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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags WindowsMac OS X

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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?