Yesterday we published about Linux Mint's secret project for Gnome users and Clem's claims that soon they will overtake Ubuntu. Seems like he spoke too late. Today Linux Mint has broken the 6 year old record and replaced Ubuntu as the most popular Linux-based distribution on Distro Watch. Linux Mint sits on top with 2199 and Ubuntu slides to the second spot with 2011 rating.
What does it mean?
I doesn't necessarily mean that there are more Linux Mint users than the Ubuntu users. The ratings on Distrowatch only reflects the number of hits a particular page gets. Ubuntu has becomes extremely popular and is now widely used. A majority of Ubuntu users don't even visit the Distrowatch to find more about the distro. They upgrade to the newer version from the Ubuntu site itself.
Muktware's Facebook survey shows 90% of the users are still using Ubuntu. Take part in the survey.
Distrowatch reflects the number of visit of that page, which essentially mean that news users or the 'distro-hunters' who test and try new distros are clicking more about Linux Mint than on Ubuntu.
What is does reflect is that Ubuntu is facing some new challenges from users who are not vary happy with the whole Unity switch. Another reason is Gnome 3 which has yet to bring back all the functionality that a user would get. It will be interesting to see how users respond to Linux Mint when it switches to Gnome 3. Interestingly they will maintain a Gnome 2 version as well.
I do trust that Canonical will keep enhancing Ubuntu and keeping it as the world's third most popular operating system after Windows and Mac.
With Linux Mint users now have more reasons to ditch Windows.
Best of both worlds, should I say?