Linux as an application development platform has fallen to third place in popularity behind Mac OS and Windows, according to an Evans Data Corp. survey.
OS X is currently the primary development platform of 7.9 percent of developers, while 5.6 percent of developers use Linux, according to the survey. However, Linux's status as a server operating system is unchallenged. "Still more than twice as many developers primarily target Linux as do Mac," according to the Evans survey.
The two main factors that keep Linux users loyal are cost and capability. If developers want to be able to fix problems themselves before waiting for Apple or Microsoft to handle it, Linux is the best available option. "Linux is still the de facto platform for production environments," says Skookum Digital Works' Josh Oakhurst.
In addition, Linux software and hardware is much less expensive than Apple products. However, because of their joint Unix heritage, there is a lot of commonality between Linux and OS X. "Linux is conceptually close enough to the BSD Unix that lies at the foundation of OS X and iOS that Linux programmers can often make a seamless transition into developing iOS frameworks," notes Avatron Software CEO Dave Howell.
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