On another site I write for I was recently called "nothing more than a Linux cheerleader". To that I had to respond with a "You bet I am!" How can you not call me that? I am currently wearing a Ubuntu tee shirt. I have the following tattoos on my right arm:
- Tux penguin
- Ubuntu Logo
- Red hat logo
I will soon be adding to that the Enlightenment logo which will be followed by even more Linux logos. I make no bones about it, I am proud of my operating system. I am proud of the fact that, for the last ten years I have served the Linux community as a voice and cheerleader from the side of the media. Why? The media has always been a fickle beast. Half of the media see themselves as destroyers of those they write about. They love to criticize so to pump up their own egos. The other half of the media vacillate from one side of the fence to another. Not me. My stance on Linux has only grown more fire over the years.
Does that mean I am not critical? No. When necessary I am. I am not blind. I have come across my fair share of worthless open source software. But for the most part Linux has always worked for me - not against me.
But this isn't about me...it's really about YOU.
How many times have you read anything about "market share" and just rolled your eyes? I can't even tell you how many times this has happened to me. Microsoft (and members of the media inside of MS's pockets) is really keen on shoving it down the throats of the open source community that they own the market. I have a different view of this.
Microsoft owns the consumer market. This is simple math. Proportionally, very few users pay for Linux. Because of this it's impossible to keep track of the numbers. How do I count for only 1 user when I download a single ISO and load it on five PCs and then hand that disk over to someone else who will do the same?
If I had to make a guess I would say the realistic view of per-machine installations is probably more equal than not. I am staring five machines right now that all have Linux. In my household there are 7 machines running Linux, two machines running OS X, and one running Vista (only because I have to cover Vista for another site.) I bet if we polled the whole of Linux.com the numbers would be staggering how many Linux installations there are.
To that end there needs to be some sort of system put into place to count Linux machines. I don't know the answer to this but it could look something like this:
Every time Linux is installed the final step is for the OS to send a simple packet to a centralized machine that keeps track...say the Linux counter. Instead of needing user intervention just have it happen automatically. I'm sure every distribution would be more than happy to implement this because it would give a more realistic view of what is happening with regards to installation numbers.
What do you say? Is this possible? Should this be implemented? I say GO TEAM GO! But then I am nothing more than a Linux cheerleader. ;-)