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Forget Windows and macOS — Linux market share reaches a new high as users search for an alternative


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New data suggests that Linux now has a 4.03% share in the operating system market, marking a new milestone for the developer-friendly software.

As ever, it’s StatCounter bringing the data to the table via its February 2024 figures, marking a leap of the leap from 3% in just eight months when, previously, that 3% milestone took thirty years to reach.

Elsewhere, the rest of it holds no surprises, as Windows continues to dominate, with MacOS a distant second, and 6% of all operating systems ‘unknown’.

Reports of Linux are on the rise

Will the growth be exponential? Nobody knows. We are quietly thrilled that Linux distributions are having their day - even if that day won’t ever be as momentous as unseating Microsoft from its throne. 

It likely doesn’t need to do that - Linux has always been aimed at development environments, not general use in the home or the office. That said, we still like that an increase in market share is driving the push to get Linux in the hands of broader audiences. 

We have nothing more to add about how Valve's Proton compatibility layer, baked into its Steam client, is bringing people who play video games to Linux, or how the continued maintenance of UI-friendly distributions such as Ubuntu, which I, the writer, quite like after being a lifelong Windows user until last year, and Linux Mint.

While the idea of "holding Linux dear" might make some users wary, choice is nice. Previously. the perception this three-horse race was ‘basically usable at all times’ / ‘Fisher Price walled-off ecosystem financially unfeasible for most’ and ‘weird command line-driven thingy that requires thought’.

There are still Linux distributions out there striking comical levels of fear into the hearts of millions as though they were witchcraft or a Red Scare, but, in spreading the word to those who have no real idea about Linux, you can suggest and recommend the beginner-friendly distributions - I myself want to try the low-spec, lightweight and sleek-looking Zorin OS Lite on an old laptop.

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