Windows still has the biggest market share on the desktop

Sep 11, 2018 09:29 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 

Despite failing on some devices, like mobile, Microsoft’s Windows continues to be the number one choice on the desktop, with third-party data indicating a market share that’s close to 90 percent.

This means that nearly 9 in 10 PCs out there are running Windows, with the rest of the devices powered by either a Linux distribution or Apple’s own macOS.

Needless to say, Windows has long been the leader on the desktop, and it’s unlikely this is going to change anytime soon, especially considering its share.

It’s not a secret, however, that Microsoft had gone through times when it was severely criticized for its approach on the desktop, especially by Linux fans who considered the world’s number one software giant a fierce enemy.

And at some level, this wasn’t a surprise. Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer himself declared war to Linux, calling it a cancer and making a series of other statements that were supposed to show how advanced Windows really was at that point.

Times have changed, and Microsoft has come to better terms with the open-source world, especially following the last improvements that the company made in Windows 10. Users can now run a series of distros right within Windows 10 as part of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and Microsoft reiterates its love for Linux with every little occasion.

While the criticism isn’t at the same level as it was during the Ballmer era, there still are users considering a potential switch to Linux for various reasons. And one of them is the alleged tracking that Microsoft is accused of running on Windows 10.

Telemetry services have been rather controversial in this operating system, and many described them as a way for Microsoft to spy on its users. While the software giant guaranteed that only anonymous data was collected for things like improving OS performance and fixing crashes, all this criticism was one potential catalyst for more people to switch to Linux.

Linux Mint is one of the preferred Linux distros for former Windows users
Linux Mint is one of the preferred Linux distros for former Windows users

Last month, I asked you whether Linux was still a threat to Windows, and some of the answers I received both to the article and on social media showed that opinions on this are still mixed. Our reader Cerberus, for instance, thinks this isn’t the case.

“Linux will never be a threat to Windows on the desktop, too fragmented, often poor driver support, lacks professional applications like Adobe collection, Cubase Audio, 3D Max, AutoCAD etc. Also gaming is orders of magnitude better on Windows, most AAA games don't get Linux version. Linux rules supercomputers, servers and embedded devices, but on the desktop is a niche product for enthusiasts and specialized use cases such as robotics, self driving cars etc. Windows will continue to dominate the desktop,” they posted.

On the other hand, “The feren OS dev” says the only threat to Windows is actually Microsoft, and switching to Linux is a logical decision for many.

“Microsoft is the only threat to Windows, us Linux OS Makers are just trying to give those who are sick of MS messing Windows up constantly a better OS to just use,” the comment reads.

One of my colleagues believes that switching to Linux can never be a way to go for home users, mostly because of all the advantages that Windows brings, like driver updates, support for gaming, and the overall simplicity that makes it easier to use for everyone.

And yet, I still see many people considering switching to Linux, no matter the reason. So that’s why I’m asking you: is the switch to Linux still worth it? Have you ever considered doing it? And if yes, what brought you back to Windows or what made you stay on Linux?

Let us know what you think in the comment box after the jump.

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Windows 10 was originally supposed to be an OS for all devices
Linux Mint is one of the preferred Linux distros for former Windows users
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