Practical Technology

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Who really has the most Linux users?


First, Red Hat’s claimed the lion’s share of the Linux market, then Novell said Red Hat’s not that much in the lead, so where does the truth lie? It’s a good question. At the recent Red Hat’s Analyst Day, Red Hat Executive VP Paul Cormier, said that Red Hat now represents 75 percent of the paid Linux market, easily beating out other the other Linux distributions such as Novell’s SUSE and Canonical’s Ubuntu.

Impressive, but, Novell’s PR manager Ian Bruce has a different take. In a Novell blog, Bruce wrote, “First, to borrow an analogy from the old car rental business, we should acknowledge that in the Linux market Novell is definitely ‘Avis’ to Red Hat’s ‘Hertz:’ we’re in second place and we try harder.”

Bruce went on to point out that in IDC’s latest report on the Linux market that SUSE Linux has about 28% compared to Red Hat’s 62% of the world’s business Linux market. He also added that while Red Hat’s mainframe Linux marketshare has indeed grown considerably, but that, according to Gartner, “Novell has by far the largest market share, which they estimate at 70 percent.” I’m inclined to agree to the numbers Novell cites. In any case, both agree that Red Hat is number one today. And, that’s quite true… as far it goes.

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