[svlug] Linux's "equivalent gross revenue"
Seth David Schoen
schoen at uclink4.berkeley.edu
Wed Aug 5 18:30:42 PDT 1998
Marc MERLIN writes:
> On 3 Aug 1998 13:12:25 -0700, Seth David Schoen <schoen at uclink4.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> >John Conover writes:
> >> I was just kicking around with some of Linux's market numbers. RH
> >> claims that there are 7 million users of Linux, (and rightly qualifies
> >> the claim as only an estimate since it is impossible to know,
> >> precisely.) Also, it is claimed that about half of these are new
> >> installations within the last calendar year.
> >RedHat's estimates are always ridiculously low, because they count only
> >people who buy a CD. The official estimates count only people who buy a
> I haven't found the page where they explain how they came up with that
> estimate, but I think it tries to be more accurate than what you think, and
> definitely takes into account people who copy linux and/or buy one CD and do
> 100 installs.
I disagree (although Harald Alvestrand's estimate is consistent with RedHat's,
and the percentage of Linux installations obtained free is dropping as RedHat's
popularity is rising).
I'd note (as I might have mentioned) that my LUG is burning a CD and sending
it to a student in Hungary who said he had no access to Linux. This exchange
(which will also make Linux available to all of his friends) will never show
up on any list or any assessment of "sales" or "shipments", but it will expand
Linux mindshare in the world.
One of the great mysteries of Linux usage is that there is no way to
know the number of Linux users who download the product by anonymous
FTP. These users range from students and users in developing countries
whose primary interest in Linux is its low cost to advanced
engineering groups who prefer to download these tools to guarantee
that they are using the very latest versions of all the tools and
Total number of UNIX users using Linux plus the number of users
represented by the ratio of non-UNIX users among Red Hat Software's
Low estimates: 1,742,000 + 2,613,000 = 4,355,000
High estimates: 3,015,000 + 7,035,000 = 10,050,000
These numbers of course do not include the users who have downloaded
Linux at no cost, and the Linux users in countries and markets with
whom we do not currently have much contact.
Seth David Schoen L&S '01 (undeclared) / schoen at uclink4.berkeley.edu
Magna dis immortalibus habenda est atque huic ipsi Iovi Statori, antiquissimo
custodi huius urbis, gratia, quod hanc tam taetram, tam horribilem tamque
infestam rei publicae pestem totiens iam effugimus. -- Cicero, in Catilinam I
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