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This week's spurious statistic comes from Japanese market research company Business Computer News via TurboLinux, the Linux distributor formerly known as Pacific HiTech. Launched last week, TurboLinux's Japanese edition of its Workstation 4.0 edition, apparently managed to rack more retail sales than Windows 98, MacOS 8.5 and other varieties of Linux. To be precise, the open source OS achieved market share of 24.09 per cent for the first week of July, compared to 13.25 per cent for Windows 98 (upgrade), 10.23 per cent for MacOS 8.5, 9.15 per cent for the full version of Windows 98, and 2.64 per cent for RedHat Linux 5.2. TurboLinux Workstation 4.0's sales aren't in doubt here -- the figures are pretty decent, and good look to the company, we say -- but it's a moot point how valid a week's stats are. The figures also conveniently split Windows 98's sales into various upgrades and academic packages, which, if added together, total 29.9 per cent -- a little more than TurboLinux's share. All just clever spin, in other words. Still, we were surprised to see Connectix's Mac-based PC emulation software, Virtual PC, scoring a rather fine 8.77 per cent share (Windows and DOS versions combined) of the Japanese OS market. No wonder Japanese IT companies have such a downer on emulation. ®

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