People may actually be migrating to Linux, or at least off of Windows

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2016 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, market share, linux

We've all seen the comments about how Windows 10 has finally convinced people to switch operating systems but today we have numbers which show that some may have been true to their word.  According to Netmarketshare the marketshare of Windows on desktop machines has dropped below 90% for the first time.  Mac OSX holds onto 3.96% of the market but the Other category is up to 8.59%, which is the category that represents the various flavours of Linux; it holds 1.56%, as well as other non-Microsoft OSes.  It may not be the year of Linux but it certainly is not Microsoft's year.  You can read the calm, rational discussion over at Slashdot on this topic, it is guaranteed to provide amusement.

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"Windows 7 is still the king, but it no longer holds the majority. Nine months after Windows 10's release, Windows 7 has finally fallen below 50 percent market share and Windows XP has dropped into single digits. While this is good news for Microsoft, April was actually a poor month for Windows overall, which for the first time owned less than 90 percent of the market, according to the latest figures from Net Applications."

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May 2, 2016 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Windows will always be king so long as they keep their deathgrip on pre-built laptop/desktop OEMs.
Reality is even if people don't like their version of Windows, they aren't going to be downloading disc images onto their computer and converting to Linux. The other option is Apple which is expensive and doesn't have as wide software support as Windows.

Until Ubuntu (or any other distro user friendly enough and business-oriented) gets a marketing budget and really breaks into the pre-built market Windows will be king forever, regardless of how many people complain.

May 3, 2016 | 12:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

STEAMOS is bringing Linux gaming though. For a lot of people it's not about competing directly with Microsoft, but giving them an experience that's GOOD ENOUGH to switch.

Get a bit more market saturation and other programs improve until finally Linux is the way to go. Not overnight of course, but fast forward 10 years and we'll see.

Microsoft's going to have to change their thinking if they want to succeed long term. once Linux gets a little foothold it's just going to take off. STEAMOS is that foothold.

May 3, 2016 | 07:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Steam OS/Linux needs to get only 5% to 10% of the desktop OS market before things become viable for more for Laptop/PC OEMs to begin offering enough Linux PC/Laptop options. System 76, and other Linux OS based Laptop/PC OEMs need to start offering more Laptops options with AMD's APUs and AMD needs to offer speical pricing to attract more Linux OEMs to its APUs and discrete moobile offerings, especially for Laptop graphics on the new Polaris mainstream PC discrete and laptop market APU/discrete mobile GPU market.

I really have better expectations for some Zen based laptop APUs, but AMD needs to offer some of the Linux OS based laptop OEMs some special deals and Linux support to get AMD's APU products into the Linux OS OEM laptop market.

2020 is getting closer and some PC/laptop OEMs should consider getting their products coming with some type one hypervisor functionality out of the PC/laptop BOX and letting the end users install multiple OSs under a type one hypervisor managed Virtual Machine instance. That way users could load/install as many different OSs as their hardware could resonably support!

I REALLY want to be WINTEL free on my next Laptop purchase.

May 3, 2016 | 02:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Reality is some people don't like Windows and simply stop buying pre-built laptop/desktop OEMs with Windows installed on them, why deal with all the bother of an Apple wannabe when you can just buy an Apple, or better yet a cheap Android tablet.

May 2, 2016 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Windows 7 is the new XP, while 8.* and 10 are the new Vistas of crappy UI/Appstore TIFKAM trash renamed to UWP rubbage with more baked-in spyware and more third party lock-out for browsers and other desktop applications once M$ finally force-updates them out of existence.

Gabe's got until 2020 to get Steam OS and the Steam Client ready for the UWP(TIFKAM's apps' new name) as windows 10 is closed off for good!

No matter what M$'s states about being "OPEN" that windows 10 EULA gives M$ the rights to you first born, the kitchen sink, and the family dog. Enjoy your new life as a Universal Windows Peasant(UWP)!

May 2, 2016 | 04:03 PM - Posted by Kusanagi (not verified)

Windows 10 is hardly like Vista. You can at least turn off a majority of the telemetry too. Why are people so paranoid about this? Microsoft has been collecting User Experience data all the way back to XP. They're really working to see how your system handles the OS and make fixes on the fly. No matter how much resources they have, there's no way to fully account for the vastly different builds out in the wild.

May 2, 2016 | 04:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

" You can at least turn off a majority of the telemetry too"
You can't be this stupid, do you honestly believe that?
How ignorant can you be?
There's been so many articles and videos posted showing that switching off every single telemetry option in Windows 10, there are still loads packets being sent off to Microsoft servers.

