More Pre-installs, More Market Share

On the continued note of discussion about Linux and what it's main source of expansion is, it seems that HP have made a deal with Novell. The intention is to deliver HP computers with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop ( SLED ) to schools and businesses. This is the first time that HP plans to sell pre-installed Linux since 2005, which is a long time in the Linux world. HP Software Product Marketing Manager, Lance Stevens, cites this decision being based on low uptake of Windows Vista and Netbook popularity. The company plans to offer the Compaq dc5850 at $519. This news comes from a link shared to me via Google Reader, the article is in dutch.

This comes just a month after the news that the Windows market share has dropped below 90%, i might wonder if this news might encourage other manufacturers to do the same. So what does this mean for the Linux community. Truth is that most Linux users won't buy this particular PC, but it is targeted at businesses and schools anyway. What it does mean is that, in my opinion, Linux market share is about to hit the 1% mark. And it will continue to head up, as long as hardware manufacturers do this. The advantages of this knock back onto the causes. As more hardware manufacturers decide to pre-install Linux, drivers for Linux will improve and more applications that are important to people will become available ( or better ), and so more hardware manufacturers will pre-install Linux. This is exactly the sort of effect that has been created by Netbooks and their ongoing growth. Linux drivers are at their most compatible, i was greatly surprised a few months back when i installed openSUSE 11.0 Linux onto an Acer Travelmate laptop and didn't need any drivers, special installs or hacks to get anything working. Everything was perfect out of the box, and that is really impressive considering the usual issues with laptop WiFi, Lan and function keys. Added to this, i haven't had any issues with Linux ( openSUSE and Mandriva at least, Ubuntu had some issues with two network cards back then ) on a desktop for years. Now with MadWifi available under GPL v2, it can be integrated into the mainstream kernel, adding more network support. Add to this a whole list of out of tree drivers being cleaned up and new ones being added by the Linux Driver Project, and things are looking great for the future of pre-installed Linux.

So where do these market share stats come from? Here! It's interesting to note that Apple's market share also jumped a percentage point in correlation with the iPhone sales boosts. Interesting considering that you need a Mac to develop for an iPhone huh? I wonder how many Mac minis are going to start gathering dust after the iPhone fad dies down?

EDIT: There are also stats available here ( thanks L4Linux ) which put Linux market share at 2.11%. This stats site has a smaller sampling area than the other one i listed ( 50 million p/m vs 160 million p/m ), but it is still interesting to see.

1 comment:

  1. W3counter says that Linux market share is 2,12%. You should mention w3counter along with your other source.