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Google predicts that Ubuntu may be more popular than Linux itself in 2010

Ubuntu is just one of a myriad of Linux distributions, but no one can deny that its rise to fame has been meteoric, especially as a desktop OS.
This week Google announced a “forecast” feature in Google Insights for Search. Essentially it’s a new function that looks at the search history (popularity) of a term and tries to predict what the future trend for that term will look like.
So just out of curiosity we decided to try Ubuntu versus Linux to see what would happen. The dotted line furthest to the right in the chart below is Google’s prediction. We’ve marked the point where the interest for Ubuntu is predicted to overtake Linux with a red arrow, i.e. February 2010.

Since this is based on past data it is in no way a secure prediction of the future, but it does look quite plausible. The interest for Linux (at least as a search term) has long been declining while the interest for Ubuntu has been increasing (although it has slowed down recently).
One interpretation of this data is that the interest for Ubuntu is surpassing the interest for “just” Linux. It’s becoming quite a brand…
Perhaps we’re playing devil’s advocate here, but are we seeing the beginning of the end of the Linux distribution chaos? Will Ubuntu eventually become the Linux distribution of choice for more or less everyone?

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