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Windows Operating Systems Software

Windows Drops Below 90% Market Share 595

ozmanjusri writes "Online market share of the dominant Windows operating system has taken its biggest monthly fall in years to drop below 90%, according to Net Applications Inc. Computerworld reports that Microsoft's flagship product has been steadily losing ground to Mac OS X and Linux, and is at its lowest ebb in the market since 1995. 'Mac OS X... [ended] the month at 8.9%. November was the third month running that Apple's operating system remained above 8%.' The stats show that while some customers are 'upgrading' from XP to Vista, many are jumping ship to Apple, while Linux is also steadily gaining ground. A Net Applications executive suggests the slide may be caused by many of the same factors that caused the fall in Internet Explorer use. 'The more home users who are online, using Macs and Firefox and Safari, the more those shares go up,' he said. November has more weekend days, as well Thanksgiving in the US, a result that emphasizes the importance of corporate sales to Microsoft."
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Windows Drops Below 90% Market Share

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  • Good news (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kratisto ( 1080113 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:11PM (#25963713)

    This is good news. It surely means the year of the Linux Desktop is impending.

    • Re:Good news (Score:5, Informative)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:36PM (#25966343)

      90% for windows.
      8.9% for Mac
      Meaning 1.1% for Linux and other Operating Systems.
      It is Mac who is taking MS. Market Share, not Linux... Sorry. Just because we are all group together so it seems like we are a majority the truth is Linux users are in a small minority.

      • Re:Good news (Score:4, Insightful)

        by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:55PM (#25966691)

        I suspect that Linux usage is a teeny bit higher than Net apps tracks. This is because Net Apps relies on browser response to track OS users. Many Linux users spoof IE/Windows in their browser to allow certain poorly coded websites to function. While it likely won't account for more than a 0.5% difference, Linux usage IS a bit under reported.

        • Re:Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:15PM (#25967073) Homepage

          Isn't that just a bit out of date? Yeah, I know back when IE had 95% market share and there were extremely poor "there are no other browsers" sites out there that some did, but with IE at under 70%, Firefox at 20% and others at 10% are there I don't see how. Is there even a single site that would work on Firefox/Win but not Firefox/Lin? Or are you trying to say websites shut out 30% of the market? Sorry, but these days I'd call that wishful thinking.

          • Re:Good news (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Max Littlemore ( 1001285 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @02:17AM (#25972187)

            Unfortunately yes. I know a lot of windows users that use that IE tab or whatever it's called in Firefox. When I have mentioned a site being shit because it doesn't work in firefox, they say "yes it does" and tell me to get this IE tab thing. Then look confused when I tell them it doesn't work on Linux.

            And these people are developers. Shitty ones that can only target IE, but employed developers nonetheless.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I suspect you're right but for a different reason. I don't think the Net Apps browser marketshare survey is likely to take into account the server market, where Linux dominates. Although I guess if we're talking about desktop OS, that doesn't count. I wonder how much the Android G1 raised Linux's browser market share?
      • Re:Good news (Score:5, Informative)

        by sdpuppy ( 898535 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @08:28PM (#25968961)

        90% for windows. 8.9% for Mac Meaning 1.1% for Linux and other Operating Systems.

        ominous voice : There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of... oh forget that.

        Oh man, just RTFA's links:

        Percent for Jan Aug Nov

        Windows 91.50 90.66 89.62

        Mac 7.57 7.86 8.87

        Linux 0.64 0.93 0.83

        iPhone 0.13 0.30 0.37

        Playstation 0.03 0.04 0.04

        FreeBSD 0.00 0.00 0.01

        Other 0.13 0.21 0.26

        http://marketshare.hitslink.com/os-market-share.aspx?qprid=9 [hitslink.com]

  • Ha! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:12PM (#25963725)
    And I get modded flamebait for pointing out [slashdot.org] earlier today that Apple is gaining market share? It's true. Apple is gaining ground. Of course, it probably doesn't help MS that Vista isn't exactly setting the world on fire.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you write a true comment in a Flamebaitisticalish way (which you did), you will get modded as such ;)

    • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Funny)

      by tripdizzle ( 1386273 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:20PM (#25963873)

      Vista isn't exactly setting the world on fire.

