Ubuntu User Surveys 2012 – Part 3


on 27 March 2012

So as promised let’s take a look a the next set of results from the Ubuntu Survey.  I am going to bundle together the broader world of Ubuntu looking at other OSes people use, Ubuntu One usage, whether people are interested in the new products announced and likelihood to purchase Ubuntu pre-installed. As usual where I see significant demographic or geographic differences I will highlight them. Where I don’t I will use the global survey as the data source.  Read the first blog post if you are not clear on what I mean.

Ubuntu One Usage

Simply I wanted to ask what percentage of people used Ubuntu One. The figures are completely consistent across the various regions as you can see in the table.

Ubuntu One? English Spanish Portuguese
Yes 42.3% 42.5% 40%
No 57.3% 57.5% 60%


Across ages* there is a skew towards younger people being more likely to use it but not a significant one. We see the same in other geos.

Ubuntu Users by age in the English Language Survey


So while Ubuntu One is a freemium service integrated into the product and provides a lot of services for free, I was still pretty impressed by the level of usage in the surveys given the number of perceived and actual competitor for a great many of Ubuntu One’s services.

Interest in Ubuntu’s announced new products

In the last few months Canonical has announced its intention to find partners to release a number of new form factors for Ubuntu with details released on two (Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu for Android) and less detail on the the Ubuntu for tablets and for phones. None are in market so we are asking about intention here with the understanding that they have not yet seen a product on which to form a definitive judgement.

Ubuntu English language respondents intention to use new Ubuntu products


There is no significant variance in age or geo. We are seeing strong interest in products especially as these products will by and large need to be purchased – that is I need to buy a TV,  phone or tablet in order to experience Ubuntu on it. Again, we are polling intention and clearly a large amount of weight on the final decision to buy will depend on the quality and cost of the hardware, the software and the data. But let’s couple this with willingness to purchase Ubuntu on any device.

Willingness to purchase Ubuntu on a new device


Without specifying the device therefore including PCs, netbooks etc we see the willingness to buy, by region, by age in ascending willingness over the next 3 images

So for once we are seeing significant variance internationally. There is a much higher predisposition to purchase in the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking nations. It is hard to speculate as to the reason for this based on the data we have, but if we take it as a fact it gives even more often incentive to our partners looking to supply those regions. In fact there seems to very much be a global demand that is  currently unmet. Quality machines featuring Ubuntu appear to have a ready market.

A broad church – other technologies our users use.

Finally for this post – just to show we are not monotheistic in our technology but recognise other gods beyond Ubuntu, who thought it would be useful to get a picture of other operating systems that people use. Some OSes are specific to certain types of devices so we see a picture of Ubuntu users preferred mobile devices also.


Windows clearly is still in wide usage amongst our user base – whether at work, school or home would need further investigation. This might be somewhat surprising to those who think of Linux communities as ‘fringe’ or ‘zealots’. Clearly there is a lot of living in the real world and whether by choice or not there is a considerable use of other operating systems by the Ubuntu user base.

Android is racing into second place overall and a clear favourite for mobile devices amongst our users. Mac usage is strong but is one OS that drops significantly from English to Spanish to Portuguese users and is probably less prevalent overall than it is in the general population but it is hard to get reliable numbers on that to compare.

Stronger though is other Linux and other Ubuntu. Where Linux Mint is placed between those two categories is unclear – perhaps we will call it out specifically next time. Symbian/Nokia has a surprisingly low reported usage. Probably somewhat ahead of world trends. However it all reinforces the moves that Ubuntu has made through Ubuntu One, Ubuntu for Android, and other initiatives that to succeed in the broader marketplace, the more solutions that embrace other platforms and work well with them the better it serves the Ubuntu user base also.


So the survey is telling us  that there is a strong propensity in the user base to buy an Ubuntu machine and perhaps not a single machine but multiple devices featuring Ubuntu. This propensity only seems to get stronger in Latin America and Iberia. Given the heterogeneity of OS usage it is also important to make sure that we continue to develop a platform that plays nice with others which seems to be correctly prioritised on the product roadmaps.

I should say that it is taking me slight longer to extract these data sets and write the blog posts than I expect so we will have to push the remaining one until tomorrow. Thank you also for the comments so and I will continue to respond to them as I can. Final installment tomorrow

*you might note that the age data tables do not include the over 55’s. This is because a limitation of the Cross tab tool I user only allows me to select 5 categories to cross tab by. As 55 and over had the smallest response rate I decided to sacrifice it. Full results avaialble tomorrow.

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