May 2, 2016 | 05:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You turn off telemetry and the next Forced update turns it back on again, or even adds more telemetry spewing code to the bloat that is windows 10! Don't forget to read that EULA and see just how pawned you will be by clicking Accept to its terms of Indentured servitude. Play an eternal game of turn off the telemetry whack-a-mole once you go the windows 10 way, the EULA makes it SO!

May 3, 2016 | 02:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ignorance is bliss.

May 3, 2016 | 08:44 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You're right! Windows XP was the first NT kernel based OS for home users and Windows 7 was the first NT kernel based 64-bit OS really supported by hardware manufacturers.

Consequently even if some Windows nerds could switch to Linux or BSD systems, they won't lead a general move if no hardware manufacturer follow the trend.

May 2, 2016 | 04:13 PM - Posted by Anymoose (not verified)

'The Year of Linux' = 'The Summer of George'
Sounds good but never quite works out

May 3, 2016 | 09:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No need for a year of Linux just enough market percentage to allow for plenty of Linux OS based PC/laptop options using both Intel's SOCs and AMD's APUs on laptop SKU at least. AMD will always offer the better GPU/Graphics option at a better price that Intel, as Intel reserves it's "Best" graphics for it most costly laptop SKUs.

So Linux needs only 5% to 10% of the "desktop" OS install base to make for a large enough economy of scale for more Laptop SKU options from the Linux OS based laptop OEM's!
At least in the EU, retailers are required to offer Laptop/PC SKUs with no Bundled OS and the driver support for some Linux options is available. That EU OS option also prevents OEM's from NOT providing the Proper settings in the device's UEFI/BIOS to allow for alternative OS choice for the device'e enduser/owner.

Laptop/PC OEMs who factory install Windows 10 are given the "option" of not providing a M$ windows secure boot OFF/Disable switch in the device's UEFI/BIOS for any OEM PC/Laptop the comes with windows 10 pre-installed! So some careful watching of M$'s PC/Laptop OEM market tactics needs to be done!

May 2, 2016 | 04:13 PM - Posted by Unknown Geek (not verified)

Linux numbers are still too low to be considered a mass migration or even a threat to Windows. Hate it or love it Linux is still not made for the average casual user. Windows will be the No1 Desktop OS for a long time unless Linux manages something amazing till then which is unlikely. Linux has its own user base so does Windows. For me Linux is nice as a dual boot option but nothing close to replace Windows as my main OS.
People nowadays buy fewer and fewer prebuilt Desktop PCs. We are at the age of smartphones. Even chromebooks are on the rise replacing Windows machines at least in the Education field. There more options for personal computing in this age than we ever had.

May 2, 2016 | 04:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well if stationary PCs do become obsolete for the masses, then Linux will win in the end.
Windows phone has as much presence in the mobile market as Linux does in the desktop market.

And as you mentioned, Google also has their desktop OS based off linux as well (ChromeOS) which is laptop-oriented.

May 3, 2016 | 02:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

While there maybe more options for personal computing in this age what Microsoft are doing with Windows is making the option of a desktop PC less appealing to people.

May 3, 2016 | 08:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I see no significant interest in switching between Windows and Linux systems since most of game studios develops for video game consoles.

If you need a built-in spyware operating system without comprimising your privacy, you should better play on video game consoles and work on any open source system (Linux or BSD).

May 2, 2016 | 04:25 PM - Posted by Anymouse (not verified)

Oh, how people loved Windows 10 when it first came out.

To be perfectly honest, I loved Windows 7. Windows 8 was a tough upgrade, and I disliked it. Windows 8.1 wasn't bad if you installed Classic Shell or similar.

Windows 10... sucked for me at first. I didn't like a lot of things, and I recall bitching to many friends and online forums that were absolutely in love with what Windows 10 was fixing (I still haven't seen anything).

I got used to it, and so far, it hasn't really prevented me from doing anything I wanted to do. Maybe I am not enough of a power user, but aside from not having Media Center, it lets me do what I want to.

It isn't terribly, by any means. Not terrible enough to switch to an OS that doesn't run my games well, anyways.

May 2, 2016 | 05:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Loving Jeremy's cynicism. Is he the only editor here that handles negative Windows coverage?

May 2, 2016 | 06:36 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Depends on who you ask ... generally seems to be assumed either all of us do or none of us does.

The cynicism stems from over 40 hours a week dealing with a huge international Active Directory infrastructure that in many ways resembles a certain forest in Russia back in the early 1900's.

