For First Time, Technology Tracks Growth of Desktop Linux

Lightup Maps Show Real-Time Data on Global Number of New Linux Computers

Oct 14, 2004, 01:00 ET from Linspire, Inc.

    SAN DIEGO, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- For years, analysts and enthusiasts
 alike have been debating the popularity of desktop Linux.  This week, there
 will be hard data to back up the theories with the release of new, up-to-date
 graphical maps that show where, when, and just how often people are connecting
 to the Internet with computers running Linux.
     Data for the new maps is based on the number of computers running
 Linspire: The first time one of these machines connects to the Internet, that
 IP address is converted into map coordinates and a "lightup" (a unique, new
 desktop or laptop running Linspire) appears in the corresponding location on a
 satellite photograph of the Earth.  Dot colors on the map correspond to how
 many lightups are in a particular area -- for instance, a yellow lightup means
 more than 100 people are using desktop Linux in that geographic area.  These
 maps are a highly accurate way to track the daily growth of desktop
 Linux -- data that could only be theorized about before.
     "Instead of relying on analysts' speculation about how many people are or
 aren't using desktop Linux, we now have hard data to demonstrate how much
 Linux is growing," said Michael Robertson, CEO of Linspire, Inc.  "Besides
 seeing large increases in the total number of people using Linux, these maps
 also detail global trends and show specific geographic areas where Linux is
 making a stronghold."
     All of the data gathered from computer IP addresses is anonymous, with
 only general geographic data and numbers of connections being tracked.  The IP
 addresses are converted into latitude and longitude coordinates to narrow down
 the location of the computer to a particular country and city.  Though most
 computers can be counted using this system, some IP addresses cannot be mapped
 to a particular location and these users are not counted.  Also, some user's
 actual geographic locations may not be tracked if their Internet connection is
 routed through a server in another location.
     "Our data shows new Linspire users in 180 countries and six
 continents -- but since we're only tracking Linspire machines, we're just
 seeing some of the many people who are discovering Linux every day," Robertson
 said.  "These maps show that the growth is not just concentrated in one or two
 areas, but is spreading across the world."
     To view the lightup maps, users should visit, a
 website created to highlight this real-time data and help spread the word
 about desktop Linux.  From there, users will be able to see the number of
 people who began using Linspire in the previous 24-hour and week-long periods,
 plus use interactive zoom-in maps to see the how many Linux users have
 connected in a specific geographic location.  Cursors and photo selections
 allow customized zoom-in views of a particular country or continent, or to see
 lightups from a different day or time period.
      For more information about Linspire, contact:
      Heather MacKenzie
      Linspire, Inc.
      858-587-6700 ex. 263
      858-587-8095 Fax
     About Linspire, Inc.
     Linspire ( is an affordable Linux-based operating system
 designed specifically for desktop and laptop computers in homes, schools and
 businesses.  Linspire uses innovative CNR technology that allows the
 installation, updating and management of more than 1,900 software programs
 with just one click from Linspire's CNR Warehouse(TM)
 (  The Linspire operating system is also offered
 in Spanish (, Italian ( and
 Japanese (
     Linspire and CNR Warehouse are trademarks of Linspire, Inc., a Delaware

SOURCE Linspire, Inc.