Ampers’ Rants on Google

I was browsing through Google Analytics and asked it for a breakdown of browsers used this last four weeks and received the following which surprised me.

Windows 56.37%
Linux 37.42%
Macintosh 5.60%
(not set) 0.23%
iPhone 0.23%
PalmOS 0.05%
Playstation-3 0.05%
SymbianOS 0.05%

I was surprised at the number of people who were Linux users as opposed to those using the Apple Mac. I was also surprised to see how many as a percentage over those that used Windows.

Quite frankly, I thought Google had broken down somewhere along the way.

Then I realised that my readers come from (at the last count in December) sixty-one countries throughout the world. A lot of these countries were poorer and it stood to reason that those people would want an operating system that allowed them a choice of nearly twenty thousand free programs to use.

Everybody says Linux is too complex to use, but these are stories put out by people involved with the Windows industry, and from Windows users who were either too lazy to relearn a new operating system, or those who couldn’t admit they were stupid enough to buy all the software they used.

People are also a lot brighter in the third world than Westerners give them credit for. They are willing to learn, especially when it means it will make their life easier. Take South Africa for instance. When I lived there, English and Afrikaans were the two dominant official languages. Most blacks could speak their native dialect, as well as English and Afrikaans, and depending on what part of South Africa they lived, either Zulu or Xhosa. Four Languages, sometimes five! It got them by everywhere they went. And made it easier to get jobs. Even now, in Namibia, Afrikaans is the most widely spoken language as it is the “Esperanto” of fourteen million people there.

Third world peoples will learn Linux if it means real benefits for them. So, yes, perhaps Google isn’t broken. I was approaching my 68th birthday when I decided to move over to Linux and decided which to use when I loaded all the names into “Google Trends” and found Ubuntu was the main flavour of the day. So its also OK for decrepit old geezers like me.


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