Linux Desktop Market Share Nearly Halved During September 2020
Operating system statistics from NetMarketShare has GNU/Linux market share tumbling from 3.57% in July to 2.69% in August to 1.47% in September 2020. Meanwhile, the Steam Hardware Survey shows a modest +0.05% increase in September.
Linux desktop/laptop market share according to NetMarketShare
It's been a strange year for GNU/Linux on the desktop depending on who's figures you look at. The monthly Steam Hardware Survey numbers have been a huge yawn the entire year. Their numbers have shown a GNU/Linux market share around 0.9% the entirety of 2020 with a small 0.06% increase from August to September.
The desktop market share data from NetMarketShare has been another story. Their data showed a rapid increase from 1.36% in March to 3.61% in July. That increase was a bit puzzling given that the Steam numbers remained flat that entire period. It went downhill from there with a 0.88% decline between July and August. The current NetMarketShare data shows a 1.47% market share, down 1.22% since August. That's less than half as many GNU/Linux users as their data claimed there were July.
It is possible that a whole lot of people tried a GNU/Linux distribution this summer and decided that it wasn't suitable for their needs. It is also possible that the NetMarketShare data don't accurately reflect reality and that those new GNU/Linux users didn't exist to begin with. Make of it what you will.
GNU/Linux remains a niche operating system 37 years after Richard Stallman announced his plan to create a free Unix-like operating system regardless of what numbers you choose to believe.