      When my aunt wasn't able to install her MS Money on Vista, she thought her world was on fire

    • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:21PM (#25963893) Journal

      No, it's not apples gain in market share people were complaining about, it was the conclusion that desire to write viruses and market share have any significant correlation that they were probably modding you on.

      Remember, not many mods follow the 'there is no -1 disagree for a reason' rule for modding.

      That being said, I think the whole 8.9% market share in conjunction with Apple's "We're number 1" cheerleader commercial quite hilarious.

      • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:27PM (#25963995)

        I think it's less a "good news for Apple" story as it is a "bad news for MS" story. Apple gained a slight bit of market share. But MS is in a much more vulnerable position. MS's entire business model is pretty much PREDICATED on the proposition that they pretty much own the OS market (and has been for a long time now). Anything that threatens that share, even just a little, threatens the very underpinnings of the company.

        God, it was hard getting through that paragraph with no sarcasm.

        • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Funny)

          by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:34PM (#25964169) Homepage Journal

          Good thing they're spending $300 million more on marketing, then! Maybe that Mojave thing we keep hearing about will turn things around for them.

          Yeah, I can't avoid the sarcasm either.

        • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Golias ( 176380 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:40PM (#25964269)

          I think it's less a "good news for Apple" story as it is a "bad news for MS" story. Apple gained a slight bit of market share. But MS is in a much more vulnerable position. MS's entire business model is pretty much PREDICATED on the proposition that they pretty much own the OS market (and has been for a long time now). Anything that threatens that share, even just a little, threatens the very underpinnings of the company.

          God, it was hard getting through that paragraph with no sarcasm.

          Okay, let's get a little perspective here. It's a common meme in the business that Microsoft makes more money selling software to Mac users than Apple makes selling Macs to Mac users. I'm not positive whether that's still true, but it would not surprise me in the least if it was. MS-Office for Mac still costs a king's ransom and still sells like hotcakes at Apple Stores everywhere.

          Microsoft makes pretty good bank on Windows, but it's far from being their main revenue stream. Productivity software, enterprise solutions, and services are where their big bucks come from.

          What I find amusing about the story is this: Apple raises their market share from what was possibly as low as 3 percent a couple years ago to about 9 percent, while Linux remains something that non-nerds are not even sure how to pronounce, and what's the spin on Slashdot? "OS X and Linux are chipping away at Microsoft's market share!"

          • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by GuyverDH ( 232921 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:51PM (#25964419)

            OS X is chipping away at the desktop market.
            Linux is chipping away at the enterprise server market.

            So yes, OS X and Linux are chipping away at Microsoft's market share of 2 or more markets...

            • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Golias ( 176380 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:58PM (#25964567)

              This is an article about the desktop market, not the enterprise market. Linux remains a non-factor on the desktop.

              As for the enterprise, I admit I haven't been paying very close attention since shifting my career towards more of a programming role, but it seems to me that there were a lot more enterprises running some flavor of Unix or another (including Linux) ten years ago, and a lot fewer Windows Enterprise shops back then. A decade ago, Windows was not taken very seriously as a "big iron" server solution. Now they seem to have bleed into many (if not most) corporate server farms, though still not the overwhelming dominance they have in the desktop market. Am I just horribly misguided on that score?

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by GuyverDH ( 232921 )

                Correct, however, since when do we allow the topic of the article to restrict commentary.

                The poster that I responded to questioned the validity of OS X *and* Linux chipping away at Microsoft's market share.

                While Linux based OS desktop marketshare may be minimal in the United States, there are many countries where it's gaining a lot of momentum, especially in the government arenas.

                But in the server arena is where Linux based operating systems are really carving into Microsoft's market share.

