Canonical should release a UME version (Ubuntu Messed Edition): a special edition of Ubuntu which simulate the life circle of a common windows XP sp1 installation.
Progressively by time in time install trojan, malaware, spyware, viruses, adware, dialer and all this kind of stuff faking the "internet presence" of tons linux installations.
Then you'll see Linux share match the Windows XP/SP1 one (which actually should be "the same" of windows 7)
If the percentages are the same, that means that Linux isn't losing any market share to Windows, but it's in fact climbing steadily as time progresses.
Maybe this is what they mean when they say Linux scales well, OH LA, WHAT A PUN! But seriously now, About 50 percent of the people I spend considerable time with use Linux, and many people switched in my college classes from watching me use it. Also, I know many people who I began describing Linux to, but were too doubtful or busy to try it. They all said they really wanted it, though. Thing is, many of these people didn't even see it- if they did they'd probably have begged for it.
Serously, no matter how good it is, when people see compiz or KDE 4 they just start foaming from the mouth.
also what many don't take into consideration, and probably in the stats also. is the volume of linux servers that is out there for society. that poll was for personal computers by the look of it.
Just hand me my pitchfork and torch.
Why are people concerned about market share? It doesn't matter at all. Nobody makes any money out of Linux 'market share'.
In any case, there are a lot more Linux systems out there than any other OS (mostly routers and cell phones). Each year, about 350 million new Linux devices are built. MS Windows is only the market leader in a small and unimportant market segment called 'desktop computing'. Linux is the leader in everything else.
IBM marketing estimated the Linux installed base at 2.2 billion a few years ago. I can't imagine what it is now, but a simple way to calculate it is to look at the sales of embedded processors and cell phones and multiply by 5 years.
HermanAB, that's a good perspective to have. I think it's great if as many people as use desktop computers can find and make use of Linux as possible, but there is one more thing to note- market share doesn't say anything for the quality of a product.
Take Microsoft Windows for example. Need I even explain?
Although this thread is about the market share, I'd agree that it's ultimately a pointless debate until it comes to a commercial vendor trying to see if he'll make money supporting Linux. Other than that, it's just a pat on the back.