Ubuntu headed for five percent of PCs

After years of being told that next year will be the year of the Linux desktop, and it turning out to be the year of something else, Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system might really be making an impact at last.

Chris Kenyon, the VP of sales and business development for Canonical has told the Ubuntu 12.10 Developer Summit that the Linux software will be on about five percent of PCs soon.

Kenyon said that eight to ten million units shipped last year world-wide on $7.5 billion dollars of hardware.

He said next year the numbers are expected to double with 18 million units shipping world-wide.

But for this figure to be correct it would mean that five percent of PCs shipping world-wide would be with Ubuntu Linux. This is the sort of figure which Apple has lived with for years on its PCs.

This is the second time that Canonical has predicted a big boost in users. Last May at UDS Budapest Mark Shuttleworth made a claim that there would be 200 million Ubuntu users in four years. 

To do that, Canonical would have to try a lot harder to get the operating system onto TVs and mobile phones to make the numbers up.

According to Phoronix, the OEM/ODM count also obviously doesn’t count those that install Ubuntu manually or obtain Ubuntu installations via other means.

A large chunk of Linux pre-loaded systems usually get wiped by their customers and replaced with pirated copies of Windows, particularly in the Asian market.

Linux PCs of all flavours are pretty cheap there because they don’t have to pay the Microsoft tax.

But still it does mean that Canonical must have some proof that Ubuntu use is picking up to make those sorts of claims.