With no one vendor having overall control of distributing Linux, precise figures are hard to come by. Red Hat's figures are based on several sources including the number of Linux Journal subscribers and surveys published by such magazines as Dr. Dobbs and UNIX Review.
Commenting on Datapro's 1997 International User Ratings Survey of UNIX and NT, Red Hat suggests that in the last year Linux has climbed from 7th to 4th overall in the UNIX marketplace. Sun Solaris, HP/UX and IBM's AIX lead the pack, although Red Hat believes that Linux may already dominate in some territories, including Germany.
The report describes how the figures were derived and invites submissions from anyone with conflicting or corroborating data.
ZDNet UK News comment:
The issue is not whether Linux will take over the world, but what we can can learn from the obvious success of the Linux development model.