Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Does Linux Matter to You?

By Katherine Noyes

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Linux now powers 94 percent of the world's top 500 supercomputers and has been widely embraced by governments and enterprises far too numerous to list here, but whose ranks include Google, the U.S. government and Amazon.com.

In the form of Linux-based Android alone, Linux's mobile dominance is equally indisputable.

Accurate desktop statistics are tougher to come by, but current market-share estimates range from 6.44 percent at Wikimedia to 10 percent at O'Reilly to 25.36 percent at The H. Here on Linux Advocates—obviously a self-selected audience—our percentage is about 30 percent.

The data is endlessly arguable, of course, but the point is that Linux is either dominating or making significant inroads in every facet of computing today.

Fully independent

So why do we still hear the tired old “1 percent” figure being trotted out again and again? Why must we still suffer articles proclaiming Linux “dead” on the desktop? Why does the FUD keep on coming?

The answer, of course, is clear: Certain big market players have a lot to lose as Linux gains ground—an awful lot. Not only that, but their reach is wide and their pockets deep.

Here at Linux Advocates, our answer is this site: a place to promote Linux and all free and open source software. An independent site where you can find news and opinion unswayed by hidden corporate “partnerships.” A place where we can all celebrate how far Linux has come already, and help it go even further.

An unmet need

That's why we need your help. Dietrich started this site at his own expense and has worked tirelessly to make it succeed over the past few weeks since it launched. He's brought in contributed articles from top-name writers in the field, he's conducted reader research, and he's created a place that's always filled with fresh content and lively conversation, all free of the corporate bias that tends to afflict so many others.

This, we both believe, is something the Linux community needs.

But we can't keep it up without some funding. Dietrich has already been unemployed for more than a year and would desperately love to turn this passion and talent of his into a thriving and sustainable site.

A six-month goal

It's only been a few weeks since Linux Advocates launched, however, and until we're further along we won't be able to bring in the revenues we eventually hope to.

Will you please help keep this promising site alive? Through our Indiegogo campaign we're hoping to collect funding just to cover the next six months so we can build the site out further and get it standing on its own two “feet,” so to speak.

Any donation will help, no matter how small. Whatever you can give, the reward will be considerable: a fresh, independent place to celebrate and promote Linux.

Thank you so much for your support.

Indiegogo Support Linux Advocates Campaign

-- Katherine Noyes

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  1. I've used Linux since 1993. Using it was back then was often rather difficult, so, yes, Linux means something to me.

    Still, I'd rather see less attention paid to ideological issues, less attention paid to Linux as the Thing That Is Not Windows, and less Linux cheerleading in the Linux media.

    A lot of Linux rants amount to something akin to a victimization disorder. We need to get over that.

    I'd like to see more treatment of Linux as a platform that stands on its own merits for what it is, not for what it is not (not Microsoft, not proprietary.)

    More concisely, significant chunks of the Linux community need to just grow up.

    1. I agree with your point here:

      “I'd like to see more treatment of Linux as a platform that stands on its own merits for what it is, not for what it is not (not Microsoft, not proprietary.)"

      It bothers me when people talk about how Microsoft does X for or with or to Linux. I really believe that that misses the point. We can live never having to deal with Microsoft or Apple so then what? Well, now let's make our platform as amazing as possible.

  2. It's great to see projects like this. I love this kind of thing. I've just checked the stats for RefuGeeks and of the 100 or so thousand hits we get a month 47% are windows and 39% Linux. Great to see the stats so close!

    I'm watching closely... Good luck guys!

  3. Come on, Katherine. You can't do better than that?

    1. You cite supercomputers as 'evidence'. You cite Google, Amazon & Co., because their platforms are built on top of Linux. Do they matter as far as desktop adoption is concerned? No. I'm just surprised you didn't mention that Linux powers the renderwall behind 'The Hobbit'.

    2. You try to deduce Linux's market share by way of stats of Wikimedia, O'Reilly and The H. Here you use the simple trick that in any enumeration the last element is usually seen as the most important. Therefore all attention is on the stats of The H. Unfortunately you forget to mention that both O'Reilly's and The H's audiences are also self-selected. Then there are your little lies, like citing Wikimedia's 6.44% without mentioning that this includes 4.8% of Android, a fact which actually serves to reinforce the 1%-on-the-Desktop claim.