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Linux for desktop market share surpasses 4% for the first time, says Statcounter

The Tux Linux mascot

Statcounter, a website that tracks the market share of web browsers, operating systems, and search engines, is reporting that Linux on the desktop has over 4% market share for the very first time (Statcounter records ChromeOS as a separate operating system despite being based on Linux). Statcounter doesn’t provide any explanation about why the market share has increased but we can speculate what’s going on.

Linux’s march to its 4.03% market share has been a steady process ever since the final months of 2020 when Linux held just 1.53% of desktop market share. One of the biggest contributors to the growth of Linux is likely the stringent hardware requirements of Windows 11.

When Windows 11 launched, computers needed to support TPM 2.0, which many didn’t; users without this hardware had to remain on Windows 10 which was released back in 2015. Additionally, the recently released 24H2 update for Windows 11 further altered the hardware requirements, invalidating even more computers.

Linux at 4 on Statcounter

Unlike Windows 11, Linux distributions don’t impose such severe restrictions on users. While it’s true most of the main Linux distros have discontinued 32-bit support, you can still find some distros that support it; there are no TPM 2.0 or secure boot requirements, though.

Another reason that we could be seeing more people using Linux is that people are more confident with computers nowadays because more people grew up with them. While it may sound scary to some people to install Linux, it’s actually relatively straightforward given the big improvements to installers.

With the shift to online computing and software vendors releasing their apps on Linux, the barrier to entry has been drastically reduced. The Linux kernel also includes support for most hardware out of the box so setting up is typically easy.

The final possible reason for the increase in market share is to do with saving money. Right now, we are all being squeezed by stagnant wages and runaway inflation, and frankly, a lot of people just don’t want to blow their money on a PC upgrade.

By switching to Linux, they can revive a computer that was purchased over the last decade. Reviving an older computer also means that it stays out of a landfill, which is good for the environment.

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