Windows market share dives again as Mac nears 10 percent

Second record loss in two months for Microsoft; Apple posts record gain

Windows lost nearly a full percentage point of market share for the second month in a row in December, pushing Microsoft's operating system to a new low, an Internet measurement company reported yesterday.

Meanwhile, Apple's Mac OS X posted a record gain that brought it close to a 10 percent share for the first time since Net Applications began tracking operating system use.

In December, 88.7 percent of the people who browsed the Web sites that Net Applications monitors did so using machines powered by Windows, a 0.94 percentage point drop from November. The slide was Windows' largest in the four years that Net Applications has collected operating system data, and the second record-setting monthly loss in a row for Microsoft's software.

During November, Windows' market share slipped 0.84 percentage point, dropping the operating system under 90 percent for the first time since Net Applications has been tracking OS use.

The combined decline of November and December totaled 1.8 percentage points, Windows' biggest two-month dip ever, nearly double that of its previous record, a 0.92 percentage point fall in December 2007 and January 2008.

Microsoft's OS ended the year down 3.1 percentage points, a 3.4 percent drop in its share from the same time last year.

Apple's Mac OS X's market share continued to grow at Windows' expense. For the second month in a row, Mac OS X posted a record increase, growing by 0.76 of a percentage point to end the month at 9.6 percent. December was the first time that Net Applications had pegged Apple's operating system above the 9 percent mark.

And just as Windows set a record for a two-month drop, Mac OS X set a record for a two-month increase during November and December. Those months' combined gain of 1.4 percentage points was substantially larger than the earlier record, a 0.9 percentage point boost the operating system received in September-October 2006, and almost double the 0.73 percentage point increase of November-December 2007.

Mac OS X's market share was up 2.3 percentage points during 2008, an annual growth rate of 31.7 percent.

Net Applications again attributed some of the decline of Windows and the corresponding growth of Mac OS X to special circumstances. "The December holiday season strongly favored residential over business usage," the company said on its Web site. "This in turn increases the relative usage share of Mac...and other products that have relatively high residential usage. All December usage statistics should be read in that context."

Last month, Net Applications' executive vice president of marketing, Vince Vizzaccarro, said November's drop in Windows share was due to the higher-than-average number of weekend days and the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. Net Applications has consistently reported that Windows' share slips during times when browsing is conducted from non-work computers, where Microsoft's operating system dominates even more than in homes.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags WindowsMac OS X

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?