Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ubuntu and Vista: Trends by Google

Google Trends is a unique service aimed at studying the trends in online google searches. It compares keywords you supply based on the volume of Google searches as well as volume of news reporting on the keywords. I saw the trend for ubuntu vs. vista, and the results are here.

Some comments:

1. Vista has shown dramatic ups and downs, whereas Ubuntu continues its steady rise. The tremulousness of vista graph may in part be due to the Microsoft vs. EU court rows, as well as the continued delays in shipping of vista. However, Ubuntu has continued to rise up, despite the fact it's a two year old baby.

2. Ubuntu has come up with four major releases in the last two years, whereas Windows has struggled to release Vista after about five years of effort. There could be several reasons Windows is lagging behind:

(i) Microsoft is trying to drag XP as long as it can. Thus, by releasing Vista late, it's buying time to develop the next release (Vienna).
(ii) Microsoft servers were hacked few years down the lane. So they are trying to patch up any security holes the hacker community may exploit.
(iii) Microsoft is trying to build "curiosity" among its users for Vista by delaying its release
There could be more reasons... but it appears that the delay will ultimately benefit Microsoft more than what earlier versions of windows did.

2. Somehow all the trends searches are from major cities in the Europe. In fact, more people are searching for Ubuntu rather than Vista in Norway, Finland and Spain. I think I can explain Finland by the fact that Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, hails from Finland.

3. The regionwise trends show that South Africa is the second most popular region for Ubuntu rather than Vista. I can explain this because Mark Shuttleworth, the creator of Canonical Foundation for Ubuntu, hails from South Africa. I have an african friend who says that South Africa is perhaps the most developed country in the entire Africa.

4. When it comes to Ubuntu, it appears that more searches are done on Ubuntu than it appearing in the news. This is very typical of any linux related news - many people are interested in it but somehow that doesn't make headline on any major news site (leaving out technical news agencies).

5. Despite whatever Ubuntu fans might say, I'd contend that Ubuntu is in no way a competitor to Vista... at least not in the first few months. I remember somewhat similar speculations were circulating when XP was in the coming... people used to post fervently in forums "Apple and Red Hat will kill XP" and things like that. But that did not happen. People are resistant to change - they're more likely to continue with doing whatever they are doing. And they're doing Windows. You know what I mean.


1 comment:

vmguru said...


Very nice comparison. And yes just as google trend pointing Ubuntu is growing stopples. I hope that keep up to be the trend. Another good comparison that show how Ubuntu is comparing to Vista into many direction can be found at Vista vs Ubuntu
That comparison is very useful if you are planning on finding the OS for your needs.