As new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud have spread, open source operating system (OS) “Linux” is destroying the stronghold of Microsoft OS “Windows.”
According to Korea IDC on July 3, Linux had the most share in the X86 server market with 50.4 percent for the first time last year, surpassing Windows with a 49.4 percent share. It means Linux has shown a strong presence in the x86 server OS market, a core server in cloud computing, as well.
In particular, Linux wields a strong influence in the IoT ecosystem as Windows did in the personal computer market before. According to a survey conducted by Eclipse, an open source software developer, Linux OS was the dominant OS for IoT devices, running on more than 80 percent of them, last year. Jang Seung-han, senior manager at Wind River Korea, said, “In the past, industrial devices didn’t need to have OS because they only required simple sensors. But, more and more industrial devices are now equipped with OS as they have a network function, and the data movement, including connectivity with servers, is becoming increasingly important. Especially, the embedded Linux, which is easy to access from all industries and more affordable, plays a vital role in the IoT market.” Samsung Electronics’ IoT OS “Tizen” is also based on the Linux kernel.
In this regard, some experts say that Windows is losing competition in the market because it is less flexible and compatible than Linux under various IT environments. Kim Ho-joong, director at Red Hat Korea, said, “Recently, Linux and Mac OS are gaining ground in the personal computer sector, but Windows is still dominant. In SDDC, which runs all infra functions only with an x86 server, however, Linux has the best match due to its high flexibility and it is expanding ground from the server market to the visualization and IoT sectors.”
As the PC market is in the doldrums and devices are more diversified, Linux has shown more dominance than Windows. Google Android OS, a mobile OS based on the Linux kernel, is already controlling the mobile ecosystem along with Apple iOS.
Meanwhile, the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) said Linux had a 0.58 share in the domestic personal computer OS market last year, up only 0.11 percent from a year ago. However, Windows still has absolute influence in the PC OS market with a 96.99 percent market share, down 0.79 percent from a year earlier. The government developed Hamonikr OS, which is the first Linux based OS for common use in 2014, with an aim to get away from Windows monopoly, but it ended in failure. According to the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), only 1,528 public computers had been equipped with Hamonikr OS as of last year.