WEB HOST OPERATING SYSTEMS

25. May 2008, 16:36 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

I read a comment not too long ago in a piece about Microsoft and the Web that claimed Windows had a majority of the server market. Well, that is true - sorta, kinda, if you read the statistics in a certain way.

Generate Canada ULC that compiles technical information on web sites released some data on the operating systems in use by its sampling over the first quarter of 2008. The results are interesting.

  • Windows - 36%
  • Linux - 19%
  • Unix - 18%
  • FreeBSD - 11%
  • RedHat - 7%
  • Debian - 4%
  • BSD - 3%
  • Solaris - 2%

On the face of it, Microsoft is right, they have the majority share of the market. But wait - RedHat and Debian are both Linux distributions, and FreeBSD, BSD and Solaris are all Unix variants. Given that lets take a closer look at those statistics.

  • Windows - 36%
  • Linux - 30%
  • Unix - 34%

Microsoft is still the majority by generic type, though the margin is now very slim. If we consider Microsoft versus the remainder of the market then the marketing use of statistics becomes clear.

  • Windows - 36%
  • POSIX-like OS - 64%

That paints a very different picture, not surprisingly, that any claim by Microsoft to a majority of the web server market is at best specious if not implicitly dishonest.

I still have a small book one of my university professors gave me in my senior year. Aside for any sentimental value, I keep it to remind me to read carefully any claims made based on numbers. The title of the book is “How To Lie With Statistics”.

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Categories: ,
Keywords: microsoft,linux,unix,solaris,freebsd,bsd,debian,redhat,statistics,web host,server

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