That there have been this many reports is all due to one fact - the figures put forward by this company claim that the use of GNU/Linux on the desktop has reached one percent of some subset of users.
But what subset is this? Is the company not bound to provide the details of the market it surveyed and how the figures were obtained? Sure, it's called global market share statistics but then one needs to ask; remember, the US plays "world series" baseball where the teams involved are American teams and one from Canada.
And when people talk of the mythical "international community" they don't really mean the entire 200-plus countries that dot the globe.
If the figures are not rubbery, then they definitely have some relevance. One percent of one billion is 10 million desktop users, which is not a figure to be sneezed at. For Microsoft, that would be about $US600 million of wasted income.
One would think that any company which has obtained figures that actually prove that Linux has 10 million desktop users would be more than eager to let the whole world know the whole story. I thought so too.
I wrote to Net Applications on May 6, with the operative part of my query being: "Can you please elaborate as to the methodology employed to obtain these statistics and the geographical regions which are covered? I searched your site for information but could not find anything."
Back came an automated reply which gave me reason for hope; it said, among a host of other things, "Messages are normally answered within 24 hours on weekdays." But that was the end of the matter. A week later I am none the wiser as to how the statistics were collected and what geographical area they cover.
I received a case number for my query: CS00520483317. I shall treasure it forever.