Steam Hardware Survey For April 2014, Linux Rises From The Ashes
Here is the latest instalment of Steam's Hardware Survey, as usual we do our monthly thing and compare it and talk about it and make sure you know not to use it as a hard figure.
Linux results for April 2014
Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit 0.25% -0.11%
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64 bit 0.22% +0.22%
Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS 64 bit 0.12% -0.03%
Linux Mint 16 Petra 64 bit 0.09% -0.01%
Linux 3.10 64 bit 0.09% 0.00%
Ubuntu 13.10 0.05% -0.02%
Total: Linux 1.26% +0.06%
Last Month: 1.20%
My thoughts on it
We already know Steam's stats system is a bit odd, sometimes things just don't add up. It's clear Steam is hiding plenty of distro's since the ones they show don't add up to the full figure they give, not even close to it.
It's interesting to see it actually have a positive increase, although it's so low it can be a stat error of course, but it's pleasing to see it even that low.
It will be very interesting to see SteamOS as a distribution in the list and to see how popular it is against the other distros, but we have many months before that happens if they decide to show it there at all.
Things to note
The Other category has gone and that contained a few of the lesser represented Linux distro's like Fedora, Gentoo and Arch for example. It has been reported by a few that Arch may show up in Linux 64bit. Ideally we need Steam to let us see more of them, especially now the stats page has a Linux only section they could do with listing many more distributions in it so that we can get a clearer picture.
Distro-hoppers will mess up the statistics as well, Linux users are far more likely to switch between different distributions than say a Windows user due to how many we have.
Just be aware these results will probably not be that accurate as we don't know how they do their percentage results, they could be rounding up, rounding down or truncating the percentages. So a 0.5% could actually be nearly 0.6% as it could be 0.59% but they could do no rounding and simply truncate it.
Also it won't be every Steam user (it's a survey not a full statistic), so it can be as simple as not actually showing the survey to many Linux people.
Let's face it we know they don't survey 100% of their user base, only a small fraction of it, so bear that in mind as well.
Lastly Linux users typically shy away from any form of DRM, so you can bet there is a large bunch of Linux users who just simply refuse to use Steam.
Final Note: Look at it this way, Steam has around 75 million active users, 1.26% of 75 million is about 945,000 people, nearly a million. What developer wouldn't want to hook into a market that big? We are still under-represented in my eyes.