> It's only sad if you believe Google Trends is a substitute for deployment numbers.
I don't think that Google Trend is a accurate representation of deployments, but it is a somewhat telling marker for general interest.
Linux for years and years was just that something that people may have seen in a magazine article or saw mentioned in the news or something like that. Almost off-hand.
As time went buy a few people of the sort that tend to be interested in computers looked around and found out about Linux.
And Linux advocates combined with the netbook fad have actually gotten Linux out into the minds eye of the general public in a way that it never has before. It's gotten as close to mainstream as anything else.
And.... Linux has had VERY mixed results. This is not a result of Microsoft FUD or SCO or anything like that. This is just the average person is now exposed to Linux in the real world in ways that has never happened before.
Used to be if I was talking about computers in a group or talking about how to get rid of viruses or whatever and the subject came up and I would mention that I used Linux people would say: "Oh, what's that?"
Then I would have to awkwardly explain it in a quick way so as not to be a bore. Maybe tell them to download a Knoppix or something if they acted curious.
Nowadays those responses are mixed in with "You use Linux?! Oh, God; why?", to which I can only shrug and laugh and tell them it works for me.
Linux is the OS that refused to grow up. People who would be borderline interested are just starting to get tired of it due to chronic issues that never get seem to get solved on the desktop.
People that have had no interest to begin with still have no interest.
As far as professionals go, I think the majority of business IT folks are learning that Linux is a tool and there are very appropriate places to use it and thus the interest in the business sector is still going to increase as people's Linux skill sets continue to improve and systems becomes increasingly easy to manage and deploy.
But that sort of IT professional is only a tiny part of a potential market.