Desktop Linux marketshare hit an all-time high of 6.91% in September 2017, according to preliminary data from web analytics firm NetMarketShare.
The figure is impressive but is also highly irregular and out of sync with the reported Linux marketshare from other companies like StatCounter and Wikimedia.
Interestingly, if this figure is in any way accurate, it would mean that Linux marketshare has not only pretty much doubled in the space of 30 days but has overtaken macOS in the process!
This stat is (sadly) unlikely to be accurate
These figures are from one company based on a small sample size and, as we’ve mentioned many times before, are out of sync with other analytics reporting companies.
The stats collected and presented by analytics companies are always open to interpretation, debate and potential errors.
NetMarketShare gleans its data based on visits to a tiny sample of just 40,000 websites globally.
While the company does exclude Android/Linux from its desktop rankings they do combine ChromeOS/Linux with GNU/Linux, leading some to attribute the rise in Linux marketshare to Google’s Chrome OS.
Netmarketshare also stress that the graph showing Linux’s big leap is based on “preview data that has NOT been reviewed by Quality Assurance”. That process looks for, among other things, “major inexplicable statistical variations”.
Which I’d wager this counts as!
That said the rise does follow a period of sustained growth for Linux desktops this year as monitored by this firm. Last month’s stats surpass the previous peak Linux marketshare reported by the company which put Linux usage at 3.37% for August 2017.
While Linux fans may be keen to put stock in these figures it’s super unlikely that Linux marketshare almost doubled in the space of 30 days when, for the best part of a decade, it has only made small incremental gains at best.