Linux Desktop Market Share Nearly Halved During September 2020

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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.

written by 윤채경 (Yoon Chae-kyung)  2020-10-03 - last edited 2020-10-03. © CC BY

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.

Linux market share 2020
According to Steam and Netmarketshare
January February March April May
Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS
0.90% 1.47% 0.89% 1.87% 0.86% 1.36% 0.89% 2.87% 0.87% 3.17%
June July August September
Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS Steam NMS
0.88% 3.61% 0.86% 3.57% 0.89% 2.69% 0.94% 1.47%

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.

(0 votes)



15 months ago
Score 0++

It seems that there is a typo in the last sentence: ...remains niece...

Maybe it should be nice?


15 months ago
Score 0++

GNU/Linux is very nice but the word I was looking for was "niche", apparently meaning "interesting to, aimed at, or affecting only a small number of people" (Had to look it up to be sure I made the right correction).

Thank you for pointing out that very unfortunate spelling error.
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