Market share: Windows 7 up, OS X down, Chrome up and IE down

Statistics that measure Internet browser and operating market share were released today.  The statistics, as measured by Netmarketshare.com, can help predict trends for the coming year and offer insight into consumer adoption.

The statistics, which compare January 2010 to February 2010, have not been reviewed by Netmarketshares.com Quality Assurance but, in recent past, have proven to be generally reliable.

Microsoft’s Windows platform gained from 92% to 92.12% percent while OS X fell from 5.16% to 5.02%.  Windows 7 made a gain from the previous month growing from 7.57% to 8.92%, XP dropped from 66.15% to 65.49%, while Vista also dropped from 17.47% to 16.51%.

The modest gains for Microsoft show consumers are adopting Windows 7 and have not turned away from the platform like many did with Vista; OS X also saw a small drop in market share which may be attributed to Windows 7 being accepted by many consumers.

On the Internet browser front, IE was down from 62.12% to 61.58%, Firefox dropped from 24.43% to 24.23, Chrome gained from 5.22% to 5.61% , Safari dropped from 4.53% to 4.45% and Opera dropped from 2.38% to 2.35%.

Google has been pushing its browser hard and as the product matures, it may be able to take more market share too.  Although, as one commenter pointed out, consumers seem to be replacing Firefox with Chrome, which goes against the trend of switching browsers to get away from IE.

Thanks for the tip Mephistopheles

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I have the suspect that some Mac users may be using Windows 7 natively. That's only an idea because I know that data indicates Windows 7 is a best seller on PCs.

I'm not surprised about Chrome's results on the other side. But I'm surprise of how many people is now adopting IE8 instead of its previous releases, despite some slow decrease in IE overall usage.

Ok, so the critical statement here is "have not been reviewed by Netmarketshares.com Quality Assurance".

According to Netmarketshare, from Jan to Feb XP lost 0.66%, Vista lost 0.96% but 7 gained 1.35%. To my basic maths that is a total drop of 0.27% for the three versions of windows with the overwhelming bulk of Windows users. How then did Windows gain 0.12% overall?

The answer seems to rest with trusty old Windows NT. Apparently from Jan to Feb it's market share rose from 0.11% to 0.52% in other words month to month increase of about 370%! This might not seem all that much in raw figures, but when you consider that NT (understandably) has steadily declined by about 0.1% over the past year, the Feb figure is clearly anomalous. If we exclude the NT data, the overall Windows share will fall by about 0.3%. Don't get me wrong, Windows 7 is an improvement over Vista and will continue to grow. It's just that it's growth has not yet been enough to offset the overall decline in Window's overall market share.

The real story here is the growth of mobile internet access. The concern from MS's point of view is that its share of this market is marginal and in long term decline. Given the momentum behind Android and iPhone OS, I don't see WinMo 7 having any substantial impact here at all.

OS X down last month doesn't surprise me. Everyone who is interested in a Mac are holding their breath waiting for a hardware refresh which is over due on some of Apple's product lines.

Shadrack said,
OS X down last month doesn't surprise me. Everyone who is interested in a Mac are holding their breath waiting for a hardware refresh which is over due on some of Apple's product lines.
I suppose there could be an element of this, but those would have to be "lost" sales from non Apple users - and I don't really expect a lot of them would know about Apple's product launch system.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 1 2010, 6:50pm :

Ibutsu said,
I really can't understand people leaving OS X for Windows, unless they are gamers.

People have preferences on how things work/look. It's pretty subjective. Also I'm sure price has something to do with people switching to Windows.

Ibutsu said,
I really can't understand people leaving OS X for Windows, unless they are gamers.

Why is that? Windows 7 is an awesome OS. I use both regularly. My personal preference is OS X, but you will never see me say OS X is superior to Windows 7 (as a blanket statement).

Ibutsu said,
I really can't understand people leaving OS X for Windows, unless they are gamers.
That's a pretty good reason alone.