          • Re:Ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:24PM (#25967191) Homepage

            GP's point is still valid though. Microsoft's main profit point is neither Windows nor Office, it's synergy. Especially in the corporate office environment. They sell you the Windows, and the Windows works best with the Windows Server, and then well, you bought the Windows Server and the Exchange is not much more, so you get the Exchange... but the Exchange works Best with the Outlook, so you get the Outlook, which is MUCH cheaper as part of the Office, so you get the Office too. Hey! The SQL Server will grab auth info from the Active Directory! If you need a database, you should get the SQL Server, which works better with the IIS, which really wants the Visual Studios to develop the VB and ....

            You get the idea. When you buy Windows you are often on the slippery slop of becoming a "Microsoft Shop" often one product at a time. But if you never buy Windows, why buy all that other stuff? If you replace Windows, most of that stuff becomes either unnecessary or counter productive. So if some little 100 man company replaces all of their Windows PCs with Macs, Microsoft hasn't just lost 100 Windows sales, chances are they've lost server sales, IIS sales, Exchange sales... On and on. Even if the company does get MS office, it's still a pretty big hit on what they COULD have bought. Now multiply that by 10 or 100 or 1000.

            Microsoft is still in no danger of going out of business, but loss of desktop sales hurts them far beyond just the individual license sale lost. The main hole in GPs argument it that most of the lost Windows sales are for home use. The synergy is less important there. I wasn't buying a full fledged tech infrastructure for my house anyway, so MS hasn't lost many potential synergy sales because I bought a Mac or switched to Linux. Still some businesses are switching, so the tide MAY be turning, but it's going to be a long while before you see Apple or Linux get the kind of penetration on business workstations that they're starting to get in the home. (At least partially because a lot of businesses have already invested a fortune in those infrastructure synergies, and don't want to lose them)

    • Re:Ha! (Score:4, Funny)

      by TechForensics ( 944258 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @11:19PM (#25970617) Homepage Journal

      Of course, it probably doesn't help MS that Vista isn't exactly setting the world on fire.

      Put it in charge of fire control systems and it may.

  • by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:13PM (#25963737) Journal
    OMG! Micro$oft is about ready to go under!!!! There's going to be huge consequences for our economy!!!! Send Steve Ballmer to DC in his private jet to throw some chairs around and get us $25 billion immediately!!!!
  • by Aurisor ( 932566 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:14PM (#25963749) Homepage

    "The more home users who are online, using Macs and Firefox and Safari, the more those shares go up,"

    Let me get this straight...if more people use a browser, then there are more people using that browser? Brilliant!

  • Monopoloy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:15PM (#25963763) Homepage

    Just curious, but at what point is Microsoft no longer considered a monopoloy? At what percentage are they legally allowed to start pulling the dirty tricks again?

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:19PM (#25963843)
      Maybe at some point MS will become the underdog and /. will feature Apple stories with a pic of Steve Jobs as a borg. And a million Apple fans will cry out, as if suddenly stripped of their exclusive status symbol as the hip outsiders.
      • Re:Monopoloy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Golias ( 176380 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:45PM (#25964331)

        Meh. Regardless of its popularity, OS X is still going to be the nicer platform to work with.

        Mainstream acceptance does not always invalidate "hip" status. Obama won the election comfortably, but he's still considered the more "cool" candidate to have supported by most trendy urbanites.

        • Popularity (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nerdposeur ( 910128 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:04PM (#25965759) Journal

          That's true with nerds too. Why, just the other day, I was Yahooing a javascript method...

          See what you did there? "Why, that fool doesn't use Google!" The mainstream - and yet still the coolest - search engine. Because it works the best.

          Popularity does not always have a negative feedback loop.

