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Windows by the numbers: Windows share shrinks, Linux surges ... wait, Linux?

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According to analytics company Net Applications, Windows accounted for 86.9% of global OS share in April, a decline of 2.3 percentage points. That was the largest loss by Windows since November 2017, when Net Applications made major adjustments to its numbers after purging its data of bogus traffic originating from criminals' "bots."

The decline of Windows overall had a ripple effect, causing individual editions, such as Windows 10, to have similarly large losses. When measured as a portion of all Windows, however, the editions' declines, if present at all, were much less significant.

And because operating system share is zero-sum - when one OS goes down, another has to go up - April saw major advances by two non-Microsoft operating systems. Apple's macOS climbed by eight-tenths of a percentage point, reaching 9.8%, its highest mark since March 2019. And Linux - all distributions - shot up by a remarkable 1.5 points to end April at 2.9%, its highest mark since October 2017 (and just before the Net Applications data revamp).

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Windows 10 market share drops as Ubuntu record...

  • Windows 10 market share drops as Ubuntu record growth

    The market share of Windows 10 declined in April 2020, with Ubuntu, Linux and macOS the top operating systems to benefit from this decline. Windows 7, on the other hand, also declined in the latest report, which makes sense given it no longer receives security patches.

    While the market share of Windows 10 is expected to grow after the Redmond firm retired Windows 10, this isn’t what happened in April 2020 as macOS and Ubuntu registered growth.

    The market share changes could be due to fewer businesses using Windows 10 as some companies have shuttered most of their workplaces indefinitely during the health crisis. As a result, operating systems other than Windows 10 such as Ubuntu are statistically more represented in the market share report.

Windows 10 Bleeds Users While Ubuntu Linux Enjoys An Astonishing

  • Windows 10 Bleeds Users While Ubuntu Linux Enjoys An Astonishing Increase

    How explosive? Ubuntu’s overall share of operating system usage ballooned from 0.27% in March to 1.89% in April. To put that in perspective, that’s an increase of 599 percent.

    The lift for Canonical’s Ubuntu resulted in Linux usage climbing from 1.36 percent to 2.87 percent. And to frame that up against an interesting Apple data point, NetMarketShare measures macOS Catalina — which also gained user share in April — at 4.15 percent.

    One key thing to note: Ubuntu isn’t seeing a 599 percent increase in additional users. That jump represents its increase in overall operating system market share from month to month. But it’s still an astonishing number.

"a big bump"

  • According to NetMarketShare during April we saw a big bump in Linux use - Ubuntu gains big

    It appears that during the Coronavirus lock-down, the Linux market share according to website NetMarketShare has seen quite a large bump.

    While calculating the market share of a desktop operating system is never going to be exactly correct, sites like NetMarketShare are one of the best ways to look at it. According to their stats the Linux share has bumped between around 1.5% and 2% for some time. That changed when they recently put up April's stats, which shows the Linux market overall according to them at 2.87%.

    The biggest winner appears to be Ubuntu when looking over what Linux versions they track. Ubuntu alone seemed to go from 0.27% in March up to 1.89% in April.

Most popular operating systems of 2020: The more things change..

  • Most popular operating systems of 2020: The more things change...

    What's really the most popular operating system? That depends on how you look at them and who's doing the looking. For example, Net Applications shows Windows on top of the desktop operating system mountain with 88.14% of the market. That's not surprising, but Linux -- yes Linux -- seems to have jumped from 1.36% share in March to 2.87% share in April. Has the Linux desktop seen a sudden surge in popularity?

    I doubt it. I'm writing this story on a PC running Linux Mint and I've been a Linux desktop user since Bash, rather than KDE or GNOME, was the Linux desktop interface.

Linux Doubles Market Share

  • Linux Doubles Market Share

    Linux usage more than doubled during April, increasing from a share of 1.36 percent of all desktop operating systems in March to 2.87 percent in April. Much of the increase was seen in Ubuntu.

    Potential reasons put forward for the increase include people working from home so having more freedom to choose their operating environment. Another potential reason is Microsoft ceasing support for Windows 7 at the end of January - our own Windows 10 avoider thought long and hard about moving to Linux as their desktop system before caving in to Windows 10, and we reckon other people might have jumped the other way.

Lunduke's Spin?

  • Is Linux Marketshare Rising? (Spoiler: It's Actually Dropping)

    Multiple Linux and tech news outlets have, this week, reported that Linux marketshare has doubled over the last month – from 1.36% to 2.87%. Linux markeshare doubling! In a single month! That's huge news! … If it's true. Let's dig into the hard numbers to find out, for sure. First, it should be noted that these numbers are all based on the monthly web browser usage reports from To make this easier to analyze, below is the last roughly 5 years of results (one year intervals) for Linux, Windows, and MacOS using NetMarketshare's numbers.

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