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Is the Linux Desktop actually growing?


I use a Linux desktop. According to Google Analytics, 12% of the visitors to my various technology Web sites use Linux. Nevertheless, I know that on the traditional desktop, the vast majority of ordinary users are running Windows, and don’t even get me started on “The Year of the Linux Desktop.” It’s not going to happen. But, and this is interesting, it appears that there is a slight upward trend in desktop Linux use.

First reported by Katherine Noyes on Linux Insider, it turns out that the Web research firm Net Applications’ data show that Linux’s desktop market share has been growing , from a mere 0.97 percent in July, 2011 to a new high of 1.41 percent in January, 2012.

As a Linux lover, this is good news, but it’s also odd news. GNOME, long the desktop interface darling of many Linux desktop users, lost many of its fan with its 3.x revision. Ubuntu, long the most popular Linux desktop, changed to a new interface, Unity, in April 2011 and many people hate the new Unity desktop.

Mint Linux, which recently surged to the top of mind for Linux desktop users, has kept its fans, but now it’s also changing its desktop interface. With its users turning up their noses at GNOME 3.2, it’s now creating its own GNOME 3.x shell: Cinnamon.

In short, these are confusing times for Linux desktop users. So where are these users coming from?

Is the Linux Desktop actually growing? More >

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