    • Re:Monopoloy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by businessnerd ( 1009815 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:33PM (#25964131)
      Well if Apple continues to gain marketshare, we will soon find out what that threshold is. As soon as Apple gets slapped with an antitrust suit, note the current market share. That shall be hence forth the monopoly threshold. Apple is just as bad as Microsoft when it comes to consumer lock-in. You don't have to look any further than iTunes to see it, but there's plenty more examples. They just never get in trouble for it because they are perceived to be such a small player in the market (even though the iPod is clearly the dominant mp3 player).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rbanffy ( 584143 )

        Apple with anti-trust?!

        Only when they achieve a dominant position. That's not likely to happen unless Apple turns into Microsoft and allows Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer and others to embed OSX into their computers.

        Which is to say, pretty accurately, never.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by chaim79 ( 898507 )

        Why do people keep going on about the 'iTunes lock-in'? It is equivalent to Zune Marketplace, and any other mp3 player + music manager combo (there have been many over the years). I had a Rio MP3 player before an iPod, it had a music manager that only worked with the Rio, and I had to switch to iTunes when I got my iPod... so what??

        As for the DRM, Apple is trying to get rid of DRM in their music. EMI is selling all their stuff through iTunes without DRM, the other music labels are selling DRM-free music thr

        • Re:Monopoloy (Score:5, Insightful)

          by linuxpng ( 314861 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:08PM (#25965825)

          Apple is trying to get rid of DRM in their music? How did Amazon get all of theirs without it? Are you telling me the CEO from Amazon is a better negotiator or speaker than Steve Jobs? I don't think so. Face it, it's not in Apple's best interested to remove the DRM.

          Honestly iTunes is fair game for scrutiny.

          • Re:Monopoloy (Score:4, Informative)

            by chaim79 ( 898507 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @06:40PM (#25967433) Homepage

            Amazon got DRM free for two reasons:

            • They caved to the Music Companies demands for variable pricing (iTunes refuses to price on 'demand' but leave everything at 99c)
            • Music companies don't like iTunes dominance in the market, they tried giving Amazon DRM Free music to try and make it more attractive then iTunes

            There might have also been demands that Apple force the sale of Albums (vs single tracks) at the Music Companies whim, but I'm not sure if that was part of this or other negotiations...

          • Re:Monopoloy (Score:4, Insightful)

            by DinDaddy ( 1168147 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:57PM (#25968545)
            Why is Apple offering EMI tracks without DRM? Are you telling me the customers of EMI music are more shrewd purchasers than customers of other labels' music? Face it, you haven't really studied the topic very well.

            The labels intentionally gave Amazon the right to offer DRM free tracks to lessen Apple's negotiating power over them. Hasn't worked very well, ITMS is still the top seller of music.
        • Re:Monopoloy (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:19PM (#25966039) Homepage Journal

          I had to switch to iTunes when I got my iPod... so what??

          That is what people are talking about, when they complain about iTunes lock-in. Try using a Rio without their software: easy. Try using an iPod without their software: hard and you get threats and deception from an Apple lawyer. [slashdot.org]

          What is your logic for going after iTunes as being anything worse then is already out on the market from damn near everyone else?

          Because it's not "damn near everyone else," it's damn near no one else. It's unusual for an MP3 player to require a proprietary syncing app and refuse to work if the user chooses some other way to get the music onto the player.

      • Re:Monopoloy (Score:5, Informative)

        by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @04:48PM (#25965461) Homepage

        Guess you missed this antitrust lawsuit [informationweek.com] over the iPod?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        So speaks an idiot who know nothing of the law.

        Microsoft was found guilty NOT because they were a monopoly but because they used their monopoly size to force competitors out of the market and force OEMS into exclusive contracts.

        Get a clue.
    • Re:Monopoloy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:39PM (#25964247)

      Just curious, but at what point is Microsoft no longer considered a monopoloy? At what percentage are they legally allowed to start pulling the dirty tricks again?

      when they no longer conspire to dominate the market through misconduct.