May 2, 2016 | 08:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"People may actually be migrating to Linux, or at least off of Windows"


Let the Mafiasoft Nazis eat cake!

May 2, 2016 | 08:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Considering that Microsoft's business model has shifted from selling operating systems to distributing malware, it's not surprising that at least a few people look elsewhere.

People moving off of Windows is a good thing for Linux, even if they move to OSX or whatever, as it discourages software devs from tying themselves to just one platform.

May 2, 2016 | 08:56 PM - Posted by -- (not verified)

Windows 10 is grows on me more each day.

Also never had an end user bitch about it.

May 2, 2016 | 09:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Really, you are such a M$ TOOL! You have never had any end user or end users! Go suck your Cortana and Bing cocktail, I'm sure you'll like that crappy result! You Shillistic UWP!

May 2, 2016 | 11:11 PM - Posted by remc86007

Congratulations, you've been called a "UWP" by some nut on the internet. I'm jealous.

May 3, 2016 | 12:52 AM - Posted by -- (not verified)

woooooooooooooo so salty.

I hated win 8 and never ran a single machine on it.. not even 8.1

fired up my 1st win 10 machine.. played around, found everything...spend about 5 mins adjusting the menu around and BAM.. its like a modern day windows 7.

I like it, what can I say.

every machine that leaves my hands is config'd the same way and everyone is pleased..cause they always say oh no win 10, and i tell them look what I did...kinda like 7 right? they say oh yea thats fine..they aren't lost at all and on their way.

zero bitch back.

Linux is a hot mess and will always be a hot mess because its ran and dev'ed by a bunch of angry nerds that can't agree on which way to blow their nose.

Enjoy your lifetime of limited if ANY support of all the latest products.... see you in VR.. or um erhhh yea maybe...for like 2 games..before it crashes.....

but yea who are you fooling you only surf the web anyway.

I wouldn't be shocked at all if all these bashers are posting from windows machines.

May 3, 2016 | 08:20 AM - Posted by Rich (not verified)

Am enjoying all the comments and writing this with Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon edition. I am not a Windows hater (even had a good experience with Vista, 8, 8.1 and really like 10). Just enjoy both operating systems but spending more time in Mint even though I am an Insider and have installed all builds to date.

May 3, 2016 | 01:51 PM - Posted by -- (not verified)

I have no problem with linux, i've run it on my main machine before. I always run into the issue where some software I need for work doesn't have any linux support...and I can't find a suitable open source replacement.

If it fits your needs rock it by all means.

But this windows bitching is beyond silly... stop bitching and go do what you want...and leave everyone else alone as well.

Its like the angry liberal mob mentality, you'll see it my way or i'll spit in your face.

May 3, 2016 | 07:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And you are one TOO, that windows 10 EULA makes it SO!

You damn dirty UWP(Universal Windows Peasant)!

Now go do your evil Lord's bidding! Always two there are; no more, no less...

Embrace the darkness! One does, when they agree to the windows 10 EULA! For it comes from the Dark Side!

May 3, 2016 | 12:27 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

My Windows 8.1 has 833 updates waiting for it. I will not let Microsoft touch my PC. M$ is a nasty company which causes lots of trouble for the users.

Windows 10 could die on you suddenly and you would loose all your files.

Linux is improving every month. Did you know that Google Chrome is the #1 browser?

There is a good chance that there will be no Windows OS in 10 years. Intel is getting out of mobile processors business after loosing 10 billion dollars.

So watch out Windows lovers, Linux is going to wrestle away desktop from Microsoft's clutches. You know Android is already the dominant OS in phones.

My primary OS is Linux and my secondary Os is Linux...

May 3, 2016 | 12:54 AM - Posted by -- (not verified)

oh gosh golly why haven't you wiped that machine clean of its evil windows infestation and gone to the only holy operating system to save the universe from evil


the sanders campaign of the OS.

May 3, 2016 | 09:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

M$ windows 10, and M$, are the Standard Oil Trust of the PC/Laptop OS computing world! At least Apple is not trying to force an illegal vertical market integration of its closed OS ecosystem onto any third party PC/laptop OEMs!

M$ however is forcing an illegal vertical market integration onto the third party "Independently produced" PC/Laptop OEM market and by definition an illegal vertical market integration of the end users/owners of the third party "Independently produced" PC/Laptop OEM produced PC/Laptop product! M$ is only the supplier of the OS part to the third party PC/laptop OEMs and M$ should not be allowed to vertically integrate the third party OEMs into its PC/laptop OS TURST!

