Linux big in SA

We all know that Windows is the dominant operating system, around the world. But how popular is Linux?

According to analysts StatCounter, Linux is still minuscule in comparison with the Windows family of operating systems but there are some numbers worth looking at.

According to StatCounter Linux use, globally, makes up 0.77% of the market. Tiny even compared with Mac OS X’s 5.53% at the end of June this year. Windows XP, on the other hand, dominates with 5.57% of the market, followed by Windows Vista at 18.46% and the rapidly rising Windows 7 with just over 17.85%. Since the start of 2010 Windows 7 has increased its share of the market by 10 percentage points.

African shift

Looking at the Africa-specific numbers a few things become clear. The first is that Vista never really gained much traction in this market – it peaked at just over 10% market share – and has already been surpassed by Windows 7. Windows 7 had a 14.28% market share at the end of July.

The second is that Apple’s Mac OS X has far less traction in the African market than elsewhere, with just 1.18% market share.

The third thing is that Linux use in Africa in general is just half of what it is in the global market (0.43%). And presumably most of the use is driven by South Africa.

South African Linux

Drilling further down, to OS usage in South Africa, two things stand out. One is that Windows 7 has already overtaken Windows Vista in the local market. The other is that Linux use in South Africa is well above the global average of 0.8%. At 1.16% Linux use, South African Linux users make up more of the OS market than almost anywhere else in the world. At 1.16% it is not far behind the whole of Europe with 1.25% market share.

Interestingly Finland has a hefty 2.68% market share. Perhaps unsurprising considering it is the birthplace of Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel.

Operating system market share Global Africa South Africa
Windows 7 17.85% 14.28% 19.69%
Mac OS X 5.53% 1.18% 4.23%
Linux 0.77% 0.43% 1.16%

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Linux big in SA