How much left for GNU/Linux World domination?

Remember Project BHS? It is an effort I am making to log the evolution of Windows/Linux/Mac/Other market share, via the respective contributions to [[BOINC]] projects.

I have taken a further (and very crude) step towards the estimation of when will the Beast from Redmond fall, by extrapolating the “Number of hosts vs. time” curves to the points of crossing. For that I have fitted the data so far to (very crude, I know) second order polynomials (with [[Xmgrace]]), and calculated the crossing points (with [[GNU Octave]]).

The results can be:

  1. Windows seems to go upwards and Linux/Mac downwards (will never cross)
  2. The crossing point is above 100% or below 0% market share: the extrapolation is unfit (will never cross)
  3. There is a crossing point and lies within 0-100% market share: that’s the World Domintion date!!

I will be posting data for different projects, along with a “confidence” percent. This value corresponds to the fraction of the total time required for Linux/Mac to overcome Windows (according to the present tendency) that is represented in the collected data. If 10-day data suggests that Linux will overcome Windows in 1000 days, then the result is not really very trustable. OTOH, 999-day data suggesting the same is compelling.

An important notice: expected times are not measured from “now”, but from the moment I started collecting data, on Feb 3, 2008 (3 months ago).

The following table illustrates the aforementioned data for some selected projects, with time in days and confidence percent in parenthesis.

Project Linux (%) Mac (%)
Rosetta never never
MalariaControl 831 (11.4) 1142 (8.3)
SETI 4579 (1.9) 3094 (2.8)
Einstein never never
QMC 1839 (4.64)
Predictor 1095 (1.03) never

As an example, the curve fits and corresponding crossing points are given in the following figure, for the case of SETI@Home. You can infer the limited trustability of the predictions from the tiny time extent of the data points used to extrapolate the curves. As time goes by, curves will be more and more trustable, so expect updates to this “project”.


SETI@Home data (click to enlarge)

The software used to process the data is BHS, and can be found at my home page.


  1. Antowan said,

    May 18, 2008 @ 8:00 am

    This is a very interesting project! Thanks for commenting on my predictions for Vista earlier this month. I have to say I was wrong and there is not timeline for me to be right because the new Windows is coming out Q4 2009… I am screwed. :D

  2. isilanes said,

    May 18, 2008 @ 19:00 pm

    Thanks for your kind words!

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