Gaining popularity? Yeah right, says Google

I have been under the impression that GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software have been gaining popularity, especially within the last couple years.  One trip to Google Trends proved me wrong.

The first search I tried was “GNU/Linux”, but since Google Trends didn’t know how to handle the “/” properly, I entered “GNU Linux” instead.  The result was astonishing.

Entering just “Linux” doesn’t give any better results.

Nor does just “GNU”.

This made me wonder: are distributions themselves gaining popularity?  Obviously Ubuntu’s graph would go way up, but what about the more elder, time tested distros?  Debian isn’t doing so well.

Fedora and Red Hat aren’t increasing either. (Blue is Fedora, Red is Red Hat)

At least a stone-age distribution like Yggdrasil can’t loose too many users!

The KDE vs. Gnome debate (with the former obviously being the stronger contender, and the latter only having the popularity Ubuntu gives it) is at a neck and neck downward spiral, though not as sharply as most of the other Free/Open Source Software keywords. (KDE is blue, Gnome is red)

So what about proprietary software companies?  Are they going down too?  It depends on which you are talking about.  Microsoft is slowly but surely going down.

It’s taking its partner in law-defended crime, Novell, down with it.

Many proprietary software companies are increasing, though.  Take Adobe for instance.

Apple is also doing well.

Is this really that big of a problem?  Hopefully not.  Despite what most of us think, Google doesn’t know everything.  While it is an amazing resource, we still have to use our noodles.  In my opinion, there is no way that the popularity of GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software can be decreasing with the amount of activity going on.  KDE is almost done rebuilding itself, Artheros opened up some of its drivers, Firefox set a world record, etc.  I could go on forever.

Let’s keep spreading the word about GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software! (and possibly do some Google searches on the subject as well…)

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 9:20 am  Comments Off  
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