Desktop OS

There's been a lot of talk about Ubuntu since they let it out that they're working on some goodies for Android devices, and it got us to thinking. In the real world (you know, that one that exists outside the Internet we hear so much about) Linux holds a tiny sliver of consumer market share, forecasted at less that two percent for 2012 according to Gartner by way of Wikipedia. Compare that to the five percent of the market that Apple holds, and the whopping 93 percent that is the Microsoft juggernaut. But based on the chatter the past couple of days, I'm thinking that people who read Android Central don't really fit those numbers. That means I gotta ask, or I'll never know. Cue our late-night poll for the evening:

 

 

Reader comments

Late-night poll: What desktop OS do you use?

102 Comments

You do realize that your comment would actually be considered the "troll" comment right? The site focuses on Android devices and there are people here who may only use smartphones and not even own a computer. Hence the "what is a desktop" comment. Plus the fact that nobody calls the screen on Android devices a desktop. Did all that really go completely over your head?

So you think in 2012 asking "What is a desktop?" is a valid question? You think this person was genuinely wondering what such a thing is?

Even someone who doesn't own or use a computer and only comes here because of their smartphone knows perfectly well what a desktop is.

Windows and Ubuntu -- you should have provided an option to select more than one, duh! (Hint -- checkboxes rather than radio buttons)

They probably can't, seeing as the polls are done through a third party polling site. Agreed that the should be an option for more than one. Technically, I just use Ubuntu, but I occasionally reboot into Windows to play some games, like Halo and Mass Effect.

I want to start off by saying I love these late night polls, seriously, they're awesome, but wouldn't you get a more accurate reading from the site? I have no idea what the proper term for it is. But don't websites tell you what OS the person who visits is on and what browser they're using?

Its basically User Agent sniffing. All browsers submit something called a User Agent String, which is a string of data about the browser and platform its used with. There are some inconsistencies, like some people spoof their user agent (which actually has legitimate uses).

If you have Google Analytics for your site (which a lot sites do), you can get all sorts of graphs and charts to show what browsers, OS's, etc are visiting the site.

I thought of that at first, too. Then I realized that in about 6 hours North America starts getting back to work where the numbers are going to all say Windows. I'm curious what folks use at home and enjoy instead.

Ohh. My. God. Jerry Replied to me :) Soo now here comes my shameless question. Hey Jerry, I know you have a Tab 10.1 (or used to) and you have a Galaxy Nexus. My question is, how do these devices compare in terms of wifi signal strength? My Tab 10 has awesome wifi range, my nexus s not so much. Can you chime in on this maybe? (I'm in the market for a Galaxy Nexus)

And you'd be right. I only check my RSS feeds when I'm bored at work. So, you'd count me as a Win7 user, even though I actually use Ubuntu at home (and only Ubuntu... not daul-booting).

Having a browser sniff out what operating system is visiting a site and using that in a poll may not give accurate results as to what people's main Operating Systems are. I for one view most of these tech sites from my phone since I get RSS updates of multiple websites from my Pulse app. So when I visit the page, its actually from a mobile device. Also, people may be reading these sites from a computer other than their own (like from work, a library, or computer lab) or from a computer that isn't necessarily their main computer (I'm using my girlfriend's computer right now actually). So I think simply asking readers what their main daily operating system is would provide more accurate feedback.

They will obviously get more information from using stats from the server, but that doesn't necessarily answer the question they asked. The more important part for AC though as pertains to this poll is to keep page hits up for advertising revenue. Using just their web stats wouldn't do that.

I'm not complaining, heck I voted and continue to click on this post. Just trying to explain why they would do this rather than use just webstats.

Windows, on the rare occasions I drag out the laptop. I'm looking forward to using Android on a PC. I want to be all Android!

I use Windows. If/when I get a 2nd machine I fully intend to run Ubuntu on it. I know the bare basics of Ubuntu, but need my main machine needs to be something reliable (so I can learn Ubuntu, break stuff, re-install, etc) without risking our stock of pictures, movies, music, etc.

