Microsoft Corp finally, it seems, has something in common with Linux: the mutual threat to market share posed by pirated copies of Windows in emerging markets.
Gartner Group has said 80% of PCs shipped in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe running the open source operating system this year, will eventually run pirated copies of Windows.
According to Gartner, the high price of Windows may be driving OEMs in counties like China and Russia to ship Linux on PCs, but many of these PCs will not ultimately run Linux. Gartner said the high percentage of Linux sales is being driven by pirated copies of Windows, not the desire to run Linux.
The open source operating system will ship on 5% of the 185 million PCs expected to be sold this year, being most popular in the emerging markets because of cost. Gartner expects 9.8% of PCs in Asia/Pacific, 11.2% in Eastern Europe and 12.1% in Latin America to ship with Linux.
Gartner estimates by 2008 7.5% of new PCs will ship with Linux, but over half of them will end up running a version of Windows.