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Study Claims Windows Usage Market Share Could Soon Fall Below 90%

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 18 comments

Chicago (IL) - A new study released by Net Applications indicates that a decreasing percentage of the Internet population is using Windows as their operating system. It appears that Mac OS X could soon be listed in the double digit-range, while Windows could fall below the 90% mark.

Net Applications’ most recent operating system survey is pointing to continued market share gains of Mac OS X at the expense of Windows, echoing similar figures in a recently published browser market share survey. The research firm measures market share by recording which operating systems are used to browse a set of hand-picked web sites that are described to be representative for the overall market - which means that the Net Applications survey does not provide precise market share figures in terms of sales or unit shipments, but provide trends in terms of usage. According to the research firm, the data is collected from a base of "approximately 160 million visitors per month."

The survey lists Apple’s Mac OS X operating system market share in June with a record 7.94%, which is a 0.11 point increase over the previous month. This figure makes OS X the best-selling UNIX variant ever with the largest overall share of the market. Linux currently stands at 0.80% market share in this survey, a slight improvement over the 0.68% recorded last month. Windows machines still dominate the market and came in at 90.89%, down from 91.13 percent in the month ago. Although the lead of Windows remains unquestioned, its share has been dropping slowly but steadily over the past two years.

Windows Vista 8 GB 4 GB 64 Bit

At the current pace, Windows could drop below the 90% in the fourth quarter of this year.

Apple’s iPhone OS X variant held steady at 0.16% market share in June. "Apple has confirmed that its online inventories for the original version of the iPhone are sold out in the US and UK," Net Applications said. "Apple appears to be clearing out its inventories in preparation for the iPhone 2.0 release. This, in conjunction with customers holding off purchasing until 2.0 is released has temporarily leveled off the iPhone usage share."

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  • 2 Hide
    Pei-chen , July 3, 2008 12:14 PM
    I'm going to ignore the fact that Net Applications maybe an Apple marketing firm and ask a dumb question. Consider most Mac can also boot windows, shouldn't windows' share actually be higher?
  • 0 Hide
    Lozil , July 3, 2008 12:30 PM
    Ya after that buggy Vista, and Discontinuing XP, They can expect a major fall in coming months...
    Mac OS is less Resource heavy and works like a charm... Only problem is Apple is a Bit Too pricey....
  • 0 Hide
    diabloazul126 , July 3, 2008 2:03 PM
    Ya after that buggy Vista, and Discontinuing XP, They can expect a major fall in coming months...

    I fail to see how Vista is buggy. I haven't had a single problem with x64 Home Premium.

    Sure the OS is lackluster, but buggy -- not so much. It's about as buggy as XP was after a year or two on the market.
  • -1 Hide
    layzer253 , July 3, 2008 2:56 PM
    Mac os uses less resources eh...? You MUST be talking about 10.2/2 era sir
  • -1 Hide
    cosmeister , July 3, 2008 4:55 PM
    This study is flawed in so many ways it is not funny.

    First, who decided what sites were representative? For instance, if were there, then one would assume a lot of hits for apple machines. There are a lot of popular sites I do not use.

    Second, did they merely check the OS or did they somehow identify hits per computer per OS? Maybe a small number of machines hit those sites often.

    And third, and most damning, is the assumption that all machines will browse the web at all. Remember a lot of PCs are used as servers, or office workhorses that may never see a website. Whereas most Macs are home computers that most definately will.

    So the results of that test would be skewed in favor of Macs in my opinion. If they want to do a better survey they should send one to individuals and companies asking the number and types of machines at the location and make the location selection completely random.
  • 0 Hide
    geckoar , July 3, 2008 4:57 PM
    Yeah I have been running vista for over a year now. And its great I'm not going back to XP. My parents have more problems on their XP PC than I have on Vista. So vista is a RAM Hog... go get 4gb of ram for $70 and your good to go. I'm running a Phenom CPU, HD 3870(Which hypermemories up to 2.3gb of video RAM.) and 4gb of DDR2 800 RAM. The problem with Vista is not the OS it's the people who think that it will run of with their 4 year old PC that could just run XP.
  • 0 Hide
    shadowthor , July 3, 2008 5:43 PM
    Interestingly, if the market share of Apple just goes up, they will start getting a taste of virus, trojans, and what not as more hackers decide to target them because of market share. I agree, Vista is running a heck of a lot better than my XP comp, been okay so far. Like above post, it just eats a lot of ram.
  • -1 Hide
    gm0n3y , July 3, 2008 6:16 PM
    Does this take into account mobile phone / PDA access? Also, if this is not based on unique machines (i.e. not multiple hits from the same machine), then the results are useless. Maybe people of one OS visit the certain sites more frequently than other OS'. People with mobile / PDA internet probably visit far less sites than PC users.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2008 6:35 PM
    Windows will NOT fall below 90%. As stated with many above, many PCs are servers. Hello - I have been running Windows Vista Ultimate x64 since week two, I have had NO crashes thus far.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2008 8:55 PM
    Vista Ultimate x64 runs great! 8GiB
  • 2 Hide
    mdillenbeck , July 3, 2008 9:31 PM
    I am glad to see there are many people out there who have a skeptical and critical eye.

