Where Are We Now?

In March 2005, the Computer Industry Almanac (C-I-A) estimated the number of personal computers at 820 million, growing to 1 billion until 2007. See http://www.c-i-a.com/pr0305.htm for the state of play in 2004.

According to Dan Kuznetsky of IDC, "OS X has a 2.7 percent market share of client operating environments worldwide. [GNU/]Linux's share is 2.6 percent, and Microsoft holds the rest of the pie.", see MacNewsWorld.

Scenario A:

Let's assume the web polls draw a nearly complete picture: GNOME has a 30% market share among GNU/Linux desktops. Then our position is now:

 0.026 x 0.3 = 0.0078

or 0.78 percent global market share, with

 0.0078 x 820 M = 6,396,000

GNOME desktops installed worldwide.

Scenario B:

Let's assume the web polls underestimates our market share, and GNOME has 50% market share among GNU/Linux desktops. Then, our position is now:

 0.026 x 0.5 = 0.013

or 1.3 percent global market share, with

 0.013 x 820 M = 10,660,000

GNOME desktops installed worldwide.

Ideas about how to more accurately estimate number of GNOME users are being discussed on CountingUsers.

What Must We Do?

GNOME desktops to be installed for 10x10


PC's in-use (Mil)

GNOME in-use (Mil)

New users (Mil)




























To reach 10% global market share until the end of 2010, we need to grow with an average annual rate of 50% in scenario B.

Ideas on how to find out what our current market share/number of users are can be found on the CountingUsers page.

How We Will Get There

Note: this will be cleaned up every once in a while to focus on things GNOME can do.

  • DavidNielsen : I would like to propose that we follow the excellent example set forth by the Firefox users and setup some sort of momentum user portal, let's for sake of argument call it SpreadGNOME.org, here we could list users who were willing to, for free, demonstrate GNOME at local schools, companies, community centers and the likes. The site could also provide useful documents for these presenters, news about upcoming GNOME features, Interviews, Press releases, in short give GNOME a human face. I presume one could use the GnomeLiveCd to do the demonstrations to get uniform look and feel for the actual GNOME desktop.

    • ClausSchwarm: I agree. The wiki is insufficient for collecting a large number of similar data. Potential use cases:

      • Nations, and their language: Do we have a local user group for each? What percentage of people do these cover?
      • Events: Where do we need to be present to showcase GNOME to potential users?
      • Universities: Do we have representatives in each for presentations, distributing GNU/Linux CD's, etc? What percentage of universities do they cover?
      • Schools: Where do we have representatives for presentations, distributing GNU/Linux CD's, local smalltalk etc?
      • Companies: Which companies deliver staff teaching, and support for GNOME based distributions, and in-house development using the GNOME dev. platform?
      While Nations, and Events can be kept up-to-date by a team, Universities, schools, and companies can not. So we need a sort of automatic 'delete' if its users didn't log in for half a year or so.

      Anyone able to check if CivicSpace could be used to deliver the functionality?

  • AlanHorkan: Cross platform applications could help users to discover Free and Open Source Software. This would make them part of the Gnome marketshare and perhaps encourage them to use more Free Software and maybe even consider changing Operating System. It could also help reinforce Open Standards. What applications would be the act as the best showcase of what Gnome has to offer and most help us gain users?

  • AlanHorkan: A switcher application to help users package their settings from other systems and migrate to Gnome. Similar applications already exist to help users switch to Mac OS, and some commercial tools for businesses migrating to GNU/Linux already exist. These switcher applications help users package up their Desktop wallpaper, their address books and other personal information and bring it with them.

  • I really agree with this: http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=316654#c15