May 3, 2016 | 09:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

edit: TURST

May 3, 2016 | 02:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


May 3, 2016 | 10:06 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Like you don't GIVE A FUCK about procreating with your sister and the genetic consequences to the gene pool!

Oh but wait! You alrady have a SMOM! Oh the gene pool is going to be further gimped, how about those webbed feet and hands!

May 3, 2016 | 03:32 AM - Posted by Biz user (not verified)

I've used Windows since 3.1 to 10. Hated Vista and skipped 8.x.

Used also Ubuntu and Mint for years and tried but could not really put to good use many other linux flavour.

Totally dislike Macs and their grip on whatever you try to do.

So as I'm no gamer (no time for that nonsense) and I'm not dev (but have many workers who are) my main problem with Linux is called Photoshop, Corel, ProTools, and many high end software that is simply not in Linux, and I have really tried to make them work, but Wine is what it is.

ReactOS, snif, will never really exist or catch up.

So I'm sticking to Windows because they do update and fix, can run the things I need and I run the open source tools I like, like Libre Office, Thunderbird, etc.

Worst thing is to take a position, but it would be nice to have a choice if there was any, but there isn't. (and don't come to me with Inkscape and else because are not mature)

May 3, 2016 | 06:08 AM - Posted by Jean-Michaël Celerier (not verified)

There is no ProTools but Reaper is coming on Linux, and Bitwig, a solid alternative made by ex-people from Ableton is available too :)

There is no Photoshop or Corel either, but Krita is a nice replacement (better than GIMP imho) :

May 3, 2016 | 08:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Krita has a learning curve, but I have both Krita and GIMP Gimp has a nice feature that will take any selection outline and make it into a path to be exported to a .svg file. Krita has features that Gimp lacks, but so does InkScape with its SVG editing features. Don't forget Blender 3D with its cross OS platform availability also. I do some 2D stuff with Blender and importing SVGs(Many SVGs) and layering them and setting the materals for some nice results, espically with Blender's materal nodes, and other nodes that can make the workflows much eaiser than on some 2d graphics packages without node editors.

Working with Blender's compositing nodes/materal/other nodes on 2d and 3d projcts can really produce some results that even the 2d graphics editors can not produce, especially for lighting and shadow effects on 2d planes like flat svg/path or image planes imported into Blender's 3d editor.

May 5, 2016 | 02:45 AM - Posted by Biz user (not verified)

Tried all. No use, not for professionals. For amateurs is ok.

I like Linux and been waiting for years but is for different stuff, servers, etc.

A non-mainstream platform by definition will no become mainstream, by effect.

May 5, 2016 | 11:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Professional software", and your pockets are empty, but some folks are using the free open source graphics software on plenty of pro projects. Adobe can go back to the mud-bricks and be of more use, because I'm not using that SAAS crap!

May 5, 2016 | 12:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Indeed, beach bucket and shovel should be enough for you with a such creativity... :o)

May 5, 2016 | 12:47 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

There are business uses for Linux, but it does not apply to all as is your case.

There are numerous companies and enterprises which utilize Linux in addition to Unix, Windows and others on servers and infrastructure, up to and including my day job.

May 3, 2016 | 08:46 AM - Posted by scajjr2

getting to the point in our home where switching to Linux (probably Mint) on all our computers except my main gaming rig is looking more like the way I want to go. Have 4 HTPCs used mostly for streaming video & music from our NAS setup and the net (use OTA for TV) and wife has her den/office system doing basically the same.
With Linux being free, more secure, won't matter if I have to change any hardware (had to pay for a Win 10 license when a mobo died),runs the programs we use already (VLC, Firefox, Libre Office works great as a M$ Office alternative), can't really see any advantage to running Windows on those at all anymore.

May 3, 2016 | 11:11 AM - Posted by Whatt Every (not verified)

What a joke, "...Windows on desktop machines has dropped below 90% for the first time. Mac OSX holds onto 3.96%...various flavours of Linux; it holds 1.56%...It may not be the year of Linux but it certainly is not Microsoft's year.", and the "bummer", "People may actually be migrating to Linux, or at least off of Windows", Ha! Ha! Ha!!!

May 3, 2016 | 06:21 PM - Posted by Paul FT (not verified)

Linux, for the time being, can not be considered a Windows replacement. At best, it's a simulator OS that reminds you just how far Windows has come, and how much you want/need it in your life.

