The number of folks running Linux as a client OS has risen dramatically over the past year, according to the latest figures from Net Applications. The market research firm has announced on its website that, "Linux usage share on client devices has surpassed 1% for the first time in our tracking."
Net Applications estimates that Linux now accounts for 1.02% of client systems on the web, compared to 9.73% for Mac OS and 87.9% for Windows. (In case you're wondering, the same data shows Vista has a usage share of just 23.9%.) A year ago, Net Applications pinned Linux's usage share at 0.68%, with Mac OS sitting just below 8% and Windows slightly over 91%.
One percent ain't much, but still—Linux usage share has apparently grown by about 50% over the past 12 months. Much of that growth probably has to do with the emergence of Linux distributions as low-cost alternatives to Windows on netbooks and some pre-built PCs. If you'll recall, Dell started pre-loading Ubuntu Linux on some of its PCs almost two years ago, and it continues to do so (albeit with the older 8.04 release).
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