Sunday, March 29, 2009

Six hardy souls run Linux

In an article on Ars Technica titled "When every student has a laptop, why run computer labs?", the IT department of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, conducted a study and discovered that over 99.9% of their 2007 freshman class came with their own computers. To quote an interesting breakdown from the study:
According to the school's Information Technology & Communication department, 3,117 freshmen enrolled in 2007, and 3,113 of them owned their own computer. Nearly all of the machines were laptops, with 72 percent running Windows and 26 percent running Mac OS X (six hardy souls ran Linux).
The real winner in this is Apple. The real loser in this is Linux. I wonder if David M. Williams for iTWire will call all Linux rejectors dumbasses too?


  1. What these articles don't show is what the actual survey looked like. This is important, because of two factors:

    1) Most people ask "PC vs Mac", not "Windows vs MacOS", and often unintentionally assumed "PC == Windows". So Linux would get counted under Windows unless explicitly written in.

    2) Many Linux users have to keep Windows around for compatibility purposes, especially when they're not grumpy old codgers who can dictate their entire computing world (seems like half the local LUGs are full of 'em). So even those who run Linux often can't run it 100% of the time.

  2. I could agree with your points, not having seen the process of how the facts were gathered, but there's one thing I would give as a counter-argument to your 'undercount' theory, and that's the near-rabid following of the typical Linux user. I've run across too many Linux users that, even if they can't run their boxen 100% of the time with Linux (i.e. dual boot), never-the-less count their systems as Linux systems. The dual-boot nature between Windows and Linux is used to fill in the details.


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