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17 May 2011, 09:49

Linux on the desktop: Europe leads

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Zoom Desktop Linux share by country.
According to a report from the team behind the web site monitoring service Pingdom, Europe leads the way for desktop Linux. The team analysed data collected from web statistics site StatCounter between February and April and published information about the popularity of desktop Linux in different countries.

StatCounter records the browser type and version, country of origin and operating system used to access more than three million web sites. Although browser and operating system versions are easy to fake and the data is derived from access to just three million partner web sites, the figures can at least show certain trends.

The results, when grouped and ordered by region, showed that Europe came in top with 1.14% of desktops running Linux, ahead of South America with 0.88%. In both North America and Oceania 0.72% of desktops run Linux; Africa (0.45%) and Asia (0.34%) bring up the rear.

Over the three month period, the analysis showed that Linux is most popular in Cuba, where 6.33% of visits recorded were made using Linux machines. Venezuela (3.70%) and Uruguay (3.20%) came in at a distant second and third. In sixth place, the biggest Linux-using country in Europe was found to be Macedonia with 2.80%. Germany scored 1.26%, placing it in 19th position, behind Finland (2.31%), Spain (1.89%), France and the Czech Republic (both 1.73%), and Italy (1.54%) – still well above the global mean of 0.76% – the UK is just below the global mean with only 0.73% desktop OS market share (coincidentally the same share as in the US).

StatCounter says these numbers indicate that, given a global internet population of 1.97 billion, there are at least 15 million active desktop Linux users globally and that the number "is probably significantly higher since there is a lot of overlap in these stats with people who use more than one OS and more than one computer".


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