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The Linux market share appears to continue rising with Ubuntu winning

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Take it with your usual dose of salt and scepticism but when looking over the Linux market share, at least on NetMarketShare it appears to continue rising.

While the latest from the Steam Survey shows a dip during June, the opposite is true here. We reported last month that NetMarketShare was showing a clear upwards trend. The sort of thing you can easily write-off across one or two months but now three months in a row it gives it a bit more credit.

Going from 1.36% in March 2020, up to 2.87% in April, 3.17% in May and now June's figure is in with 3.61%. Looking over past figures from them, this might be the first time we've ever seen it rise three months in a row without a break. This is not counting Chrome OS either, like some other stats end up bundling with Linux. Chrome OS has stayed around ~0.40%, with Ubuntu over this period rising from 0.27% in March to 2.57% in June which is crazy.

Still not clear what's driving this big uptick in Ubuntu users on their statistics and we can speculate until the end of days, still interesting to see though and quite possibly as a result of people working from home during the COVID19 outbreak.

What are your thoughts?

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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Alm888 2 Jul, 2020
QuoteStill not clear what's driving this big uptick in Ubuntu users on their statistics…
Hmm… WSL2?
vipor29 2 Jul, 2020
it could be because people finally got sick of windows and needed something fresh and less intrusive.ubuntu is a great start.let's see this at the end of the year and if this trend keeps going up then i think we may be seeing the linux desktop surging can only hope.
Spyker 2 Jul, 2020
Quoting: Alm888
QuoteStill not clear what's driving this big uptick in Ubuntu users on their statistics…
Hmm… WSL2?
This is netMarketShare, I can't believe people would use WSL2 to surf the web when they simply can do it from windows.
Naib 2 Jul, 2020
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Really good trend data.
personally I think there are three key parts

1) shutdown and furlough of staff.
Since large sections of the world economy has been on shutdown, corporate machines will not be connecting to the internet and thus won't be logged. This will "lower" the number of windows machines being counted.

Where I work, 70% have been furlough'ed and the rest of us have been working from home. I have been going into the office one day a week but from home my work laptop (win10) has been on and equally my linux desktop ... so what gets counted ;)

2) Since january there have been some serious windows mistakes, not just security flaws but systematic changes which would stop things working. This may be enough of a push for people to try linux

3) general adoption is creeping up. Think about the "spread" of linux, it will be a sigmoid like Corona... we are slowly eating into the incumbent
Alm888 2 Jul, 2020
Quoting: SpykerThis is netMarketShare, I can't believe people would use WSL2 to surf the web when they simply can do it from windows.
People are learning about Ubuntu through WSL2. :)
Hori 2 Jul, 2020
My take on this:

I think COVID-19 did indeed influence this, but I don't think it would be nearly that big. There's certainly something else here.
But who knows... maybe covid really did have a bigger impact than I think. After all, a lot of people had/have a lot of free time and Linux is being popularised by many sources on the internet, quite a few specifically recommending people to give it to be tried while quarantined.
People are actually aware of Linux nowadays, and their perception of Linux is shifting (and has been for some time) away from the server/geek "thing" towards a viable OS, or at least a smaller yet still usable OS with less features (apps). It's also worth noting that more laptops now ship with Linux preinstalled than they used to a few years ago.

And then there's Steam Play. A lot of gamers considered Linux but stayed away from it simply due to compatibility concerns. But now we've reach a point where if you want to play a game, the expectation is that it will work but sometimes it won't, when not long ago it was almost certain that it wouldn't work and there was a small chance you could make it work with a lot of tweaks and configurations.
As Proton improves, I expect Linux to keep growing with it.

And then there's also Raspberry Pi. While it isn't a big thing at all, yet, the latest model (RPI 4) is actually usable as a (low powered) every-day desktop! Starting from here I expect this scene to grow as these devices are inexpensive and are reaching the point where they have enough power to be sufficient for the average person. Why buy an expensive (even the cheap ones) desktop or laptop when you can get an SBC for a fraction of the price? You can watch movies, YT, browse and edit documents just fine on it.
In this category, Linux has an advantage over Windows, as it is an older and more successful player on this field.
This is also going to benefit from the (slow) shift towards ARM and the (slow) decline of x86 (for the average consumer PCs, and especially laptops)
But yeah, this is more like a (near)future thing, and is just an assumption of mine. Maybe ARM will fail on desktops, maybe SBCs won't take off, who knows.

Final words: Even with all I've said, I still can't explain why there's such a big increase. Even IF I'm right, I don't think it's near enough for more than doubling our numbers.

Quoting: Spyker
Quoting: Alm888
QuoteStill not clear what's driving this big uptick in Ubuntu users on their statistics…
Hmm… WSL2?
This is netMarketShare, I can't believe people would use WSL2 to surf the web when they simply can do it from windows.
Exactly that. I don't expect there to be more than a handful of people who wanted to do just that and just for the fun of it, to see if it works. I really can't imagine any real use case for browsing the web through WSL2.

Last edited by Hori on 2 July 2020 at 12:40 pm UTC
Mohandevir 2 Jul, 2020
Could we be witnessing the impact of the Lenovo/Dell/System76/etc... developer strategy? It's all based on Ubuntu and developers are not having much of an impact on the gamers count, from my understanding. They probably work from home, atm, and have access to their "workstation" every hour of the day... Just a guess and I'm not sure it makes total sense either.

Last edited by Mohandevir on 2 July 2020 at 1:09 pm UTC
Uncleivan 2 Jul, 2020
FUCK Microsoft
Dribbleondo 2 Jul, 2020
Quoting: UncleivanFUCK Microsoft

I was expecting more nuance, but hey, I don't kinkshame.
lejimster 2 Jul, 2020
I'm so glad I don't have to deal with Windows anymore. I was reading they changed the ability to block updates (technically you can pause them,but sounds annoying as hell). It seems like M$ haven't learned anything. The beauty of Linux is you're in control. I update my systems when I want. It doesn't start updating when I'm gaming or doing something critical. I really would hate how the windows update service would hog a ton of resources doing stuff in the background!

So yeah it's nice to see Linux user uptick, although I think the explanation of people just not logged in to their windows work machines makes a lot of sense. But it might also be a truer indication of what people are using at home, when not forced into the M$ ecosystem at work.
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