Canonical Announces 12 Million Ubuntu Users, Google Makes a Comeback
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Canonical Announces 12 Million Ubuntu Users, Google Makes a Comeback
by Joe Brockmeier - Apr. 09, 2010Comments (14)
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Lots of Ubuntu news this week with the second beta released for Lucid Lynx, a switch back to Google as the default search provider, and an announcement that Canonical estimates 12 million Ubuntu users around the world. But how do they get those numbers, and why the "flapping" between search providers? It's notoriously difficult to do the counting up for distribution users. Red Hat and Novell can easily estimate the number of paid installs by doing the books every quarter, but how do the community distros measure things up when there's no way to track all the installs? The Fedora and openSUSE projects post their figures and give estimates on the number of users, but it's acknowledged that the numbers are wildly inaccurate and shouldn't be used for much more than speculation on how many users the distros might have. While Fedora and openSUSE openly post the number of unique IPs that they see hitting the update servers, Canonical isn't as open with its figures. So I asked Canonical's Gerry Carr, how exactly are you getting these numbers? According to Carr, pretty much the same way as everyone else -- by measuring the number of unique IPs hittingthe servers for security updates. Carr says they track the numbers as a trend and then boil down a number out of that. He noted that it's not an exact science, and that Canonical is sure that they have at least 12 million users, but it's probably higher than that. Carr declined to break down the numbers into server and desktop installs, though he indicated that Canonical does track the split -- they just don't make the numbers public. Canonical had also made some waves announcing that it would be switching default search providers from Google to Yahoo, but this week the company announced that it would be going back to Google and no real explanation offered. I also asked Carr about the switch, but he declined to give a reason for the switch. My guess would be that Google made a better offer on search revenue, but we don't know. It would be nice to have a bit more transparency from Canonical on these things. Other community focused distros publish the raw numbers and let their contributors (and yes, competitors) know what's going on. Decisions about defaults are made (not just announced) in the open, even if the process isn't democratic. I don't have a complaint with the numbers cited by Canonical -- they're probably underestimatig, if anything. I don't have a beef with switching default search providers -- it's easy enough to switch back to Google (or Yahoo). But it'd be nice if the decison making was a bit more transparent from one of the leading community distros.
yahoo google ubuntu Canonical
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14 Comments
 
by an anonymous user on Apr. 09, 2010seems like linux is a big community.
greetz from xubuntu:D
0 Votes
by El Molito on Apr. 10, 201012 million its a big big number isn't it.
0 Votes
by Rahul Sundaram on Apr. 11, 2010Fedora's stats are published at
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Statistics
This is the transparency that should be expected from any community distributions that quotes any sort of numbers. Otherwise, I could pull a random number, say 20 million Fedora users and just repeat that without providing any information on trends.
If Canonical is tracking server vs desktop stats, what is stopping them from publishing it?
0 Votes
by El Molito on Apr. 11, 2010yes 12 million is really a big number, that shows how big it is.
0 Votes
by GetJef on Apr. 11, 2010Yes, the total number of Ubuntu users MUST exceed 12 million! I believe this to be true because either at work or at home, I know for a fact there are numerous users, but all share the same IP address. And if they're tracking unique IP addresses only, then it seems that only one of the many Ubuntu users at a single IP would be counted. No doubt 12 million users is a conservative figure.
Thanks,
GetJef =)
0 Votes
by Eruaran on Apr. 12, 2010Since Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu etc... share the same repo's would this not mean that Canonical's numbers represent all *buntu's and not just Ubuntu? And of course Canonical's numbers will not take into account the large number of users who use mirrors rather than Ubuntu servers (I use Internode's mirror for example because I get unmetered downloads through Internode).
0 Votes
by an anonymous user on Apr. 12, 2010This is the transparency that should be expected from any community distributions that quotes any sort of numbers.
http://www.edhardytime.com/
0 Votes
by El Molito on Apr. 13, 2010But if you count the number of users who are on DSL who don't have a static IP service along with their line, a single user could get counted more than once. An interesting question is do we have more users behind a single IP (like businesses?) or a single user represented by multiple IPs or do they somehow 'average out' before we call this number conservative.
Am a happy ubuntu user btw:)
-rajeev
0 Votes
by Tom on Apr. 15, 2010Google (at least most of their engineers) are internally and "officially" using Ubuntu. Matter of fact: Google is Canonical's paying customer. They fit/adjust Ubuntu to Google's needs. That should be the reason why Canonical switches back to Google. I think that "team" (specifically Chrome OS) will help a lot to boost Ubuntu's user numbers.
0 Votes
by Tom on Apr. 15, 2010Google (at least most of their engineers) are internally and "officially" using Ubuntu. Matter of fact: Google is Canonical's paying customer. They fit/adjust Ubuntu to Google's needs. That should be the reason why Canonical switches back to Google. I think that "team" (specifically Chrome OS) will help a lot to boost Ubuntu's user numbers.
0 Votes
by nicole on Sep. 02, 2010yes 12 million is really a big number, that shows how big it is.
http://gasfurnaceprices.co.cc/
0 Votes
by an anonymous user on Jan. 18, 2011These numbers would also include mint and all the other distros that build off ubuntu so that number could be on the lean side.
0 Votes
by an anonymous user on Apr. 28, 2011With that many users you would think they could talk Apple into building itunes for Ubuntu.
0 Votes
by an anonymous user on Sep. 26, 2011we don't need your itunes :p
0 Votes
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