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What Hardware Platforms Do You Use? All of Them.

The FOSS Force Poll

The results of our hardware platform poll have been tallied and just as we suspected, FOSS Force readers in large part use every platform available. The poll, which asked what different hardware platforms you use, offered a slate of answers too long to list here. Let’s just say it covered the gamut, from smartphones to desktops, and included separate places to tic for different operating systems.

The poll went up without fanfare on Christmas day, with an introductory article published on Monday. Yesterday we closed it down and started counting the ballots. In all, 370 of you voted, offering up 1,523 answers in this “choose all that apply” poll. This means that collectively, you each have use of over four platform/OS combinations — just what we’d expect from a tech savvy bunch such as y’all.

There were no surprises here. Your use of traditional computers outweighs your use of mobile devices, but you’re no slouches in the mobile world either.

[socialpoll id=”2320550″]

Traditional computers, the kind that you’d expect to be running GNU based distros, were broken into three main sub-categories: Desktop, laptop and netbook. The total category garnered a whopping 1,014 votes, which mean that the 370 voters either do a lot of dual booting, own about three computers each, or a combination of both.

We’re figuring that if we could’ve been a little bit more sophisticated in our polling (we’re working on that and it’s coming soon) we would probably discover that most of you have a laptop (or netbook) and a desktop, with one of them dual booting into Windows — but that’s just a guess.

The use of laptops outweighed the use of desktops, by a fairly large margin if we consider netbooks to be a type of laptop, which they are. Desktop votes were 435 (118 percent of the total voters), with 463 answers (125 percent of voters) for the laptop and 116 of you (31 percent of voters) indicating netbook use. Mostly you run Linux, which is also not surprising for readers of a site called FOSS Force. Across the three traditional computing categories, Linux picked up 654 votes, compared with 251 for Windows, 63 for OS X and 21 for “other.” Chromebooks were included in the laptop category and picked-up 30 votes.

You also own plenty of mobile devices, but the numbers aren’t nearly has high as with traditional computers. The mobile category as a whole received 497 votes, with 295 being for phones and 202 for tablets. You prefer Android, which picked up 385 votes. iOS garnered 74 and 38 votes went to “other.”

We also asked about your use of the Raspberry Pi — although to be truthful we added the Pi answers after the poll had already taken 33 voters’ answers, so the results here might be ever-so-slightly skewed. 94 of you indicated that you use the Pi, with all but two with you using it with Linux.

Across all categories Linux based operating systems ruled the day, picking up a total of 1131 votes. The total votes for Windows devices was 251, with Apple coming in with 137 votes and 61 votes for “other.”

Official poll results:

Poll Answer Votes Percent of Total Answers Poll Answer Votes Percent of Total Answers
Smartphone Running Android 229 14.2 % Smartphone Running iOS 41 2.5 %
Smartphone Running Other 25 1.6 % Tablet Running Android 156 9.7 %
Tablet Running iOS 33 2 % Tablet Running Other 13 0.8 %
Netbook Running Linux 96 6 % Netbook Running Windows 19 1.2 %
Netbook Running Other 1 0.1 % Laptop Running Linux 278 17.3 %
Laptop Running Windows 120 7.5 % Laptop Running OS X 35 2.2 %
Laptop Running Chrome OS 30 1.9 % Laptop Running Other 5 0.3 %
Desktop Running Linux 280 17.4 % Desktop Running Windows 112 7 %
Desktop Running OS X 28 1.7 % Desktop Running Other 15 0.9 %
Raspberry Pi Running Linux 92 5.7 % Raspberry Pi Running Windows 0 0 %
Raspberry Pi Running Other 2 0.1 %

On Friday we put-up another poll, which we’ll be “officially” announcing with an article on Monday. In this one, we’re revisiting a question we last asked about a year ago: What Linux distro do you use? One answer per voter. We’ve included this poll at the top of this article, so go ahead and cast your vote. We’ll give you the results on Friday.

Sometime during the next week, FOSS Force will be going live with the second phase of our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. You can help us get a running start by making a donation now by becoming a subscriber.


  1. Randy Noseworthy Randy Noseworthy January 2, 2016

    Hmm.. Well, I might sit in front of a Windows Box at work all day, and spend more time each day using that OS. But when I come home, _MY_ PC is using Mint. But at work, I’m going to be working more on Apple Stuffs, and Surfaces, and Windows 10 and… a host of crap that I’d rather be able to stay ignorant about. Oh well. 🙂

  2. tracyanne tracyanne January 2, 2016

    I’m now retired, now I don’t have to touch Windows or OSX. For me it’s Linux every day all day, if I want.

    Even when I was working (for the last 8 years anyway) I ran Windows, for programming in Visual Studio, on a Virtual machine on a Linux Laptop.

  3. Nomen luni Nomen luni January 2, 2016

    Mint FTW… impressive numbers!

  4. Rich B Rich B January 2, 2016

    I wish you had included categories for ‘netbook running stock OS’ and ‘netbook running non-Google Linux’ — I’m in the later category and curious how _those_ numbers break down.

  5. Leif B. Kristensen Leif B. Kristensen January 2, 2016

    I wonder when you will regognise Gentoo as one of the major Linux distributions.

  6. Christine Hall Christine Hall January 2, 2016

    @Leif We certainly do recognize Gentoo as a major Linux distribution, and very important to the history of desktop Linux. The distros on our poll are ten of the top eleven distros on the DistroWatch list. You can still write-in Gentoo by choosing “other” and depending on the number of votes it gets it might be included in part two of our distro poll.

  7. tracyanne tracyanne January 3, 2016

    @Rich B, for the record, my netbook runs Linux Mint

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