    • Re:Monopoloy (Score:5, Informative)

      by zubikov ( 1172699 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:51PM (#25964417)
      The US antitrust regulators like to go by two metrics: Herfindahl Index (HHI) and Market Concentration Ratio (google them up). HHI = s1^2 + s2^2 + s3^2 + ... + sn^2 (where sn is the market share of the ith firm) If the HHI index is > 1800, this usually means it's a monopoly. Nothing is set in stone, but play around with the numbers and you'll get an idea. Basically Microsoft is still considered a monopoly for a long time.
  • I did not RTFA, Is is just the US Market or euro included?
    • Re:Measurement (Score:4, Informative)

      by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:29PM (#25964047)
      As I pointed out when I submitted another story of the same subject yesterday (which for some reason wasn't selected for the front page, I think slashdot needs to wait for something to be old news before it makes the front page): A CNN blog [cnn.com] has a write-up on it that contains some information on how this is measured:

      Net Applications' monthly surveys are conducted by sampling browser data from some 160 million visits to Web sites operated by firm's clients. Although the company describes the results as "market shares," Net Applications does not actually measure share of market in the traditional sense of sales revenue or unit sales. It does, however, provide a consistent methodology by which to measure browser and operating system trends.

      I don't know if their clients are U.S. only or Worldwide.

      Also in that report, it shows that Firefox use broke 20% for the first time ever at the expense of Internet Explorer.

  • Many factors... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rkhalloran ( 136467 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:20PM (#25963871) Homepage

    There's the general opinion of Vista's unsuitability, the rise in Macs, the netbook phenomenon, the economic downturn slowing hardware turnover, all leading to fewer Windows boxes out there. The question is whether MS has any chance of reclaiming them with their even-fatter Windows 7, or accelerate the downturn.

    Now if some Large Visible Company decided to jump off the Microsoft Upgrade Treadmill in favor of Some Other OS, *THAT* would be a story...


  • I believe it .... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:22PM (#25963911) Journal

    When people realize there are alternatives, they start to look for MORE of them. Firefox specifically is proving that one doesn't need MS to do normal activity. When no website "breaks" because one is using FF, they subtly say "wow". When they learn of new features (tabs) in IE and realize that those were available in FF long before MS got to them, they go "wow".

    This would cause people to look at what they do, not what they use to do it, and see if what they need is available elsewhere.

    The next big push should be OpenOffice. My kid comes in and shows me her "Powerpoint" (her words) and I know that I haven't put MS Office on her computer, then I point out that it isn't "PowerPoint" but a presentation. She realizes it isn't Microsoft Office and I now have someone who can tell her friends "I didn't use MS Office" (and she will too!).

    When people realize they can surf the net (already there) and make "PowerPoints" and "Word Documents" and "Excel Spreadsheet", it will increase the options for discovering that one CAN get along quite nicely without Microsoft.

    I've long said that 2007-8 is going to be the beginning of the end for MS. The writing is on the walls, it is just a matter of time before the whole thing collapses.

  • Goliath has just felt the stone impact his cranium.

    The year of the linux desktop looms.

  • by Zymergy ( 803632 ) * on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:26PM (#25963993)
    Not "Windows" Market Share, but specifically Vista Market share only, after all, it's their shiny new thing being forced down all of out throats.
    (Yes, I mean to Exclude counting any WinVista Downgrade licenses in the %, and show the *Actual* market share % use of WinVista in PCs since the WinVista release to date.)
    Those stats might be more interesting and possibly more insightful to MS losing market share to other PC OS options.
    Grouping *EVERYTHING* marketed as "Windows" into one pool is not statistically transparent.
    I argue that many would NOT consider WinME, Win2k, WinXP, WinVista, or even Windows Mobile to be the the same category, etc...
  • Design is everything (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davecrusoe ( 861547 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:33PM (#25964137) Homepage

    Of course this makes great sense. Design and efficiency in computing are the next big thing, and MSFT seems to do lots of research but no integration.

    On the other hand, Apple and others have created very nice, simple and streamlined applications that seem to be driven less by research than by practical testing and design.

    Which means that, in the future, Apple and others will continue to gain ground... unless... the new windows... nah...