    However, just as there are those who remind us that Windows is used in significant numbers as a server, so too is Linux. Also, many of the new "mini-pcs" being spurred on by the introduction of Eee PC and like products use linux variants. Additionally, smart phones (especially the iPhone and eventually Google's Android) will also add to this mix, giving Windows Mobile devices some competition.

    Thus I think Microsoft falling below a 90% total market share globally is a realistic possibility.

    As to criticism against Vista, I do think it is a bit unfounded. Certainly it has its issues, just as XP had its issues and almost any new OS has or had its issues. I am caught in some of those issues as I use Vista 64-bit, but most of those issues is due to lack of industry support of 64 bit OSes and not specifically of Vista.

    However, it is valid to question the investment cost to performance improvement of Vista. From my experience, Vista isn't worth it in most cases (corporate or personal) - with power gamers (who need DX10) and Tablet PC users (who need the better inking capabilities) being the primary exceptions.
  • 1 Hide
    Niva , July 4, 2008 12:23 AM
    I'll echo that the study is skewed, I also fail to grasp how the linux share could be so low. I've been running dual boot machines with linux for over a year now and I've slowly been migrating away from Windows.

    PS. I do like Vista though, I never understood why so many bashed on it. Maybe as someone above said it's because people on old PCs with limited RAM are trying to run it?
  • 1 Hide
    Milleman , July 4, 2008 3:19 AM
    Yepp! Lot's of people DON'T want to purchase new hardware / new computer just because they wanna do the same tasks in Vista as they did in XP. For the gamers? Yepp... Vista is probably better prepared for all the DRM and multimedia bells and whistles in the future.
  • 2 Hide
    saturn77 , July 4, 2008 3:46 AM
    I'm sure Vista would run just fine if MS made the desktops and laptops and charged double the price you normaly pay like Apple does. Macs are a ripoff. It is well documented that they cost about 50% more for hardware than what you pay for a pc with equal parts.

    If you have an old computer, it is time to buy a new one or just keep the OS you are currently running, don't blame Vista for that crap. And don't expect wonders if you buy your new computer from Wal-mart or pay less than $850. Remember, the cheapest Macs start at $1200+ that compare to a $800 PC.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 4, 2008 11:24 AM
    1. I don't see any reason to protect windows market share. The study is not representative in terms of all PC's. And if I'm not mistaken it's mentioned there. And with 160 millions visitors - I think it has some value, but you have to make conclusion by yourself. There should be click-ers form every camp (windows, apple, linux, ...) and most probably you won't see servers in there...

    2. While MS is discontinuing support for older OS's, there is to be expected some disapoitment with absurdly rising hardware requirements of new OS. I can't continue using my old OS (no security holes fixed any more) as well as my older hardware (otherwise absolutly competent of completing tasks i want/need to do - either by ommiting security and using older OS, or by using Linux).

    3. As to Vista - well they became ruined once. Don't know why, I had to reinstall. So now I have some messy instalation (didn't do format, so now I don't know which OS/software components are old an which new - and it does freeze at bootup sometimes). Othervise quite stable. (altought feeling slow)

    4. The small market share of linux does surprise me. I know more people with linux than with Mac OS.
  • 1 Hide
    svillav , July 5, 2008 3:28 AM
    Mac's 7.94% is surely legal OS, Windows 90.89% share surely includes an important percentage of pirated, ilegal Windows instalations. In my country 2 out of 3 Windows OS are non legal and Microsoft hasn't seen a dime for them. And that is problably the why Linux is not more popular.
    The day Windows could not be pirated any more you will see at least a Linux 30% share of the market
  • 0 Hide
    JonathanDeane , July 7, 2008 2:50 AM
    In a weird way I hope windows does not fall bellow 90%... Im old enough to remember when nothing was compatible with anything else. Also games the PC game industry is in some sort of vortex where Blizzard makes money hand over fist but everyone else makes nothing... I think if the PC market was any more divided then you would see games just die out and with no games there would be no GPU sales... and from there its a bad thing.
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    spacetime , July 28, 2008 7:59 AM
    Not that it matters much but I've got two older systems that run Vista 32bit fairly well, including Aero. One's an Athlon 3000+, nforce2 chipset, with 2GB DDR333, the other's a dual AMD MP2800+, MPX chipset,with 3GB DRR266 reg ECC. However, I use them for research, writng, accounting, and medical records, and my kids use them for schoolwork and mostly 2D games such as Puzzle Pirates or lightweight 3D games such as Toontown.