Linux vs. Mac on the desktop

Linux vs. Mac on the desktop. Chris Gulker points to a story on about HP's unveiling of its first Linux laptop, the Compaq nx5000.

From the ComputerWorld story:

The Compaq nx5000 was unveiled at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
here during a keynote speech by HP's vice president of Linux, Martin

“This is the year that Linux overtakes the Mac on the desktop, and maybe my laptop will help accelerate that,” Fink said.

Industry research firm IDC in Framingham, Mass., said it believes
that this has already happened. “Linux captured the No. 2 spot as
desktop operating system in 2003,” said IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky in a
recent interview.

I hadn't looked at the OS distribution for users in a while, so I took a look at the numbers for the
last 30 days and confirmed what IDC notes. The following are
proportions of our users' various operating systems relative to each

  • Linux vs. Mac: 3 to 1
  • Linux vs. Solaris: 9.5 to 1
  • Linux vs. FreeBSD: 66 to 1
  • Windows vs. Linux: 16 to 1
  • Windows vs. Mac: 38 to 1
  • Windows vs. AIX, Windows vs. IRIX, Windows vs. HP-UX: 7667 to 1 (roughly, give or take a few hundred)

(Note: RSS readers are not counted in these calculations)

InfoWorld might not be the most typical site since we tend to skew
towards technology early adopters. Frankly, I'm surprised that Linux
has such a wide lead over Mac OS — especially since I personally have
been won over by OS X after using Linux on the desktop off and on for
the past few years. Interesting stuff. [Chad Dickerson]

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