Do these numbers actually tell us anything?

Story: Steam's April hardware survey shows poor Linux statistics!Total Replies: 1
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May 02, 2013
7:01 PM EDT
Several interesting points noted here (following/quoting links in the OP comments):

Cheeseness wrote: April's Linux results also have less than half the decline of the Mac OS results (cumulatively down by 0.23%), showing Linux to be holding comparatively strong against the corresponding Windows growth, most of which seems to be Windows 8 and Windows Vista uptake."

danharibo wrote: We don't know what the sampling method is, but going by the fact that Vista increased by 0.62 percentage points (and the fact I hope Vista isn't increasing market share) I'd say there is a fair bit of noise in the data that makes working with such small percentages rather difficult.

Another issue is that many of the Linux entries are listed as "0.00", depending on if the numbers are rounded or truncated, this gives a potential error between 0.11 and 0.198, of course this is potentially less than the error introduced by the noise too, so discussing such a small percentage of users is not going to give you any meaning full conclusions.

Also, for what it's worth (keeping in mind the human propensity for selection bias) there appears to be some question whether Valve's Steam client survey is actually sampling randomly and/or representatively, as it should.

May 03, 2013
8:06 AM EDT
Two sites reported on the same stats... one saw the 0.23% drop as terrible, while the other reported it was meaning that Linux is holding steady.

Regardless, if Linux is 1.6% of the total Steam userbase, that equates to about 700000-ish users. Not a big sum in a world where AAA titles need to sell in excess of 5 million copies of a game before it can be labelled a success, but for indie devs that means a potential market of 700000 users that have only about 200 games to choose from.

That's a very comfortable niche there.

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