  • Not quite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by igotmybfg ( 525391 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:34PM (#25964153) Homepage
    The story is about online market share, not market share period - they came up with these results by tracking certain websites to see the proportions of the operating systems of their visitors. As the article explains, they think Windows share dropped because there is a higher concentration of Windows PCs at work than at home, and over Thanksgiving, many people weren't at work. Notably, this study doesn't say anything about the total market share of Windows or any other operating system, as seems to be implied in the headline and most of the summary.
  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @03:51PM (#25964421)

    "Windows' share typically falls on weekends and after work hours, as users surf from home computers, a larger percentage of which run Mac OS X than do work machines."

    So, what they are saying is that people would rather use something else, and do so at home. In effect, people don't want windoze but are forced to use it at work.

    Windows sucks and there's your proof.

    • by philipgar ( 595691 ) <pcg2.lehigh@edu> on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @04:18PM (#25964903) Homepage
      actually, your statement is a great exaggeration of what the facts say. You are implying that most people don't want to use windows, but are forced to use it. This is NOT something you can claim from the statistics. It seems more likely that maybe 15% of home users use Macs, and 5-10% of business users use Macs. Therefore you have 5-10% of people who normally use Macs being "forced" to use Windows. There's a big difference between that and saying "people don't want windoze but are forced to use it at work.", where you make a generalization covering all people.

      The same thing could be said about Linux actually. There are quite a few people who use Linux workstations at work, but have windows PCs at home (often because their home PC is a family PC). By your logic, I could say "people don't want to use Linux, but are forced to use it at work".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mlwmohawk ( 801821 )

        There are quite a few people who use Linux workstations at work, but have windows PCs at home

        Back up that statement with facts please. In my experience, Linux users who have Linux work stations at work have Linux machines at home and for family members, either Linux or Mac. That is not something I'd assert as fact, but is has more foundation in my portion of the observable universe.

  • by jeevesbond ( 1066726 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @04:05PM (#25964677) Homepage

    I just don't trust these stats (and that's not because they don't say what I want them to), from the Net Applications [hitslink.com] site:

    We use a unique methodology for collecting this data. We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month.

    So it's all customers from some analytics service these guys own. But what type of sites use their service? It's hard to believe these figures do not have a built-in bias due to the types of sites providing them.

    By far the most popular analytics service is Google Analytics.* If Google were to produce figures like these, I'd be more inclined to believe them, as their analytics software is used on a decent cross-section of sites, including technical ones like Slashdot.

    My own data -- with bias due to having a technical audience -- across two sites, says roughly: Windows 75%; Mac 9%; Linux 13% (with 3% AWStats reports as 'Unknown', and other sundry OSs like BSD, OS/2, AmigaOS, BeOS etc.) None of my sites use Net Applications' software, and get around 125,000 visitors a month.

    * Sorry I haven't a citation for this, but just look at the source code of almost any site and you'll see a Javascript block from Google Analytics. Also, see this unscientific evidence [google.com].

  • Just Look Around (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @04:22PM (#25964959)
    The Apple section at the local Best Buy is the busiest part of the whole store. It may be completely anecdotal, but I've been using Macs since 1989 and I've NEVER seen so much mainstream interest.
  • by HomerJ ( 11142 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:23PM (#25966097)

    Apple will NEVER get more than maybe 10% of the market. The company doesn't scale well. And they tie OSX to their hardware.

    Let's say Apple releases Snow Leopard. It's the greatest OS known to man. it's 50% faster than 10.5, runs ALL Windows applications faster than Windows, has ZFS as the filesystem, and has zero security flaws.

    Ok, great, let's run it. But I have to buy a machine from Apple. Now if I just want a machine, I can get one. But Apple has enough problems with releasing new systems with their 8% share now. What happens when this goes to 20%? 30%? They are bottlenecked by the number of systems they can produce. They physically can't get the number of systems out there to get any real marketshare. Is OSX better than Vista? No arguments here. But what already has more share? When you have one company releasing something, and everyone else releasing something else, Windows will win every time. It doesn't matter how great OSX is, or how shitty Windows is. Which this is something most people figured out ages ago. Except for the Apple people, who somehow think OSX can take over the world.

