Linux users are known for being a somewhat finicky lot. Despite broader application support for Windows and a better user experience in Mac OS X, Linux "desktop" users swear by the open-source operating system (and sometimes swear at its competitors).
It's therefore somewhat telling that Linux users overwhelmingly choose Google as their preferred search engine, according to data released today by Chitika, an online advertising network. Chitika analyzed data from 163 million searches across its advertising network between July 30 and August 16, and came up with the following:
Despite the concerns about Google and privacy and despite Microsoft's rising relevance in search through its Bing "decision engine," Google wins over Linux users 94.61 percent of the time. While it's not surprising that Linux users would shun a Microsoft-sponsored search engine, it is surprising that they so heavily congregate around just one search engine.
After all, this is the crowd that has created (literally) thousands of Linux distributions. For a community so devoted to choice, it's telling that such a disparate community would unify on Google search. Perhaps Yahoo's apparent willingness to prostrate itself before Microsoft has turned off the Linux crowd, but there are other alternatives.
Open source, after all, is all about alternatives. There are open-source alternatives to Google Analytics (Piwik, Open-Tube, etc.), Google Search Appliance (Lucene/Solr), Google Docs (OpenGoo), Google Earth (World Wind), and more.
But for search, the Linux contingent of the open-source community seems settled on Google.
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