Linux market dwarfs Apple

Summary:That's not the headline IDC chose for its recent study on Linux acceptance. But it could have been.

That's not the headline IDC chose for its recent study on Linux acceptance.

But it could have been.

IDC estimates Linux will have 7% of the desktop market in 2008, up from 3% now. This makes it a "mainstream" operating system, according to IDC.

So does that mean the Macintosh isn't? IDC doesn't say. IDC doesn't have to.

IDC previously estimated the 2008 Linux server market at $9 billion, and now has Linux with $11 billion in servers, and another $10 billion in PCs. In this study the total Linux "ecosystem" market grows almost 26% per year, to $35.7 billion in 2008.

Your mileage will vary, of course. These are guesses, estimates, extrapolations, what I like to call "hockey sticks" because that's what the numbers, when graphed, usually look like. Time, in other words, will tell.

But my question is this. If Linux were a stock, would you buy it? Especially in comparison to that of Apple, whose price-earnings ratio was last sighted somewhere north of 90?

Topics: Operating Systems

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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