Back in the 1990s Linux creator Linus Torvalds used to joke that his ultimate aim was “total world domination.” In many respects, Linux has achieved this goal, with dominant or absolutely crushing market share in everything from high-performance computing to enterprise servers to cloud servers to mobile devices.
In this last category, however, the Linux bandwagon has largely come off the rails. Sure, Linux (as the underpinning of Android) now claims 86 percent global market share in the all-important smartphone market. Unfortunately, that outsized market penetration has completely failed to translate into the kind of ecosystem benefits that Apple enjoys with its iOS. And that means mobile app developers focus on iOS, not Android.