Let's Talk About Linux Market Share

It’s that time of the month again where tons of people obsess over Linux market share. And rightfully so! Metrics like these are important. 2017 has been a huge year for the Linux desktop.

So let’s talk about the that for a moment.

Tech blogs were rocked by preliminary numbers released by NetMarketShare a few days ago putting Linux usage at a staggering 6%. A point ahead of MacOS and nearly doubling over the previous month.

Revising their numbers and running them through “Quality Assurance” (whatever that means) they placed market share at 3.04%. That’s more in line with the desktop Linux numbers we’ve seen in 2017. Down two tenths of a percentage from August, but still, overall, 2017 has been trending towards greater Linux adoption.

Some people say that it’s ChromeOS accounting for the increase in numbers. And I wouldn’t say they’re necessarily wrong about that. But I also think it’s a bit bigger. Anecdotally, I know that there is way more interest in Linux now--even among my non-techy friends.

Either way I think we’re approaching critical mass. We have games. Lots of them. We have productivity software.

And, at least to me, it feels like free and open software becoming the default is an inevitability.

Why do I think it’s an inevitability? For a few reasons; not the least of which is people aren’t stupid. Most everyone understands when they’re getting a raw deal. Sure, you could’ve ‘upgraded’ for free to Windows 10, but I know more and more people who are truly sick of the forced updates and Cortana and privacy invasion in their operating system.

And the savvier user knew not to upgrade to Windows 10, know’s Windows 7’s shelf life is ticking, I mean, I have to use it at work and by god does it feel like an antique. 7’s users gonna have to go somewhere and Linux is the best alternative.

But I also believe that it’s an inevitability because, today, Linux is more accessible than it ever has been. And as it stands, I think that the Linux desktop is mature enough to be a drop-in replacement on most people's computers and they wouldn’t be hampered at all.

I think when we hit 5% market share late next year (and mark my words about that), we will start to see adoption grow at a more rapid pace. I believe 5% will be critical mass for the Linux desktop and while I don’t see us completely dominating the PC world any time soon, the tipping point will have been reached.

But what do you think? Am I just some ridiculous zealot? Will we see the year of the Linux desktop in our lifetimes? Let me know over on Twitter.