Linux loses its luster as a darling among developers

In the app dev sandbox, OS X may be eating Linux's lunch.

Linux had a big birthday recently -- its 20th -- but the event may have been a tad bittersweet for its most devoted fans. According to recent results of the annual application development survey from Santa Cruz, Calif.-based researcher Evans Data Corp., Linux has slipped to third place in popularity, behind Mac OS and, of course, Windows.

Linux vs OS X

OS X is now the primary development platform of 7.9% of developers, the survey found, while only 5.6% of developers use Linux.

"I'm not surprised to see the uptick," says Al Hilwa, program director for applications development software at IDC. "The Mac is seeing a surge, and I've seen a lot of developers switching."

What do these results really indicate? Apple has always targeted "creative professionals," but that used to mean graphics designers and their ilk, and not software developers.

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