Linux grows UK PC market share

The open source OS carving out a small, but rapidly growing, share of domestic market, new research has shown.

Linux may have just a small piece of the UK PC market, but that piece is growing, according to the latest figures from market researcher Context.

Based on sales of PCs shipped with a preinstalled operating system (OS) in the UK over the past 18 months through distribution channels, Linux could only claim a 0.1 per cent market share in January 2007.

But Linux's share had grown steadily, by a factor of almost thirty, to 2.8 per cent of sales last month. And this is against of backdrop of almost total Microsoft dominance, where 93 per cent of all PCs sold this way were preloaded with various version of its Windows OS.

Context pointed to the correlation of Linux sales growth with the launch of Microsoft's launch of Vista at the end of 2006.

This was reinforced by a spike from around the 0.5 per cent market share in November 2007 to 1.8 per cent the following month, around the same time Ubuntu launched its version 7.1 desktop OS.

Dell also last year was one of the first major PC makers to start offering Ubuntu preinstalled on its PCs.

Linux reaching a record 2.8 per cent share last month pointed to an increasing appetite for OS alternatives, much like other research has found.

Context market figures were based combined XP, Vista Business and Home OS variant sales against others, including Linux.

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