Linux grows UK PC market share

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.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.