An interesting story that originates in Europe today, brought to our attention courtesy of DesktopLinux.com, states that nearly a quarter of European Web surfers do their surfing with Firefox which, according to the story, has the browser market share of 24 percent. When I went to school, that was close enough to say “one in four.”
“Firefox browser usage has increased substantially — by nearly 5 percent — in Europe over the past year, French web analyst firm XiTi reports,” says the story. “During the week of March 5 through 11, 2007, the open-source browser exceeded 24 percent share of Europe’s browser market, according to the market researcher.”
Slovenia and Finland have the most per capita users, in the mid-40s percentage-wise, and Germany is in the mid-30s.
We in the U.S. — with a meager 15 percent of the browsing public using Firefox — are slowly but surely getting on the bandwagon, since figures have Firefox steadily climbing, but a far cry from the 78 percent market share that Internet Exploder forces on most of the public.
Ladislav Bodnar is not exactly a household name. In fact, ask someone on the street who he is, and they might answer that he’s part of the recent wave of Russian hockey players to play in the NHL, or maybe he’s that Russian leader who was prime minister of the nation . . . sometime between, oh, Andropov and Putin.
But no: Bodnar, to my knowledge, has never taken a shot on goal and he has never been in the Russian legislature. Yet in GNU/Linux circles, Bodnar is far more important than he could have ever been with a hockey stick or a stump speech.
Bodnar runs DistroWatch.com, the site that — day in and day out — monitors the 350 active GNU/Linux distros, not to mention keeping an eye on the other 200 or so that are no longer active. To those of us who have a journalistic stake in getting the news about GNU/Linux to the masses, DistroWatch is a priceless gem and Bodnar is the ideal candidate for GNU/Linux sainthood.
GNU/Linux journalist Mayank Sharma interviews Bodnar on his Web site, a Q-and-A that’s definitely worth the read.
One of the latest discussions in the ethereal realm of the Internet is an idea floated by some GNU/Linux advocates that the community should plunk down $350,000 to sponsor a car running in the Indianapolis 500 at the end of May. “More on the story,” as we say at Open Source Reporter, can be found at the Tux500 Web site.
Due to my extremely meager disposable income, I have made a small donation because I believe that promoting GNU/Linux at every possible turn — in this case, a left turn at 225 miles per hour — is a worthy endeavor. Moreover, this particular project shows an “outside the box” mindset in getting the word about GNU/Linux out there and, thus, is a good opportunity to try something new in the promotion department.
To show my support of the idea of promoting GNU/Linux, I’ve placed the Tux500 button in the paragraph above. If you’re so inclined, please visit and make a donation. If you’re not, at least give the site a look.
However — and you knew that there was one of those coming — despite the fact that I am all for promoting GNU/Linux, I’m not convinced that sponsoring a car at the Indianapolis 500 is the best use of $350,000. So what is the best way to go about this? I don’t have an answer to that, which is why it’s worth $10 to me to see where this might go.
So let’s see how this turns out.