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2004 Aug 06 13:13

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Re: [vox] Linux No. 2?
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Re: [vox] Linux No. 2?

on Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 11:06:57AM -0700, Bill Kendrick (nbs@sonic.net) wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 10:51:44AM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > Note too:  IDC is talking about "units".  AKA "units shipped".
> <snip>
> > We've got the classic counting problem going on here.
> Exactly.
> I never understood how accurately they can determine how many 'units'
> of Linux are 'shipped', considering it's available freely off the 'net
> from numerous sources.

That's easy:  you define "units" for the purposes of your report.  It's
probably "units reported as shipped with preloaded Linux OS by the
following vendors...".

But you'd have to buy their report and read just what that is.

I suspect they query major vendors (Dell, HP, IBM, etc.) and ask for
counts.  That's going to hit a large portion of the _total_ market,
though the Linux market tends to be served strongly by smaller
"whitebox" vendors, both in desktops _and_ servers.

There's similar problems with counting Windows.  There are a lot of

  - OS preloads.
  - System rebuilds by major enterprises.
  - Employee purchases.
  - Promotional copies.
  - Aftermarket sales.
  - For the latter:  fresh install vs. "upgrade" versions.

Speaking as the guy who's had to "count" things for numerous industries,
just settling on what it is your counting is no simple task.

> And it's not like we 'register' people with some official body
> every time we have a successful install at an installfest...

No.  That's what makes this guessing game so much fun.


Karsten M. Self <karsten@linuxmafia.com>        http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten
    Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.
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