May 3, 2016 | 07:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Programmers are tired of programming sh!t with M$ frameworks. Why the hell Microsoft is bringing Bash (and bashism) to Windows? It turns out that Powershell isn't as handy as any POSIX compliant shell...

May 4, 2016 | 09:15 PM - Posted by johnc (not verified)

Doing modern software development is a trainwreck on Windows.

I've been off Windows for 5.5 years now. So no, not everyone needs it, and I don't miss it.

It's the McDonalds of operating systems. I get that people need their comfort food, but...

May 3, 2016 | 06:39 PM - Posted by DaKrawnik

lol@people leaving Windows for Linux. Can't wait for the next update when Windows is back above 90% after those fools see first-hand why Linux has been shite for the last 20 years.

May 3, 2016 | 10:40 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

That's a little different to what I have read.

According to Netmarketshare the marketshare of Windows fell 1.22 points to 89.23 percent in April. Mac OS X, meanwhile, gained 1.43 points to 9.20 percent. Linux slipped 0.22 points to 1.56 percent.

May 4, 2016 | 03:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wow, seeing the angry comments, I have to conclude that there literally are people who hate freedom out there.
Anyway. Mint has been great for me and I have installed Mint and Lubuntu on old PCs with broken XP installs I've been brought.
For the vast majority of people an OS is there to run a browser. And Linux does that just fine. In my experience, it does it better than Windows as Firefox is known for instability on Windows, but has been running great on Linux.
That said, I don't expect the year of Linux desktop to come. People may not hate freedom, but they don't care about it either. So if Windows gets overtaken eventually, it will be by some other, shinier malware.

May 4, 2016 | 04:51 PM - Posted by Kingkookaluke (not verified)

I've never seen so many Kooks posting as I have this week with Jeremy's articles. That's saying something being the King of All the Kookalukes.

May 4, 2016 | 05:55 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

I have a gift!

May 5, 2016 | 11:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You are the biggest NUT(Not King) in that mix of Nuts, with your King of all Kings Crap you keep bloviating on about post after post! Back to the loading dock with you and the rest of the Stretch Cunninghams, lard for brains Numpties!

You will be replaced by ROBOTS soon enough, then it's back to the farm with you turnip cart refugees! Things are getting really post industral over the next few years!

May 6, 2016 | 12:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The leadership at Microsoft has known for some time that Linux is taking over the Operating Systems market world-wide. It is not all at once in a single year but it is happening. Bill Gates sold of his shares of Microsoft. Microsoft has been doing everything from deals to legal and patent bullying to keep the big manufacturers from shipping Linux and keeping the end user from easily booting and replacing Windows. Microsoft's actions in thwarting the easy booting and installing of Linux is a full out confession that consumers with a choice of computer operating systems, Microsoft doesn't believe their product to win out. The real reason Linux will win out though is Linux doesn't suffer from the single supplier problem which is really important to enterprise level businesses especially regarding critical parts of their operations. So there is no company that can pull the rug out from under them, which is not the case with using Windows or Mac OS.

May 23, 2016 | 06:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re refering to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/LInux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called “Linux” distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.

November 23, 2016 | 11:14 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think Chromebook's have somewhat helped Linux as many stats include Chrome OS as Linux desktop. No doubt some Windows users have become fed up with how Microsoft is treating its users. I myself have tried a couple Linux desktop distro's to see how well they handle my hardware. Not married to much in Windows programs so switching to Linux is doable. But I also do not see Linux gaining leaps and bounds away from Windows which still has a significant market share and will continue to do so. However, Ubuntu, Mint and other distro's offer a pretty stable choice away from Windows as well as Chrome OS devices that many who do much of their work in a browser could move too. My recent experience with Mint and Ubuntu on a SkyLake notebook was not stellar in battery life, or stability. But at least all hardware was detected and worked. Just not as well as with Windows 10.

December 17, 2016 | 02:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

November 29, 2018 | 01:36 PM - Posted by Linux-Lover (not verified)

I use Windows 7 and Linux Mint 18.3 operating systems presently at home. I really do not like Windows 10. Windows 10 is actually three things.

First, it's a telemetry gathering platform for Microsoft. Microsoft slurps up huge amounts of data direct from within the operating system core. It helps them make an accurate picture of the user allowing them to monetize them in various ways.

Second, it's designed as a portal to push the user into Microsoft services. Many things within Windows 10 (OneDrive, Groove, Microsoft Store et cetera) all nudge users into these services.

Lastly, Windows 10 is an ad platform. Advertisements are injected into various parts of the system in order to extract money from the user.

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