Fortunately, however, it appears Steam may be coming to OS X, which may help that market a lot. (Games will still need to be coded for OS X, but it's a waaay better method of distribution and promotion)

Ibutsu said,
I really can't understand people leaving OS X for Windows, unless they are gamers.

It's largely a matter of preference. And games are a legit reason to use Windows. Writing off Windows as just gamers is like saying nobody would ever use a Mac, unless of course they are Final Cut editors.

There is also the matter of hardware choice and cost. I choose to use Windows at home on all of my machines because I can install it legally and easily on any brand of machine I want. I buy laptops from various manufacturers and shop around for the best bang for the buck. I build desktops from components so I can do the same. Since Apple only allows you to install OSX on a few models of computers, it isn't an option for me.

As an example, I just built a machine for a guy at work. It's a quad core CPU, 4GB RAM, 1GB nVidia 260, 1TB hard drive, DVD burner in a nice quiet steel case. It cost around $800 to put that together. The only Mac I can buy for $800 is a crappy Mac Mini.

So, there are quite a few reasons people might choose Windows over OSX. Hardware choice is one and the other is the fact that outside of a few platform exclusive titles like some games or editing packages, there isn't much you can do on one that you can't do on the other.

Windows on Mac's does not always mean Windows sales. I know lots of people that with Mac's that run a copy of XP in a VM for some app they need to use once and a while. Most of them did "pay" for that copy of XP.

rrode74 said,
Windows on Mac's does not always mean Windows sales. I know lots of people that with Mac's that run a copy of XP in a VM for some app they need to use once and a while. Most of them did "pay" for that copy of XP.
So, uh ... either they're sales or not. If they paid for them, it's a sale. If they didn't, it's not.

rrode74 said,
Windows on Mac's does not always mean Windows sales. I know lots of people that with Mac's that run a copy of XP in a VM for some app they need to use once and a while. Most of them did "pay" for that copy of XP.

?

rrode74 said,
Windows on Mac's does not always mean Windows sales. I know lots of people that with Mac's that run a copy of XP in a VM for some app they need to use once and a while. Most of them did "pay" for that copy of XP.

Typo meant they DO NOT pay for Windows, they pirate/copy/whatever it, especially XP. I dont think I have ever seen someone I know that has a Mac, that has a Windows VM (Parallels or Fusion) running Vista or 7.

rrode74 said,

Typo meant they DO NOT pay for Windows, they pirate/copy/whatever it, especially XP. I dont think I have ever seen someone I know that has a Mac, that has a Windows VM (Parallels or Fusion) running Vista or 7.


I have seen plenty. And they pay for it. There was an article about this a couple of months ago. A significant portion of Mac users have MS Windows (mostly XP and 7) on their Macs.

rrode74 said,

Typo meant they DO NOT pay for Windows, they pirate/copy/whatever it, especially XP. I dont think I have ever seen someone I know that has a Mac, that has a Windows VM (Parallels or Fusion) running Vista or 7.

So? People all over the place pirate or copy XP. If OSX wasn't bundled into the cost of buying a Macbook or whatever, there would be tons of OSX piracy as well. I'd wager that a lot of people running an OS other than what came with their machine (regardless of brand) are doing so with "borrowed" work licenses or unlicensed/cracked copies.

Or you could look at a whole year and not just one month and realize the opposite. Its all in the context and how the publisher of this article wants to sway/bias it.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/02/27/mac_os_x_market_share_up_29_leopard_still_most_common.html

rrode74 said,
Or you could look at a whole year and not just one month and realize the opposite. Its all in the context and how the publisher of this article wants to sway/bias it.
Neowin has reported the previous months where OS X has gone up (in combination with the other stats).

This news is notable because it has been recorded as going down for the first time in a while (which surprises me). No need to get defensive.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 1 2010, 4:38pm :

rrode74 said,
Or you could look at a whole year and not just one month and realize the opposite. Its all in the context and how the publisher of this article wants to sway/bias it.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/02/27/mac_os_x_market_share_up_29_leopard_still_most_common.html

There is no bias in it. The numbers show it fell for the month, that's solid data. If you wanna spin it and use Year over year numbers to show how it's higher compared to a year ago, then sure, but it's still down THIS MONTH, compared to everything else.

