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Re: Debian is losing its users

OK.  Try that search again.  This time add ", windows xp" (the comma will give 
you 2 graphs on the same axes), or try ", windows vista".  I don't think that 
this is a valid tool for predicting user base.

On Wednesday 26 March 2008 10:51 am, Daniel Burrows wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 02:43:37PM +0800, Wei Chen <wchenhk@gmail.com> was 
heard to say:
> > The search volume for Debian has been continuously decreasing in the
> > recent years, as shown in the search trend statistics of one of the most
> > famous search engines. This indicates that Debian is losing its users,
> > e.g. about 50% in the last 3 years.
>   So is Linux, apparently.
>     http://www.google.com/trends?q=linux&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0
>   That decline looks quite linear to me.  At this rate, in another three
> years there will be no Linux users.  Doomed!  We're all doomed!
>   Red Hat is in trouble too, it looks like.  And they even pay
> marketers!
> http://www.google.com/trends?q=Debian%2C+Red+Hat&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&so
>   A little more seriously:
>   Exactly what statistic is calculated by that page and what's the
> methodology for deriving it?  According to Wikipedia, which is of course
> never ever wrong or mistaken:
> > The horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from
> > some time in 2004), and the vertical is how often a term is searched for
> > relative to the total number of searches, globally.
>   So what that actually says is that the *proportion* of searches for
> Debian has fallen by a factor of two.  I would tend to expect that an
> increase in search volume would not affect all search terms equally: if
> we assume that the increase is due to new users, it seems likely they're
> searching for things that are relevant to them rather than for computer
> operating systems.
>   IOW, most Debian and Linux users were probably already represented in
> Google; by definition they already have a computer.  What I think you're
> seeing in those graphs (note, btw, that the Debian and Linux ones are
> nearly identical in slope) is that a lot of people who aren't part of
> the Debian user base have started using Google, and they don't search
> for Debian stuff, so the Debian share of searches is decreasing.  It
> might be nice to get those people using Linux, but there's no reason to
> run around shouting about how the sky is falling.
>   Google Trends is a cute toy, but its numbers aren't especially
> meaningful IMO.  Check out the Debian vs Red Hat graph above: do you
> really believe that Red Hat usage is around 10% of Debian usage?  I
> don't.
>   Daniel
>   PS: people don't like ponies either, apparently.
>     http://www.google.com/trends?q=ponies&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

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