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Re: [vox] Linux No. 2?
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Re: [vox] Linux No. 2?

on Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 01:12:51PM -0700, Ken Bloom (kabloom@ucdavis.edu) wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 12:21:53PM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > on Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 11:06:57AM -0700, Bill Kendrick (nbs@sonic.net) wrote:
> > > On Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 10:51:44AM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > > > Note too:  IDC is talking about "units".  AKA "units shipped".
> > > <snip>
> > > > We've got the classic counting problem going on here.
> > > 
> > > Exactly.
> > > 
> > > I never understood how accurately they can determine how many 'units'
> > > of Linux are 'shipped', considering it's available freely off the 'net
> > > from numerous sources.
> > 
> > That's easy:  you define "units" for the purposes of your report.  It's
> > probably "units reported as shipped with preloaded Linux OS by the
> > following vendors...".
> > 
> > But you'd have to buy their report and read just what that is.
> > 
> > I suspect they query major vendors (Dell, HP, IBM, etc.) and ask for
> > counts.  That's going to hit a large portion of the _total_ market,
> > though the Linux market tends to be served strongly by smaller
> > "whitebox" vendors, both in desktops _and_ servers.
> > 
> > 
> > There's similar problems with counting Windows.  There are a lot of
> > shipments:
> > 
> >   - OS preloads.
> >   - System rebuilds by major enterprises.
> >   - Employee purchases.
> >   - Promotional copies.
> >   - Aftermarket sales.
> >   - For the latter:  fresh install vs. "upgrade" versions.
> > 
> > Speaking as the guy who's had to "count" things for numerous industries,
> > just settling on what it is your counting is no simple task.
> So in general, we're probably doing better than that 6% figure.

Depends on what you mean by "better".

Box vendors will be interested in unit shipments -- the numbers IDC is
giving -- because that's what they sell.

ISVs will be interested in deployments, becaust that's what affects
their base.  Though more specifically, they're interested in deployments
_of their software_ on GNU/Linux systems.

Support consultants and custom developers are more interested in the raw
deployment numbers, in their local area, as this is what drives demand
for their services.

...all of which gets us back to the counting problem.  There's no one
answer, because there are different questions being asked.

Still, in balance, IDC's shipments tally is a pretty good proxy for some
of the other values out there.  Which is where statistical inference
comes in.  Basically:  you use a readily obtainable value with a
predictable relationship to other values to estimate those others.


Karsten M. Self <karsten@linuxmafia.com>        http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten
    Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.
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