Linux market share as measured by Net Applications has been growing fast this year. From 0.35% in January it increased to 0.42% in February (20% growth) and then jumped to 0.57% in March (35.7% growth) and 0.80% in April (22.8%). Unless it’s a fluke, it seems like Linux is finally starting to gain some momentum.
At the same time, Windows Vista has been gaining about 1% per month since February: 0.18% in January, 0.93% in February, 2.04% in March and 3.02% in April, or roughly 12% per year. Windows XP was released on October 25, 2001, and by the end of 2004 it commanded 65.07% of the market. Even assuming that the adoption was linear, that translates into over 20% per year. In reality, early adoption rates are probably higher, translating into possibly 30% market share for Windows XP by the end of 2002.
I do wish success to Microsoft’s competitors. If more people begin to use software that conforms to open standards and not Microsoft’s proprietary protocols and features, Microsoft-only standards will become marginalized and Microsoft will be forced to use open standards itself in order to inter-operate with others’ products. This will bring more competition and choice to the market, leading to improved quality of software, lower prices and real innovation such as BumpTop, for one small example.