LATEST USAGE FIGURES appear to show that Apple’s Iphone OS has managed to surpass Linux.
The figures presented by web analytics outfit Netmarketshare, outline the incredible success enjoyed by Apple with its cut down IOS operating system that is loaded on the firm’s Iphone, Ipad and Ipod Touch devices. It also goes to show how well Apple has succeeded in marketing its closed products to the masses.
Linux, on the other hand, is found in various guises but arguably has the biggest market share in servers, where its low cost, reliability and security have made it almost ubiquitous. When it comes to handhelds, even accounting for Google’s Linux based Android operating system, combined market share is still below that of Apple’s IOS.
It’s no big surprise that the figures show Android usage growing rapidly and in all likelihood it will surpass that of IOS in the coming months. However the reported eclipse of Linux is somewhat surprising. Linux on the desktop, arguably still not ready for primetime, has been maturing for some time, with distributions catering for beginners along with weary Windows users. Perhaps it is the variety of choices that is putting off users, as the success of IOS appears to suggest that users prefer to be force fed software.
The figures also show that Mac OS X, which underneath its frilly user interface is based on the BSD Mach kernel, is doing quite well, amassing almost 5 per cent. However above that it’s all Microsoft with Windows XP still commanding a 45 per cent lead over Windows 7 with 60 per cent of the reported OS market share.
Though Linux users might disbelieve the poor showing here, it is far more likely that the Linux kernel will appear in more and more devices as it is packaged into mobile distributions such as Android and Meego.
In the meantime though, it seems that Apple has done a very good job flogging a walled garden operating system to those who don’t know any better.
It’s that time of year when a man’s thoughts turn to operating system updates. I don’t ache for as many changes to the iPad in iOS4 as one might think, but a few would make my laptop replacement even better.
Some of you intimated I might not follow through with my threat to sell my laptop after I wrote about how much I liked the iPad as a travel computer, but I did just that. Haven’t looked back. I’ve got a trip to China coming up in a few weeks and instead of buying a new laptop I’ve decided to buy a few more SD cards for video and photo storage and soldier on. The only thing I can’t do – edit video from my Canon T2i directly on the iPad – is because Canon’s firmware doesn’t let me shoot in 720p/30. If it did, I might be able to do everything I ever needed to do on the road with the iPad.
But I agree with Lam that the iPhone 4 has made the iPad feel a bit long in the tooth; that Retina Display is something else. But more than the display, it’s the multitasking that iOS4 has brought to the iPhone that highlights how limited the iPad’s operating system can be.