(and yes, insert joke here about Windows being reliable)

I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu any longer. Linux Mint is much better on a desktop, since it has the classic Gnome desktop quality. Unity on Ubuntu would be nice on a tablet, but it leaves a lot to be desired on a traditional desktop with a keyboard and mouse. Yes, there are other desktops one can use beside Unity; however, Mint runs well without needing to look for and tweak the desktop, which is beneficial to a new Linux user.

I dislike Unity quite a lot, and have been thinking of going for another Links district; maybe with a new computer...

I actually just installed Cinnamon in Ubuntu 11.10 (the new Linux Mint Desktop Interface). As easy to install as adding a PPA, and I still get Ubuntu goodness.
Unity sucks, but Ubuntu software Store is kinda nice looking albeit it ridiculously slow.

I've always stuck to Fedora and "stock" GNOME 3.
I have Ubuntu on my desktop computer that I rarely use, but um...it kinda doesn't suit me.

Thanks for the heads-up. When the time comes I'll keep that in mind. I mean really the only reason I'd go Ubuntu (or Minty for that matter) is to educate myself about Linux, and was told Ubuntu was the best place to start... but I'll dig into it more when I've got a desktop (or laptop) to spare

Ubuntu is #1 distro and for a reason. There are some vocal naysayers about Unity. Don't believe them. Test drive Ubuntu with Unity for at least a couple of weeks. If you're coming from Windows, be ready to retrain your brain from minimize/restore as a way of task switching. It's discourage in Unity. Workspaces FTW.

Had Linux Mint on 4 machines. Linux Mint is a customized version of Ubuntu. Installed Ubuntu over them. Just go for the real thing.

Since 1994 i am a happy RISC OS user.

Yeah, the Brits know how to design an intuitiv, easy-to-use and logical OS and GUI. Sadly they got no idea about marketing...

I use Linux (openSUSE 12.1 64-bit Gnome and KDE) and Windows 7 Professional 64-bit on my main PC. I dual-boot that one.

I also have a second PC running openSUSE 11.3 and a third running Slax 5.0.8.

I wish the poll allowed multiple choice for those of us who run more than one desktop OS.

I use OS X for my main, but dual boot with Windows 7 (some programs for school, and games). also got Ubuntu and Arch Linux in a couple VMs for testing and school work.

its only late night if you aren't on the west coast ^_^
I use os x lion on my laptop, snow leopard on the old ppc imac in the kitchen, and windows 7 on the desktop. unification would be nice, id support a desktop android

Both Windows & Ubuntu. Prior to Windows 7, I was always looking for alternatives, but now that Win7 is finally a quality, stable OS, I don't wander too much.

I have a Windows/Ubuntu dual-boot system. I use Windows much more though just because of the gaming. If it wasn't for the games I'd switch to Linux full time.

Linux since 1995. Dual boot Linux Mint + Slackware

Mint because sometimes I have to look and feel human :). Slack for software development.

Gnome shell has been outstanding for me. I work faster with it. Really do.t understand the flack it gets.

Most people don't deal well with change. These new style desktops are "Unproductive" because people do not want to leave their windows style comfort zone and learn a new desktop. You could produce the worlds easiest and most intuitive desktop and people will still reject it for fear of change. Stick someone who has never used a windows machine in front of one an you will find out just how unintuitive it really is.

Windows 7 Ultimate

Linux Mint 12 with Cinnamon

I use my Linux partition mostly because I do alot of web browsing, and there are few, if any, peices of malware for Linux.

Linux Mint 12 on home laptop. Ubuntu 11.10 with Windows 7 in a Virtual Box VM on work PC.

Gnome shell on both because I hate Unity.

All three! Computer in my room is a Mac, my mom has Windows and I've installed Ubuntu on her computer. I use them all equally probably.

