Linux Desktop Market Share Fell 0.88% In August 2020

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Data from Netmarketshare, based on web browser usage, indicate that the Linux desktop market share fell 0.88% to 2.69% in August. Their data is a bit questionable since 0.88% is just 0.01% off what Valve reported as the total Linux market share on their Steam gaming platform. It could be that one fourth of all Linux users lost interest after trying it for a few months. It is also possible that those Linux-users didn't exist in the first place.

written by 林慧 (Wai Lin) 2020-09-04 - last edited 2020-09-05. © CC BY

Linux Desktop OS Market Share 2020-03 - 2020-08.jpg
The Linux desktop market share has seen some large swings this year.

The GNU/Linux desktop/laptop share has seen some interesting swings this year if the data put forth by Netmarketshare is to be believed. Their data show the Linux desktop/laptop operating system market share rising from 1.47% in January 2020 to a top at 3.61% in June. Their August Linux market share figure is 2.69%, down 0.88% since July. That works out to one fourth of all Linux users losing interest in Linux desktop/laptop operating systems in just one month.

A 2.69% Linux desktop market share is still much higher than the 1.47% figure reported by Netmarketshare in January 2020.

Linux market share 2020
According to Steam and Netmarketshare
January February March April
Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS
0.90% 1.47% 0.89% 1.87% 0.86% 1.36% 0.89% 2.87%
May June July August
Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS
0.87% 3.17% 0.88% 3.61% 0.86% 3.57% 0.89% 2.69%

The hardware survey numbers Valve publishes for their Steam game store/launcher have not seen any swings similar to the Netmarketshare data. Their numbers have held steady around 0.88% all year.

Linux distributions are not doing very well in a broader context. Two thirds of all web traffic come from mobile devices. Android accounts for 42.72%, Windows 33.48%, iOS 17.65%, macOS 3.68% and Linux on Desktop/Laptop devices account for a mere 1.07% of the overall market.

(one vote)


Anonymous user #1

7 months ago
Score 0++
Unemployment fell and people used more Windows at work.

Anonymous user #2

4 months ago
Score 0++
They always say this is the year of linux and here we are .... 2020 and still getting your asses kicked lol.

Anonymous user #3

3 months ago
Score 0++

Because Linux focuses on writing 400 program installers instead of things people really need like good email clients (IE. Outlook) and productivity tools that work on Linux. I tried Linux a few times to replace Windows and always just gave up after a few months because I missed Windows software that didn't have a good replacement on the Linux side. Also, things like games that don't work etc just create a headache that isn't worth it when you can just run Windows and be done with all the problems.

Until Linux addresses the software, it's never going to take any market share. I love Linux desktop and think it's so much better than Windows but I don't have the time to deal with all the problems that come with it.

Anonymous user #4

2 months ago
Score 0++

I used Windows pretty much all my life. ~6 years ago switched back to Linux and haven't turned back. I assure you in 2020 there are plenty of decent replacements in Linux for all essential software you would usually use under Windows, a lot of this software comes with built in security features that often Windows apps would try and charge you for. At last don't forget how many apps nowadays offer a web version and in general that the average user basically uses his PC as a bootloader for their web browser.. lol

On the part about the games, I agree - if you like playing various mainstream titles and trying out newly released games you would either need to dual boot or play in a VM assuming you have decent enough and enough hardware. The games that run natively are too few and for the ones that don't you will have to get your hands dirty in the terminal which by what I heard you don't want.

Regardless, I use Linux for my personal machines, work computer and servers.. There are many different variants and many of the mainstream ones are targeting new users by offerring very intuitive experience. The ubuntu flavours per say are so idiot-proof that I install it on my grandparents computer and they have no issues..

Good luck!
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