It's nice to see faithful fans of some product try to prop it up in some fashion.

GP007 said,

There is no bias in it. The numbers show it fell for the month, that's solid data. If you wanna spin it and use Year over year numbers to show how it's higher compared to a year ago, then sure, but it's still down THIS MONTH, compared to everything else.

It's nice to see faithful fans of some product try to prop it up in some fashion.

LOL so a Windows/MS leaning site, has a headline "Market Share: Windows 7up OS X down...." based on 30 days of numbers.

Then they say..... "can help predict trends for the coming year and offer insight into consumer adoption."

Yeah no bias at all. 30 days does not make a trend, especially when Janurary is usually a drop off for almost all consumer goods, being right after the holidays. 1 year is much better if you are looking for """insight into consumer adoption""".

rrode74 said,
especially when Janurary is usually a drop off for almost all consumer goods, being right after the holidays. 1 year is much better if you are looking for """insight into consumer adoption""".
And apparently you're suggesting Apple has a larger drop off than others? That in itself would be insightful, were it shown to be true or relevant.

maartena said,
And Linux, of course, has been floating around a pathetic 1% since 1995 or so.

Linux as a desktop maybe but considering Linux as a web server, it accounts for much much more than 1% share. That's what it does best.

maartena said,
And Linux, of course, has been floating around a pathetic 1% since 1995 or so.
Not sure if you are trolling or just seriously misinformed.

Back in 1995, marketshare was well below 0.5% on the desktop.

Lol, I read on some other website that the OS X market share went up according to Quantcast. I'll trust this one a little more, because the Mac sales have increased year over year, Snow Leopard was adopted really quickly (twice as fast as Leopard), and Apple's reporting their best financial quarters year over year. And personally, I'm seeing more and more Apple laptops at university, especially people who said last year "I'll never get a Mac".

If the OS X % hasn't grown up compared to other OSes, then the OS X user base sure has grown a lot itself.

PsykX said,
Lol, I read on some other website that the OS X market share went up according to Quantcast. I'll trust this one a little more, because the Mac sales have increased year over year, Snow Leopard was adopted really quickly (twice as fast as Leopard), and Apple's reporting their best financial quarters year over year. And personally, I'm seeing more and more Apple laptops at university, especially people who said last year "I'll never get a Mac".

If the OS X % hasn't grown up compared to other OSes, then the OS X user base sure has grown a lot itself.


Do not forget, most of those MACs that you see around also add to the windows market share. Most of my colleagues are running windows on their macs, one way or another.

Besides, saying mac sales have increased does not have much of a meaning if you don't compare it to increase in pc sales. For instance, a %100 increase in mac sales is almost equal to only %5 increase in PC sales.

Maybe this is why the "I'm a Mac/PC" commercials have stopped airing. Havnt seen one in a LONG time...and I am not complaining. They were getting old...

techbeck said,
Maybe this is why the "I'm a Mac/PC" commercials have stopped airing. Havnt seen one in a LONG time...and I am not complaining. They were getting old...

Never liked those ads. Prior to that ad campaign I was largely apathetic about Mac OS. Couldn't stand OS9 and when OSX had a few releases it was a pretty solid OS, albeit a little confining. That ad campaign started the whole false dichotomy of Mac and PC as if there was much difference aside from OS anymore. The claims in the ads directly contradicted my own personal experiences and came off as smug and condescending...as if anyone who would deign to choose another OS or brand of hardware was some amateur or chump. All the talk of viruses and crashing rang hollow as I hadn't had a virus since maybe 2002 and my machines were always stable and useful at a fraction of the cost of a Mac.