    Now if they licensed OSX, and then you have Dell, HP, et.al. selling them, it's another thing. But Jobs will never do this, so talking about it is a moot point.

    • by e1618978 ( 598967 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:03PM (#25967797)
      How exactly do you get +4 interesting for something that is so obviously false? Apple contracts out their computer manufacture to 3rd parties - the same 3rd parties that Dell and HP use. Licensing OSX to Dell and HP would just add a middleman, it would not add any manufacturing capacity. And Apple can scale mac production as high as they like, they just have to make a phone call to Taiwan and there you go, more production.
    • by francium de neobie ( 590783 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:30PM (#25968161)
      If Apple doesn't go above 10% in market share (though I doubt that statement), it's because it doesn't need to.

      The reason Apple sells is because they represent the high end and the stylish. Arguing Apple is stupid because it cannot grab 10% market share in the computer market makes just as much sense as arguing Rolex is stupid because it cannot grab 10% market share in the watches market, or Porsche is stupid because it cannot grab 10% market share in the cars market. Problem is - do these companies need to?

      As Apple's venture with iPod and iPhone has shown, Apple can increase their profits by taking their brand and design and expanding into other markets, rather than go destroy their brand and combat the lower end PC markets. I'm not saying Apple is superior to HP, Dell, etc. But Apple's direction is fundamentally different from HP and Dell, it just doesn't make sense to judge Apple's success with HP/Dell's metric. It's like judging a fashion company from the viewpoint of a drugs company - it doesn't make sense.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fermion ( 181285 )
      There are several issues here. First, 10% is a typical point where people feel there are going to lose control of a situation. As long as the minority player is under 10%, everyone feels safe. We seem to inherently fear 10%, os welcome any comments that claim the minority players will never exceed, or even approach, 10%.

      Second, i don't see apple having huge problems with hardware. They have problems releasing pretty hardware that stays pretty, and has occasional issues with high performance, but in 20+

  • FLAWED METHODOLOGY (Score:4, Informative)

    by Computershack ( 1143409 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @05:23PM (#25966119)
    That's a report about a market share based on the number of connections to a restricted amount of websites that run adverts hosted by Net Apps partners.
    Only problem with that is if you run Adblock et al, you'll not show up in the stats. If you don't connect to one of the sites running Net Apps partner adverts, you'll not show up in the stats. If you don't use the internet or use it rarely, you'll not show up in the stats.

    This site [wikipedia.org]gives a better view as it aggregates data from several different sources and doesn't just use one that can be excluded by an ad blocker.

  • by The Second Horseman ( 121958 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @07:52PM (#25968493)

    OK, Microsoft makes a bit more than a billion dollars a week in gross revenue, and more than $930 million per week in profit.
    Apple, on $32 Billion in revenue, makes a bit more than $11 billion in profit. Microsoft makes almost as much in a week as Apple does in a month.

    Novell plus Red Hat? The two major Linux companies spend a year generating the revenue that Microsoft generates in a week and a half or so.

    Google generates less than a third of Microsoft's revenue, and their gross profits are under $10 billion, less than Apple's.

    Anyone who thinks that Microsoft doesn't have the resources to hire who it needs to in order to deal with changing market conditions is nuts. A few years ago, Intel was supposedly on the ropes. They changed direction, killed a few processors, and fairly quickly released the Core Duo processors and turned the company around. AMD was left flat-footed, and are only now even coming close to regaining their footing. I don't really care much whether Microsoft does, but I don't think people realize the difference in scale and the difference in resources that can be brought to bear. If Windows 7 works and gains acceptance, it won't matter that Vista had huge problems. And they're spending a ton on stuff like Sharepoint, which is a relatively unique product - and good enough to get a ton of organizations to tolerate vendor "lock in" to get the feature set.

