Linux growth

ted leslie tleslie-RBVUpeUoHUc at
Wed Dec 3 02:12:37 UTC 2008

I always like when i see linux mentioned in articles in the main stream, i.e.

i went and checked out the "net applications" stat collection company,

so they say linux is at 0.83 % and they do claim world wide,
but in another article i read regarding them, they seem to be more US based 
in there data collection, they made reference to gains (in some stats),
based on holidays in US, etc, but I would think there stats are not to
inaccurate, but we know the some linux users (and i count myself one of them for years),
masked the browser id to trick pages into fully thinking it was windows/IE.
but all things considered, the real magic number might be 1% 
of world wide "internet users" use linux? of course factor in people in 
not well off countries, not on internet as often and that might give
linux use % another slight % increaase, but all in all 1% seems to be where we are at now.
Factor in servers, and linux would gain a bit more over the others probably,
but lets just stick with desktop adoption for now at 1%.

so on the page:

you see you can look for the stats based on time period, for example,
2007 average % of linux users is: 0.46%
2008 average (i assume to date) : 0.75%
and present based on the upswing in Nov: 0.83

now if the use between 2007 and present is 0.39% (2007 average - present),
that is 0.39% X 900,000,000(world wide puters) or  3.5M new linux users,

that to me would appear to be the number based on new laptop/notebook and dell preinstalled sales (give or take)?

make we wonder,
is linux use hit a brick wall (with respect to future increase penetration in the market), due to that fact, the geek-set
has fully found it by now?

and if so, if growth is ONLY now coming from the deployment of HW with it installed, which then means this is the
key means to linux adoption going forward.

Well, that brings me up to a beef i have of current, and why i think linux distros have to take step back,
or figure out a new strategy.

I have used ubuntu recently, i used red hat from say 2003-2006  open suse/SLED 2007 and ubuntu 2008 (or something like that),
and all though fiesty impressed me, and i installed heron and ibex for my wife, and on portable,
i didn't really see to much "oh wow" improvement, which in some sence is understandable.
I just installed openSuse11.1 RC1 and i was a bit more impressed with OO 3.0 and a better compiz-fusion coming up by default,
and the other reason i am going back and trying SUSE is that ubuntu doesnt cut it as much for a business desktop with a lot
of OO docs up, and such, and dual monitor set up.
But i like ubuntu for multimedia the best (nothing beats googling for resolving codec shit and stuff like the sheer user base and knowledge base to glean from with ubuntu), and i prefer suse for business desktop.

so having said that, i have installed opensuse11.1 and ibex within last couple weeks,
and I was not impressed with ibex because:
sound didnt work. and flash was flacky. I googled and figured out that the flash app is crap (the default one) and i had to install another, it somehow kills pulse-audio and a set of popular audio cards lead to the screwup. Also, even though its not to bad, you have to fetch a bunch of codec, for pretty common web pages. I also completely locked the machine just turning on some more minor compiz features.
With suse, (it is a RC release), codecs and flash were screwed, and only a google to find a pacman repo, and do all that crap,
got me to where i wanted to be.

anyways, i cant help but think that if getting linux on the HW being shipped is perhaps the only way to further adoption at this point,
and that linux distros seem to be developing for "features" more then "absolutely works out of the box with most set ups" priorities,
i think it might now be a slower growth curve then I want to imagine.
I mean i am glad there is about 10M active desktop users of linux, but if the only way to get more is to have
the HW come with it on it, from Dell, and netbooks, etc, linux has got to do a way better job making sure
the experience works out of the box.
Sure, dell and the netbook corps. can get over these issues, but i am sure they aren't as impressed as they could be,
if a typical install, say a person upgrades there DELL desktop to another more recent release of Ubuntu,
that its just going to for sure work on the basic web browsing multimedia features.

oh, and on open suse, due to tighter patent issues, there codec helper, points you to Fluendo, and then you are
left to figure it out on your own, which is disasterous. with ubunutu, you are warned about legality issues (proprietary comments), but then
you do seem to get what you want.

i guess i am bummed out that we might be stuck at the 1% mark, and are now strictly at the mercy of pre-installed HW
sales, for any more growth in the linux market.
People have been also preaching for years that most people dont install O/S's so i will believe what they say (i guess),
so again seems to me the only way to more people adopting now is get linux like a rock on 99.9% of hardware, screw
compiz and pulse audio , and other contless farting around, and nail the 99% core stuff, and dont move ahead, or release a distro
until it installs 100% perfect on 99.9% of the hardware out there. Thats would also make it a lot easier for HW companies to
offer it as a "option" and not PANIC about pending suppport.


ted leslie <tleslie-RBVUpeUoHUc at>
The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
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