That's a big statement to claim for a title. Ubuntu more popular than Debian is really no big surprise seeing as though Ubuntu ranks #1 on Distrowatch with Debian placed at #8. Even the ranking over SuSE Linux and Mac OS isn't really all that surprising. What blew me away was the consistent lead that it has kept over Windows Vista. Frankly, I was shocked, expecting Vista to clearly have taken the lead.
Google trends is just too cool. Even if it is in heavy development. Using this tool, I can see the popularity of searches on Google using a single term, or a comma separated list. And it gives further stats to cities, regions and languages. Highlights are also given to explain certain search spikes.
Reading ZDNet, I read an article about Ubuntu passing Debian, SuSE and Mac OS, but I could hardly believe it. So, I tried it myself, throwing Windows Vista in the loop. Here is my search string, and here is a screenshot of the results:
Now, I realize that "Google Trends aims to provide insights into broad search patterns. As a Google Labs product, it is still in the early stages of development. Also, it is based upon just a portion of our searches, and several approximations are used when computing your results. Please keep this in mind when using it.", however, I still find it fascinating.
So, considering that this is showing a trend, and probably fairly accurate at that, I am impressed with Ubuntu fending off Windows Vista the entire way (minus a little stint in early 2005). Keeping the constant lead it is, this makes me wonder how much of an impact Ubuntu will have on the desktop and server market in the months an years to come. Could it be possible that Ubuntu will ultimately be the GNU/Linux distro to dethrone the Queen? I guess we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I found a fun new toy to play with when bored.