Linux may be 3% of the world’s desktops. What happened to Windows?

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How can you argue with these numbers?

20th Century Fox / Aurich Lawson

According to one company’s standard, Linux reached a market share of 3.07%. of the world’s computer systems in June 2023. It is the first known system in more than 30 years, although some numbers in the Statcounter chart are open to other interpretations. Either it’s the year of the Linux desktop or the star of popularity – your call.

As Statcounter explains, its statistics are based on tracking code installed on more than 1.5 million websites worldwide, which captures about 5 billion page views per month. Statcounter says it does not aggregate, weight, or modify its data aside from processing bots and optimizing Google Chrome. Laptops are included in “desktop” because there is no easy way to separate them. And they must be reviewed up to 45 days after publication.

Five years ago, Linux made up 1.69 percent of Statcounter’s June numbers. In the year between June 2022 and 2023, Linux rose steadily from 2.42 to 3.07 percent, jumping 3 percent for the first time between May and June. If you consider Chrome OS as a Linux system, you can add 4.13 percent and reach 7.2 percent.

Looking at the numbers and other places from the current year to June 2023, however, and there is a lot going on. Windows drops from 76.33 percent to 68.23 percent one year later, recovering slightly from the winter/spring rains that dropped to 62.06 percent. I am Microsoft to stop sales in Russia, from March 2022, what is it? What else could explain a decline of more than 14 percent in one year?

That something can be “unknown,” which rises slowly, then jumps and settles at 13 percent, as Windows sees its decline. Tom’s Hardware points out that “Unknowns” are either “newer or older versions of popular OSes,” which they track. Linux isn’t getting on the same quirky curve, but slowly.

Also growing slowly, but firmly, was MacOS, which Statcounter sees growing from 14.64 percent in June 2022 to 21.32 percent a year later. Windows and Mac numbers in June 2022 make up 89.5 percent of desktops, leaving behind Chrome, Linux, and “Unknown” to get the lowest third place.

If you change it US version only, Linux did not hit 3 percent, and in fact, lost a small share, from 2.14 percent to 1.96 percent. MacOS is growing steadily here, from 24 to 34 percent, and Windows has dropped almost the same amount, but from a lower level, to 55 percent. “Unknown” had a slight increase in the focus of the US only but it is still moving upwards in the spring, it seems that it is leaving Microsoft and Linux.

Because we couldn’t help ourselves, we asked GPT-4 to determine when, assuming similar growth from 1991 to 2023, Linux will reach 100 percent market share. GPT-4 told us that, based on linear growth, “which is a great simplification and may not be accurate for the real world,” it can be seen that the growth rate of 0.096 percent per year reaches 100 percent in the year 3033.

It is worth noting that the other two resulted in the answers “January 2121” and “2002.” The year of the Linux Desktop was in the past; it is in the future; it is 3% or 7.2% or not; is international or local; impossible and inevitable. It never ceases to be interesting.

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