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another thing to take into account is that those companys record every sale as a user. its a lot harder to track linux use since its free to download. also many people buy windows computers (because its kinda hard to get one without it), delete windows and install linux, but yet, no matter what, because the computer came with windows, one point goes to windows, even though the user doesnt use it. also unless the user takes it upon them selves to register them selves, then linux wont even get a point. its not accurate.
Linux's home market share will remain small as long as regular computer customers can't play with and buy a computer with Linux OEM at the store and bring it home. Playing with it would convince them that Linux is not some obscure hard to understand thing; bringing it home means that they wouldn't have to format and install. Formating and installing scares the whatsit out them.
I have an example.
One of my sons is an intelligence specialist with the U. S. Army 82nd Airborne (he started as a private and is now an occifer). He is not a typical computer user. They give him $25,000.00 laptops and push him out of airlines. He works with high-end, sophisticated software that he cannot tell me about.
At his most recent gig, he was doing training in Arizona when wildfires broke out, so his unit provided aerial surveillance of the wildfires for the local fire departments.
He is not a typical computer user.
I was installing Slackware one day a couple of years ago. He came in and asked me what I was doing; I told him.
He said, "I don't mess with the operating system."
Knightron's answer is one part of the explanation. (And well said I must say.) Another rests with the survey. I have seen references to this, or a similar, survey elsewhere. Remember that surveys are a form of statistics, and there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics. Statistics are numbers that can mean anything one wants them to mean.
How was the survey conducted? Comparing sales data; internet questionairre; an interview with Bill Gates?
Who conducted the survey? A market research company; a software reviewer like Distrowatch; Microsoft Corporation?
I do not even look at a survey, unless all of the information is provided. Ignore anything that makes a statement without providing the background information. Who conducts a survey and what they want the numbers to mean are the most important factors of surveys.
The third reason Linux has a small share is because, since Linux distributions give their systems away for free, they do not have advertising budgets. Most people do not know Linux exists. If the general public knew there are operating systems that work better than Microsoft and are free to boot, many more people would use Linux.
The 1% figure is from web server statistics. Basicly, the server checks the browser useragent string, then logs the reported browser.
That's a very good point. And most of those web servers that are reporting those statistics are Linux.
Of course you can see that I'm posting this from my Mac (my third one). My wife has a Mac now, too. But the other 7 systems in the house (two tower servers, a tower workstation, an Acer Travelmate, an HP Mini, and two Sheeva plugs) are all Linux. My two print servers and a media/file server are also Linux under the covers, as is the Linksys router that is allowing me to post this response...
In work, all Desktops and laptops are, of course, Microsoft. But almost all of our "mission critical" apps are on Linux servers. They are considerably cheaper to install and maintain than MS. We have more than 600 Linux servers, but that's only 1-2% of the OS's installed.
But I'm not an evangelist. I tell people that I use a Mac and I have a Linux netbook (they could care less about servers), but I NEVER EVER try to talk them into a Mac. I don't really care what OS they run just as long as I don't have to be their personal support person. To each their own.