Linux OS: Popularity, Features, and Future 

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This article will look at:

  • Overall Market Share
  • Why is Linux Popular
  • Future of Linux

For more information see:

Overall Market Share of Linux

The overall market share of Linux is different depending on what benchmark is being used. According to Net Market Share, Linux has 1.73% of the desktop operating system market. According to W3 Schools, Linux is the operating system responsible for 4.8% of traffic. Lastly, StatCounter places Linux at 1.09% of the desktop OS market share.

Why is Linux so Popular

The popularity of Linux is due to several factors:

Price: Linux has historically been free to use, at least on the consumer side of things. Popular distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint, and Debian all feature free or low cost versions that do not require a license.


Performance/Efficiency: Linux enjoys efficiency and performance improvements compared to Windows in some areas. The following chart will illustrate:


Ubuntu 8.10/x86

Windows Vista/x86

Space Taken by OS

2.2 GB

8.2 GB

Shut Down Time

8.5 Seconds

9.3 Seconds

Small File Transfer: USB to HD

27.7 Seconds

55.8 Seconds

Open Source: perhaps the greatest strength of Linux. All of Linux’s source code is available for use and modification.

What is the Future of Linux?

Linux has a strong future outlook, in my opinion. Due to its open source nature, Linux is still expandable in many markets. In the consumer market, Android and Chrome OS (which are based off of Linux), have become popular in their respective markets, consumer smartphones, and consumer laptops respectively. Video game giant, Valve, is also currently in beta stages with its Steam OS, which is its own Linux Distribution that is free to use and open source. Steam OS will likely be quite popular when it is fully released. In summary, Linux survives because it can adapt.


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