Vista and Mac usage both on the rise

And IE7 installations may eclipse IE6's by year's end

Windows Vista made its biggest leap yet in November -- the operating system was in use on nearly one out of 10 Internet-connected computers last month, according to a research firm.

Vista's exact share rose about one percentage point to 9.19% in November, up from 7.94% in October, according to Net Applications. In contrast, Vista's predecessor, Windows XP, fell by about one percentage point from 79.41% of all Internet-connected computers in October to 78.37% in November, according to Net Applications. Meanwhile, the Mac platform's share continued to grow, reaching nearly 7%.

Windows' overall share continues to exceed 92%, according to the research firm.

Linux was in use on 0.6% of PCs worldwide, according to Net Applications. Despite its small share, Linux's slice of the market has nearly doubled since the beginning of the year.

Vista's share has grown from 0.2% to 9.2% since the beginning of the year. XP's share, meanwhile, has fallen from to 78.4% from 85% at the beginning of the year.

Internet Explorer 7's share continued to grow, reaching nearly 37%. It is poised to eclipse its predecessor, IE6, which has fallen more than 14 percentage points since the beginning of the year, to 40.2%. Altogether, IE was in use on 77.4% of Internet-connected computers, down from 80% at the beginning of the year.

IE's main competition, Firefox, held a 16% share of all Internet-connected computers. That's up from 13.7% at the beginning of the year.

Apple's Safari held 5.1%, up from 4.7% at the beginning of the year.

Net Applications also debuted a beefed-up presentation of its survey results. As part of that, the firm showed off a map displaying Mac share by state headlined "Democrats vote for the Mac?"

The U.S. states with the highest percentage of Mac users, in order, were Hawaii (15.9%), Vermont, (15.1%), California (12.8%), Oregon (12.7%), New York (12.3%), Alaska (11.9%), and Massachusetts and Maine (both 11.2%).

The U.S. states with the lowest percentage of Mac users were West Virginia (3.5%), Mississippi (3.7%), Alabama (4.5%) and South Carolina (4.6%).

Net Applications noted the similarity to the map of blue and red states during the 2004 presidential election.

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