely shared .ISO and disks among friends

- how do you account for multiple distributions on the same machine (I have two on the hardware plus a long list of VMs.. does that mean my three Debian VMs adds three to that count?)

As your using webserver log statistics:

- how do you account for browsers not reporting correct brand, version or OS? (lots of IE only sites work fine with Firefox if FF tells the webserver it's IE)

- how do you account for multiple browsers open on the same system

- how do you account for browsers open across VMs (again, Adobe's incompetence with 64bit Flash means I have to use a win32 VM to see the crappity animations and youtube videos; I'm unwilling to dirty my 64bit install with a 32bit browser)

- how do you account for false reports from proxies and routers along the network path

- how do you account for multiple varous OS running through NAT'd gateways

- how do you account for html browsing wrappers used to get around firewall restrictions

- how do you account for multiple hits since each url request shows as a separate "visit"; a page with three images means four "hits" counted against one user/machine

Then let's expand the discussion a little; are we counting all versions and instances of Windows, osX, BSD, Linux and other more custom kernels? osX gets the Apple servers, desktops and notebooks plus mobile phones plus ipods. Windows gets servers, desktops and mobile phones plus a few embedded devices like car "computers". BSD gets servers, desktops, routers, gateways, switches... Linux gets servers, desktops, routers, gateways, switches, RC radios, car computers, mobile phones... Or are we just cherry-picking a select few usages to insure that the figures tell our pre-decided story?

If the article only compared retail only OS usage statistics then within that comparison, it may be a closer to real estimate but comparing usage statistics from something as untrustworthy as webserver hit logs.

Since accurate figures from any platform are not forthcoming, this is just another fluff piece about how one colour of spoon is somehow better than another colour of spoon.

Reply Score: 8

AbuHassan Member since:
2008-08-26

(again, Adobe's incompetence with 64bit Flash means I have to use a win32 VM to see the crappity animations and youtube videos; I'm unwilling to dirty my 64bit install with a 32bit browser)


I run a pure 64bit Fedora 10 on my March '08 17"MBP. The 64bit Flash 10 plugin from Adobe works perfectly well with 64bit Fireffox 3.0.5.

http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/flashplayer10/libflashplaye...

RE: The Thom's article, I think a slightly paraphrased quote from the genius that was Robert Nesta Marley sums it up nicely.

"You can please some people sometimes, but you can't please all the people all the time"

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Cheers,

If adobe has finally released the 64bit Flash player then I can pull that back off my list of limitations. I'm off to check into that now. Thanks for the head's up.

Cheers and Happy Monday

Reply Parent Score: 3

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

+1 for quoting a quote (correctly) that was used in a dylan song

Reply Parent Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Try using a 64-bit version of gnash or swfdec (I use swfdec) and can see all Youtube-vids and with the lastest version also the HD-ones.

Reply Parent Score: 1