    • Paul Sladen wrote:
      On the Ubuntu lists, we've heard tales of how the incredible selection of
      xscreen-savers have caused people to switch to a Free desktop.  The WOW factor
      has caught their attention and the follow question has been "how get I get that
      too?";  in turn they discover Free software and in turn GNOME.
      This indirect-effect is significant, it is something unique that a user wants,
      but that cannot get with their present GUI, it sparks interest.  Motivation
      The next step is getting people hooked on a new toy.  Watch somebody (a
      co-worker or family member) getting a new computer---the first thing they will
      do is start customising the options they have to make it their own personal
      The immediate they tend to choose to customise are ones that don't affect the
      actual usability of the system;  they are (a) the Desktop background, and (b)
      their personalised screensaver---and there are plenty of screen-savers to
      choose in GNU/Linux!  Watch... this will probably keep them occupied for an hour or
      This hour is important, it is a period of goal-based learning.  They user
      desires prettiness and they are achieving their satisfaction by pressing
      buttons,  using dialogues and being rewarded by beautiful images.  Secretly
      (and unbeknown to the user) they are learning how to use the Gtk+ widget set,
      how focus works, how buttons are marked with underscores for shortcuts, what
      happens when they press 'Tab'...
      That is their finest hour.  As master of Gnome-screensavers, you are in control
      of about 45minutes of the first 60minutes that a new user would _like_ to spend
      using GNOME.
      It is your freedom to make this experience as rewarding, interactive and
      enjoyable as possible for the (new) user.
      The first impression is the one that they will remember, the one that they take
      away with them and the one which they will tell other people.
      Please allow the user to play for a full 45minutes and not get bored after
      5minutes because there is nothing else to play with.
  • AndersFeder: The GNOME development community (and Open Source communities in general) have a team spirit that the Windows development community will never be able to reproduce, due to its intransparency. From the deepest bits of the kernel to the most splendid dynamics of end-user applications, developers are generally very open to new ideas and technology that will increase the overall value of the Free Desktop. We are able to form collaborations that span many more layers and segments of the desktop than any Windows-based technology will ever do. This, in my opinion, is the major strength that the GNOME community must leverage if it is to compete with Microsoft's billion dollar research efforts for the Windows platform.

    • JoachimNoreiko: regretfully, I disagree. There are many parts of GNOME that are stuck in legacy issues that won't budge because it's impossible to reach consensus and make decisions.

      • AndersFeder: You're probably right, that's the flipside of decentralized development. But I think you can find both sides in the community.

  • JohnPeterson: At my university "Linux lab," where I first became acquainted with KDE and later GNOME, I watched first hand this "WOW factor" and it was, as the author suggests, all over hypnotizing OpenGL screensavers. Of course another big interest factor was a big networked game of BZFlag. BZFlag is addictive, but unpolished. It seems that gaming is what keeps most Window's users loyal. Unfortunately, Open Source doesn't seem to have what it takes to compete in that market.

    • ChristopheDehais: Agreed on the gaming platform issue. If the GNU/Linux Desktop could also be a good gaming platform, then it may well be that many gamers would dump Windows. The sad thing is that there's not much left to do as far as software is concerned: OpenGL is here and the level of "integration" of a game program is often limited. See also the related point below.

  • ChristopheDehais: I think the major problem to a wider adoption of the GNU/Linux platform is the hardware issue. Even if there is some progress, you can't buy any hardware blindly and be sure that it will work out-of-the-box and with all the functionalities advertised on the package. For the enthusiast that means many hours of net search to find the right machine / components, and for the not-so-enthusiast that means either waiting for things like the Dell initiative or going Windows or Apple. And some frustration for both. If the curve of Gnome (or any GNU/Linux desktop) adoption is capped by the good-willingness of hardware vendors, then the question is how can we make them go GNU/Linux faster ?

  • NickolayShmyrev: Well, I slightly wondering what we gonna do with such amount of users, we'll be unable to manage so many bug reports and so on. But here is my little idea. Recently almost all desktops reached maximum at available features and the question is what to do next. And reliability idea became more and more popular. Performance and visual effects are not so important now as security and stability. Software should satisfy it's requirements, do everything described in documentation and should be free from bugs (you don't think it's possible? It is). By making our desktop most reliable desktop ever seen we can take some part of market.

  • ArunTahlan: The comfort level of end users(non developers) with the os is mainly derived from their comfort level with the user interface. They hardly care what all complex subsystems interact under the hood or the different os nuances. So, to increase the comfort level of the end users Gnome needs to go where the users are, and that is unfortunately Windows. Gnome Team should look hard at the possibility of providing a cross o/s desktop ui platform. I feel that despite all the bad things about kde project, this is one thing that they are doing right. And, it is likely to pay off for them in the near future. This is the only true migration path from windows to GNU/linux such that the o/s remains invisible. Firefox has already done it successfully and today I hardly care if I am web browsing from windows or GNU/linux. There is no reason why GNOME shouldn't emulate this successful strategy. If we can't reach where users are, we won't really get to 10x10.

    • OlavVitters: We want to increase the users using GNOME, not Windows.

See also


10x10 (last edited 2009-10-10 02:16:17 by AmineBrikciN)