Year of the Linux Desktop is Coming! … in 2198

Some time ago, I was working with web stats (trying to find out what the most common version of IE was, oddly enough), and I noticed that in the OS stats, windows XP was slowly creeping down. At the time I assumed that it was because of the release of Vista, and the up coming release of windows 7. Yesterday I was looking through my browser history for something else entirely and I saw this, clicked on it in curiosity and noticed that all versions of windows where slowly creeping down.

Now interested, I downloaded all the stats since 2003 and started doing some statistical analysis on them. My goal was simple: forecast the year of the Linux desktop. The idea of “the year of the Linux desktop” is not new, and for those of you who don’t know this is the time in which the Linux community consider themselves to have “won”, particularly over Microsoft. Many thought it would be the year 2000 and later on, it was the year of Vistas release, but none of these dates turned out to be right. With statistics at my side I started plotting the market share of Linux in 5 years time. Surely by then we’d have won! In 2015 my numbers said 6% of computers on the internet would be Linux. That didn’t sound like a winners number, so I moved to 2020. That didn’t either, only 1 percent higher at 7%.

You can down load my forecast spreadsheet here in ether ODS (for the freedom loving) or XLS (for those at work). OS comparison in XLS. OS comparison in ODS

So my next problem was: what constitutes “winning”? A 10% market share? That happens on the 11th of April 2034. A quarter of all machines installed with Linux? August 20th 2148. The last lonely windows machine is finally being turned off on November 24th 2198.

I could

OS graph

OS graph with predictions to 2020

consider 2198 the “year of the Linux desk top” but I’d rather nominate a year that will occur in my lifetime (barring cryogenic freezing that is). So I’m looking forward to a mid April day in about 24 years, which will finally be the year of Linux.

2 Responses to Year of the Linux Desktop is Coming! … in 2198

  1. Fri13 says:

    People should stop talking about “Year of the Linux” as it would happen in the future. It has already happened in 2000-2002. At those times, KDE (now it is community) and GNOME got such versions out what actually helped Linux to be usable on desktops. Application programs were getting features and polishing. Artists were interested to make themes for those and everything started to be in focus. It was GNOME 2.2 release and KDE 3.5 time when Linux on desktops was really “there” for everyone. Mozilla Firefox,, GIMP and many others were ready for normal users.

    Now at 2010, I could say that Linux has 10-15% market share based to amount of installations what I know. In universities Linux is most times installed as dualboot for laptops what are gaved to IT students. In few schools alone, there were gived over 700 laptops every year and all of them had Windows Vista / 7 (now 7) in dualboot with OpenSUSE or Fedora. Now there is over 2600 laptops with Linux and most users use mainly Linux as it is demanded usually by the lessons tests and so on.

    For families and friends, most of them use Linux. Windows is only used by those who bought it just with new computer.
    There are dozens of cases where people have installed Linux by replacing MS OS with it. Old computers starts working like they were in the beginning, even if they were from 2001. No one wants to pay 500-700 euros to buy a cheap computer with Windows 7, if they can get everything with just installing openSUSE or Fedora (or Ubuntu).

    There will always be many users who can not work with computer without Windows. Were they PC gamers or other users who demands software what is only for Windows. Many of them even use Mac with Windows but mostly they are PC users.

    The year of the Linux has already came. There is no such “date” or “market share” what would say “Linux year is here”.

  2. Royce says:

    Oddly, I agree with you (oddly, because you don’t agree with me).
    I don’t know if I made it clear enough, but this is sort of a satirical veiw of how people who do believe in the year in the future look at it. I thought this was obvious when I predicted the year to be in nearly 2 century’s time, when we’ll probably have TCPIP over telepathy or something.