I wish they would move more to advertising their strengths instead of exaggerating the weaknesses of the competition. I can't think of many things you can do on a Mac that you can't do on any other brand of PC but they should focus on those things...stuff like the iLife/iWork suites, Final Cut, Logic, etc. Platform-exclusives are really the only thing I can think of that would get me to buy an Apple computer. I use one at work simply because I prefer editing in Final Cut Pro and it is Mac-only.

neodorian said,

Never liked those ads. Prior to that ad campaign I was largely apathetic about Mac OS. Couldn't stand OS9 and when OSX had a few releases it was a pretty solid OS, albeit a little confining. That ad campaign started the whole false dichotomy of Mac and PC as if there was much difference aside from OS anymore. The claims in the ads directly contradicted my own personal experiences and came off as smug and condescending...as if anyone who would deign to choose another OS or brand of hardware was some amateur or chump. All the talk of viruses and crashing rang hollow as I hadn't had a virus since maybe 2002 and my machines were always stable and useful at a fraction of the cost of a Mac.

I wish they would move more to advertising their strengths instead of exaggerating the weaknesses of the competition. I can't think of many things you can do on a Mac that you can't do on any other brand of PC but they should focus on those things...stuff like the iLife/iWork suites, Final Cut, Logic, etc. Platform-exclusives are really the only thing I can think of that would get me to buy an Apple computer. I use one at work simply because I prefer editing in Final Cut Pro and it is Mac-only.

Those ads literally compared a Windows 98 PC with an OSX Mac. Most of the "Problems" reported by Mac have long since gone away since Vista.

Edited by Frylock86, Mar 1 2010, 4:34pm :

Frylock86 said,

Those ads literally compared a Windows 98 PC with an OSX Mac. Most of the "Problems" reported by Mac have long since gone away since Vista.

Since 2000/XP IMHO. Those ads were terrible.

neodorian said,

Never liked those ads. Prior to that ad campaign I was largely apathetic about Mac OS.


I'm in the same boat. I actually remember quite well being the guy in OS arguments who would say each platform had its strengths, and Macs were great for some people and PCs were great for others, and leave it at that. There was the cult of Mac back then, too, but they didn't have a media culture behind them at that point.

Then shiznit got weird, Apple stores sprung up, ad campaigns went on the offensive, and the Mac community grew its own wing of fundamentalist wackos and, despite the hippie image, do a far better job of paralleling the 'extreme far right' of some politicized tech spectrum.

"OS X also saw a small drop in market share which may be attributed to Windows 7 being accepted by many consumers."

And you are basing this on what exactly?

.Neo said,
"OS X also saw a small drop in market share which may be attributed to Windows 7 being accepted by many consumers."

And you are basing this on what exactly?

'may' being the keyword

.Neo said,
And you are basing this on what exactly?
What else could it really be? Other than the stats being wrong, Win7 is basically the only event that would likely be important enough.

Perhaps you should suggest alternatives?

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 1 2010, 2:16pm :

.Neo said,
Yes, and again, what are you basing it on beyond pure speculation from your part?

That's usually what the word "may" implies...speculation. What's your point exactly?

From what I've read no recent Windows release really impacted Mac sales. At least not negatively. Personally I find it very hard to believe that people are suddenly dropping Mac OS X just because Windows 7 is being better accepted than Windows Vista did back in the days. The only space I see Windows 7 competing over are other Windows versions. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

Tom W said,

That's usually what the word "may" implies...speculation. What's your point exactly?

I'm not trying to make a point. I'm asking a simple question. That's what the "?" on the end of a sentence implies. Of course there is always room for the writer to share his/her thoughts but it would be nice to see some base for it other than pure speculation. This is especially the case for news items.

Edited by .Neo, Mar 1 2010, 2:49pm :

Tom W said,

That's usually what the word "may" implies...speculation. What's your point exactly?

He has not point Tom, he's a troll.

.Neo said,
Personally I find it very hard to believe that people are suddenly dropping Mac OS X just because Windows 7 is being better accepted than Windows Vista did back in the days.

Well if the numbers are correct, something is eating into the OS X market share... Is it Linux? LOL...