I don't restrict myself to anything on my home desktop. I use Mac OS, Ubuntu and Windows XP at home (although I rarely boot into Windows anymore). I use other operating systems at work (Windows 7, Red hat Linux), but I'm not given a choice there.

A lot of the apps and simulators I run are all Windows based. I keep looking into Ubuntu, and will probably start dual-booting soon. I just need to keep on the Window sill for now since that is where all my business tools reside.

I also had to ask, what is a Desktop! I have used a laptop as my primary pc for both home and office (same unit) for a number of years. I have a nice set up both places with a docking station, wireless keyboard and mouse plus a large second monitor. This situation works perfectly for me.
I have tinkered with Ubuntu on both a laptop and a desktop but never was serious about it. So, I am a Windows guy. Presently with XP, Vista and Windows 7. I love 7!

Since I could walk and talk, been using both Mac and Windows. More Mac over the years, but since Apple intro'd Lion seven months ago and created a less open platform(IMO), I've been relying more on my windows box... and enjoying it.

I have 3...a Windows 7 desktop and laptop...and a Mint laptop. I use to be a heavy Ubuntu user, but I switched to Mint due to Unity. I use my laptops more and share equal time between Windows 7 and Mint. But have to say I really like Windows 7.

OS X 10.7.3 on all my home computers and my wife still loves her Dell running Win 7. But hey, even though I love me some Mac love I switched (from my iPhone) to Android 1 1/2 years ago and convinced my wife to do so too :)

I've always loved linux, especially Ubuntu - but I'm a bit of a gamer, so I find myself locked into Windows. If they ever get a native linux client for Star Wars the Old Republic, I might be able to make the switch... =)

I primarily use Windows 7. I have an installation of Ubuntu on another partition also.

I like Ubuntu more, but the only thing that prevents me from using it as a primary is the lack of Netflix support.

So many computers

Main Desktop: Windows 7 (I have some disk space set aside for some linux, but haven't gotten around to it)

Work: Windows 7, although I use virtualbox to try out different Linux distros

Laptop: HP Touchsmart TM2. It's running windows 7 although I did dual boot with linux mint until I put in a SSD and didn't have space to do so anymore

Main HTPC: Windows 7

Bedroom HTPC: Windows 7

Macbook: A few years old, not even sure what version it is, but I haven't upgraded it since I got it so I think it's leopard. I hardly ever use it as I can't stand OSX's interface

Second laptop: Mainly used for video as it has a 15" 1080p screen. Running Windows 7

I actually have more, but they are mainly broken down systems I haven't gotten around to fixing or dumping yet.

Ubuntu, OSX hackintosh style, windows 7, windows xp and a really old machine with windows 95, I'm kinda a digital boarder and have old games on win 95 I can't give up :-)

I use all 3 actually, but chose Other since I don't want to pump any of the individual stats.

I have a Mac Book Pro but I use both windows and OS for different things with bootcamp. I love to play with my girls iPhone but I wouldn't trade my droid for nothing.

Arch Linux 64-bit :p and not version but distribution, they are not much different in use they run same software, only package management and system configuration is different

I thought Android users with Mac computers was more rare than the poll results. I'm definitely one of the few among my friends and family. I just plain prefer OS X for computers and Android for mobile devices.

on my main laptop I duel boot mint 12 and win7. I hate windows with a passion but I have to boot into it for lightroom and photoshop, plus my companies website can ONLY be viewed with IE(sigh for being 10 years behind in internet tech) but all of my free time is spent in lixux. its more flexible, more intuitive, and more customizable, and once you get more into command line it becomes exceedingly more powerful.

Windows XP Pro at home as I don't like the UI changes in Win 7 (no classic mode), or some of the added and unneeded underlying features you can't uninstall (ex. .NET, Windows Search). We also still use Windows XP Pro at work (large insurance co) mainly due to compatibility issues with Win 7 (although there is a pilot program trying to work out those issues). Personally, when Windows XP is no longer supported with security patches in 2014, I'll seriously look at some flavor of Linux as I really don't care for the direction Microsoft is going with Win 7 and now 8.

