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Linux Desktop Marketshare Just Passed 2 Percent

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We are the 2%

Worldwide Linux marketshare has passed 2% for the first time, according to data from analytics company Net Market Share.

The stat firm’s figure for Linux desktop usage in June 2016 is the highest share they’ve ever reported.

Interestingly, Net Market Share do track Android and Linux separately, something that many similar companies do not.

Penguin fans can take some heart from the figure but, like all stats, the figures are wide open to interpretation and debate.

Rival tracking companies vary in how they track and report Linux desktop marketshare. Net Market Share tracks browser visits to an “exclusive on-demand network of HitsLink Analytics and SharePost clients [which] includes over 40,000 websites, and spans the globe.”

Just 40,000 websites? That isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, is it? Can extrapolated aggregate data for an entire desktop operating system be accurately deduced from visits to a small handful of websites?

How long is a piece of string?

Wikimedia, for example, track visits to just one network of sites, albeit one that includes one of the web’s single most visited sites in Wikipedia! Their tracking data shows the more familiar figure of ‘around’ 1.1% for Linux, based on data ending June 2016.

But head over to W3Counter and things look better for Linux with an estimated 2.48% of worldwide platform share during the month of June 2016.

Fact Is: We’ll Never Really Know Linux Marketshare

Trying to track Linux usage is always going to be fraught. With multiple distributions, kernels and browsers, there’s never a truly clear picture. Whatever point percentile you think Linux may have is largely moot: the OS remains so comparatively small on the desktop that it’s hard to attribute much significance to any rise or dip in values.

But 1%, 2% or 2.48% — Linux is still awesome, no matter how many desktop users actually use it.

Hat-tip to Szilveszter