In all seriousness though, it could just be Windows 7 sales *growing* faster than OS X sales. It doesn't actually mean people are dropping OS X.

.Neo said,
From what I've read no recent Windows release really impacted Mac sales. At least not negatively. Personally I find it very hard to believe that people are suddenly dropping Mac OS X just because Windows 7 is being better accepted than Windows Vista did back in the days. The only space I see Windows 7 competing over are other Windows versions. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.


I'm not trying to make a point. I'm asking a simple question. That's what the "?" on the end of a sentence implies. Of course there is always room for the writer to share his/her thoughts but it would be nice to see some base for it other than pure speculation. This is especially the case for news items.


OS X market share dropped in Feb, thats a fact...something caused it to drop and i suspect its windows 7 but it also could be that 100,000 mac's instantly burst into flames...i went with the first option

.Neo said,
Personally I find it very hard to believe that people are suddenly dropping Mac OS X
It doesn't really require anyone to have dropped OS X. It can just mean they start using non-OS X a little more, or that more new users are using Windows than before.

some are even throwing Windows 7 on their Mac, friend of mine got a Mac recently via some ISP deal, bought Windows 7 for it lol
oh well, the more folks using 7 the better i say

.Neo said,
"OS X also saw a small drop in market share which may be attributed to Windows 7 being accepted by many consumers."

And you are basing this on what exactly?

May, probably, likely, unlikely....these are words intelligent people use in statements that give them wiggle room if the contrary becomes more likely. Only idiots make blanket statements constructed as pure-facts.

.Neo said,
"OS X also saw a small drop in market share which may be attributed to Windows 7 being accepted by many consumers."

And you are basing this on what exactly?

Well the alternative is they stopped using computers or switched to Linux XP or Vista. I think 7 is the most likely answer.

noleafclover said,

Well if the numbers are correct, something is eating into the OS X market share... Is it Linux? LOL...

In all seriousness though, it could just be Windows 7 sales *growing* faster than OS X sales. It doesn't actually mean people are dropping OS X.


I think noleafclover wins the prize for best theory.

While it's entirely possible that casual computer users due for a new computer purchase switched from a Mac to a PC after the positive response to Windows 7--and no doubt this must've been the case for some, it's a big market after all--it's far more likely that Mac users a month ago are still Mac users today, but significantly *more* new computer users this month chose Windows.

Not suprised OSX is falling, win7 was a solid release

I have a weird feeling Opera 10.5 might give a decent boost for opera as well, since its pretty fast and being developed even faster than chrome

Neoauld said,
Not suprised OSX is falling, win7 was a solid release

I have a weird feeling Opera 10.5 might give a decent boost for opera as well, since its pretty fast and being developed even faster than chrome

At least on my tests done on Mac OS X, Chrome is the fastest. Opera in the second place and Safari in the third. The difference is very minimal. Opera is just 4% faster than Safari, and Chrome is 11% faster than Safari. Using latest builds of browsers, but not using nighty builds of WebKit.

I have used Opera solely for 4 years (since it went free). I switched to Chrome a month or two ago. I really miss the mouse gestures but I can live without them. But to note, it took Opera like a year to get 10.0 alpha to release. We have just seen 10.5 alpha so I figure we have a long time to go.

Chrome seems faster than Opera for me on Win7 as well, though it's not a very consistent result. If anything, they're both fast enough now that we can pretty much ignore speed differences and focus on features.

Frustratingly, Opera has a feature set much more in line with how I browse, and several things that Chrome simply lacks and has no addons to make up for. 'Frustratingly' because I spent the past year or so frowning at Opera's shenanigans in Europe, suffered Opera's disappointing effort in mobile browsing compared to even the stock smartphone browsers nowadays, and generally dislike any time a company whines like someone rejected on American Idol.

But 10.5 is looking solid, Chrome seems to have plateaued, IE9 remains unknown, and Firefox (which recently won me back after seeing the TwentyTen theme) needs to work on its sluggishness.

Meh.