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Microsoft filing drops Linux as threat, keeps Apple, Google

updated 06:25 pm EDT, Thu August 11, 2011

Microsoft at SEC says Linux now a non-factor

Microsoft in the SEC filing for its annual report has removed Linux as a competitor on the desktop. While discussing what it has to compete with in operating systems, the Windows developer has scratched out Linux altogether and has relegated it to a factor only in niches like embedded and servers. Only Apple and Google are left in the category, Wes Miller noted in finding the difference.

The difference reflects reduced expectations for Linux itself. After a brief blip from the earliest netbooks, Linux has returned to niche status and currently doesn't crack one percent of desktop share. Google is very new to desktops and only poses a threat through Chrome OS and a handful of Android-based smartbooks (mobile OS netbooks), but its profile as a company and teamwork with large PC builders like Acer and Samsung may give it an edge.

Linux is an option through Dell, HP, and others but is often deliberately relegated to a handful of non-standard models that most won't see. Canonical's Ubuntu is to date the only major distribution on more mainstream-oriented PCs where Red Hat, SuSE and other releases usually stay in the enterprise.

Apple in the meantime has been continuing to grow and, in Gartner's own predictions, should reach 4.5 percent of the world market with a rise to more than five percent in the next few years.

by MacNN Staff



  1. frankiec

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still waiting...

    I'm still waiting for the Year of the Desktop Linux...


  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft built Linux up for their own ends

    Microsoft only added Linux as a competitor to stave off the courts in the US monopoly trials. Without Microsoft's publicity Linux would have remained even tinier than it is now. Smoke and mirrors, FUD.

  1. DudeMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's about the money!

    Microsoft makes more money off of Linux (cough) Android than it does on its own POS Windows Phone 7!

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fine with me

    I think Ubuntu has come a very VERY long way in maturity as a desktop. However I still don't think it's ripe yet for your average soccer mom user. Myself personally though, I spend 50% of my desktop computing on Linux and 50% on Mac OS X. My only beef with Mac OS X is that it's nowhere near the customization that Linux is.

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