I use all three, including a Hackintosh laptop and VM, and occasional Chromebook. ICS on the Transformer Prime is almost a desktop. Different needs at different locations. I guess that qualifies as "Other."

I've been using Linux since 1994, as my primary home OS since 1999, and exclusively at both home and work since 2002. I've used Ubuntu for 3 or 4 years now (currently Xubuntu), and before that it was Mandrake/Mandriva.

I sometimes have to support legacy Windows apps for my clients, and I do that over VNC or RDP.

It's entirely possible that in another year or two, I'm spending more time in Android than a traditional desktop Linux. It's amazing how far it's come in two and a half years, but there need to be more devices available where I can replace the ROM without losing any functionality at all (i.e., open hardware) as well as better keyboard support (via USB host, Bluetooth or dockable without being overpriced) and some other things before I start thinking of Android devices as productivity machines rather than just accessories. In the meantime, while I have done some coding from my tablet and even my phone, it's still in the "it'll do in a pinch" category.

I've used Linux since 95. Started with Redhat, Mandrake, and now Ubuntu.

I do boot up to a Windows VM when I need to use some apps that are Windows only. I don't game much but games I play are mostly on my PS3, Phone, or tablet.

LOL I think it's great that Linux is neck and neck with MacOS

=X=

Been using Unix and Linux since I started using computers 30 years ago. Started with BSD when I was 8 and went on from there. Never use Windows personally and only have to support it at work sometimes. Now at home I use Ubuntu and FreeBSD on my x86 boxes, Tru64 Unix on my Alphas and have a couple of SGI Irix boxes up and running for giggles. Guess that makes me a *nix snob doesn't it?

7 different versions of Windows, 4 different distros of linux, and BSD. All on the same machine.

Ain't VMWARE grand!?

Windows 7 was my idea.
I only have one OS and seem to be in the minority here. Am I missing some good times? Because I'll go install a second operating system right friggin now.

What advantages are there with Ubuntu? I like the looks of it. Just looking for a justification for setting it up. Is it faster? Safer? Just downright cooler than Windows? Always looking for a way to keep things fresh over here.

I have used Linux as my main desktop for many years. I currently use Linux Mint 12, but also have Ubuntu 12.04, Linux Mint Debian, Fedora (Amahi) as a Server, and Windows 7 which is only used for work. On my wife's and mom's computers is Linux Mint 12. As you can see I am a Linux freak so anything I say will be biased, but there are whole lot more good things I can say about Linux than I can say about Windows/Microsoft. Just download a few different distributions of Linux, burn them to a USB stick (which works pretty well), DVD/CD (can be a little slow), or use Virtualbox and give it a try then decide for yourself. You can try most Linux Distro's straight from the USB/CD/DVD without installing anything. Just remember Linux has many different flavors, look, and feel, just because one doesn't work for you doesn't mean that they all suck.

I use Windows 7, but only b/c Google messed up and made chromebooks that no one wants instead of a desktop OS that many are craving for. I'm so sick of Microsofts' business priorities, but I don't feel I have a real alternative...

You have many alternatives. Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora and Suse are all fantastic linux distros. Faster than Windows, far safer and secure and infinitely flexible compared to Windows. Did I mention FREE as in beer and speech?

On my dv7t i7 I dual boot OSX 10.6 and win7 ultimate, with the occasional backtrack live boot!! When I get around to putting a bigger hdd in I will trip boot the three!!

I currently am using ubuntu 11.10 and may try other Linux distros out. I will be using windows once i got enough mo.ey to build a gaming rig

I use several systems:
2 Ubuntu servers
1 Ubuntu desktop
2 Puppy Linux running off USB flash drives
2 Windows XP

Yesterday, Windows 7. Today, Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I set up the latter with very few frills. That will be where I go when I don't want any distractions, i.e. Facebook, chat, porn.