Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mac OS X and Linux Continue to Erode Windows' Install Base

Apple's Mac OS X and the open source Linux operating systems continue to erode the install base of Microsoft's proprietary platform. According to statistics made available by Net Applications, Windows accounted for a market share of no less than 93.06% back in August 2007. One year later, and all the available versions of Windows own just 90.66% of the operating system market – a consistent drop, which places Microsoft dangerously close to the 90% milestone. In fact, by the end of 2008, the Redmond company could see Windows' share of the OS market depreciate under 90%, if the current trends continue.

The release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 in March 2008 has done little to stop Mac OS X and Linux from gaining additional users. At the end of August 2007, Apple had 6.18% of the operating system market. A year later, and the Cupertino-based hardware company has managed to climb to 7.86% and, considering the explosion of the iPhone's install base to a high of 0.30%, it is now well over 8%. In fact the availability of the iPhone 3G has caused the phone's OS share of the overall market to jump over 58% just from July to August 2008.

According to Net Applications, at the end of the past month, Linux enjoyed a share of 0.93%. The distributions of the open source platform may very well still be under 1%, but the growth from August 2007 is nothing short of spectacular. Last year, Linux only owned a share of 0.47%. August 2008 has seen Linux's install base almost double compared to the same month of 2007, and September 2008 might very well see the platform over the 1% milestone.

Following the rollout of Windows Vista and the June 2008 retail and OEM availability cut-off date, Windows XP is down to just 69.49% in August 2008, having dropped from 79.66% in August 2007. During the same period Windows Vista has increased its market share from 7.41% to 17.85%. Microsoft has in fact been claiming since mid-2008 that it has sold in excess of 180 million licenses of Windows Vista.

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