    Don't underestimate how much money they have and how many talented people they do have in much of the company. You can certainly compete with them and make money, but it's unlikely that even Google will be able to dislodge them any time soon.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @08:28PM (#25968965)
    Let's take a closer look at the Net Applications stats:

    The iPhone platform is less than one year old, and at 0.4% has a presence half the size of Linux. Operating System Market Share [hitslink.com]

    MS Vista has 20% of the market, up 8% since January. Linux 0.8%, up 0.2%. Pathetic.

    In rounded numbers, Windows - all versions - still has a 90% share.

    It takes a Geek to read statistical significance in a 1% drop in a webstat.

    The most useful way to read these numbers is simply as a reminder of the growing number of web-enabled mobile devices and home appliances -- a reminder as well that both Apple and Microsoft are both significant and successful players in these emerging markets.

  • by wikinerd ( 809585 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @10:23PM (#25970105) Journal

    GNU/Linux does not have a market share because it operates out of the market. A few GNU/Linux distributions are commercial and therefore can have market share, but the majority of distros operate in out of the market. GNU/Linux is out of the market because it is not a product. Rather, GNU/Linux is an act of free speech, an act of love and passion, and a gift.

    So, counting the market share of GNU/Linux has no meaning, since it's not a product. Calling it a competitor to any other OS is also wrong, for the same reason. Calling free software products of competitors are propaganda terms designed to make decision makers believe that GNU/Linux could potentially be subject to regulations about products. But if they suceed in this, then they can cook some new regulation that would effectivelly ban GNU/Linux. Don't let them do this, call GNU/Linux and free software what it really is: free speech, not a product, and therefore protected as free speech rather than subject to product regulations.

    Just to tell you an example, suppose a new regulation says that all products must contain encryption that is X bits powerful and the keys be submitted to a central repository, but that the product must take precautions not to let its users discover the keys. Such a regulation would apply on products (IANAL: I am not a lawyer), but what if you printed a book with your words that just happen to be the secret keys? Free speech is protected so printing a book must be ok (IANAL: I am not a lawyer). Now, if someone comes and say "look you hackers, you created an OS and you put it online for download, therefore you have put a product in the market, therefore you must hide the secret key" that would be a cause of trouble if they suceed in labelling free software packages as products. But free software in my view is not a product, it is an exercise of free speech.

    So, next time someone labels your free software a product, a market participant, or a competitor to their products, just tell them the truth: your free software was never supposed to be viewed as a product, your free software is instead only an act of free speech, and the fact that it is available online is an exercise of the right of assembly and communication with other people, as well as a gift.

    In a similar way, product regulations may say that new TVs should do this and that, but if you are an engineer and you build your own homebrew TV at home and you just want to post its blueprints online to share your passion with fellow homebrew engineers then your creations should be treated as free speech rather than as an attempt to enter the market, therefore in my view amateurs should not be subject to product and market regulation rules in the same way as commercial players are.

    Of course I have absolutely no idea whether this line of thinking would make any sense in a legal setting about questions of applicability of product regulations on free software, as I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

  • by Master of Transhuman ( 597628 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2008 @11:39PM (#25970893) Homepage

    One of my clients just told me this week that four of their people, who were on my maintenance contract for Windows support, would be shifted to Mac laptops. Two other staff members were shifted earlier, and they are happy with their systems after having had problems with Vista and XP. The staff members who were shifted basically don't do much beyond email and Web work, so they don't really need a lot of Windows software. One of the two earlier shifted staff members is running Parallels on her Mac to deal with QuickBooks. This company will probably shift several more people in the new future.

    One of my other clients, which does digital media conversion, has brought in a Mac server-grade system to handle some of their video editing which was bogging down their Windows XP workstations.

    So, yes, it's happening. The dam is breaking and people are getting fed up with Windows to the degree that they can afford to (i.e., software lock-in.)

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.