Linux doubles desktop share

Has the Dell effect helped Linux to double it market share over the past year?

Linux has doubled its share of the desktop market over the past year, but has still to reach even 1% of computers according to the latest figures from Net Applications.

The figures, based on monitoring of operating systems used to access more then 40,000 websites, show that 0.81% of computers were running a version of Linux in September 2007, slightly more than double the 0.4% recorded the previous September.

Of course that increase pales when compared to the impact of Vista, now installed on more than 7% of PCs, and to a lesser extent Mac OS X, but will be encouraging to Linux advocates after its market share appeared to have stalled at around 0.4% for much of 2006.

Of course both Vista and OS X enjoy huge advantages over the open source OS, not least huge marketing budgets and pre-installation on computers. But in recent months there have been signs that Linux may enjoy similar benefits, although not on the same scale. This summer, Dell began shipping consumer PCs with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed and HP, the world's biggest computer maker, has said it plans to follow suit.

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