Vista gains, Windows loses ground in Net Applications data

Windows Vista is slowly gaining more users, but an increasing number of folks are forgoing Windows entirely. That’s the gist of Net Applications’ freshly published operating system market share numbers for February 2009.

Between February ’08 and February ’09, Vista purportedly gained almost 10 percentage points, climbing from a 12.9% market share to a somewhat more respectable 22.8%. Meanwhile, Windows XP usage slipped from 74.5% to 63.7%. Add those numbers together, and you can tell Windows is slowly losing ground: Net Applicationss says the overall market share for Microsoft’s OS’s (including older versions) fell from 91.5% to 88.4% over the same time period.

As you’d expect, the Mac OS and Linux both made some headway—although the former gained considerably more ground than the latter. Net Applications estimated the percentage of Mac users at 9.6% last month, up from 7.5% a year ago. Linux still represents less than 1% of the market, but it nevertheless managed to climb from 0.65% to 0.88%.

In case you’re wondering, Net Applications says it collects numbers from "the browsers of site visitors to [its] exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers." The firm claims a sample size of "approximately 160 million visitors per month." (Thanks to TG Daily for the heads-up.)

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    • Unckmania
    • 11 years ago

    Windows 7 is bad news especially for Linux i think. Lots of geeks seem to crave 7 much more than they crave the next Fedora or Ubuntu, and geeks is a very important source of people to Linux.
    I used to check the latest Linux releases in hopes someone is actually thinking of eliminating the need to use the console, becasue it’s a definite need, not a choice that keeps the non-geeks away from Linux, but no one seems to be focusing on that, so on my view Linux is in a standstill.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    q[

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    It might be something of a trend since it’s been happening steadily since 2005, but I don’t really think this is an issue for MS until non-MS platforms are 20% of the total. In other words, if MS drops below 80%, one, I’ll throw a party, but that’s also what it’s going to take to really have a big impact on MS’s bottom line.

    And even then, I think this is suspect because we have no idea what the member sites are and no way to guage the demographics.

    • AMDisDEC
    • 11 years ago

    I doubt the decline will decrease.
    With worldwide recession and customers looking to reduce out lay of trivial costs, the open source model become even more attractive than ever. I don’t see this ending in the next couple years and consumers will not be willing to invest in a $300 OS especially since they have long memories of the bath they took with Vista.

    It doesn’t help that the Linux distros aren’t resting on their heels but adding more value with each 6 month release.
    Of the approx. 50 Ubuntu based PCs I’ve installed since Nov.08, I’ve received very few calls for support, which is a good sign that common users are very capable of handling Linux on the desktop as easily as they do Windows.
    Personally, with the exception of running games, I see little differentiation between Windows and Open source alternatives today.

      • swaaye
      • 11 years ago

      Since when have consumers ever invested $300 in a OS? For the vast majority, It comes with their PC and it cost the OEM PC builder something like $20. For those who buy it, the usual way to go is the ~$100 OEM editions for sale everywhere. I’m sure some folks buy the $300 retail box but I don’t know anyone who has.

      Ubuntu does make an awesome web/email box for the most part. OpenOffice is also pretty good for someone who doesn’t rely on MS Office apps for whatever reason (work/school etc). Still, Ubuntu can get ugly quick if you run into a snag by going outside of the safe boundaries defined by the included apps and what happens to be in the repositories. Linux still has very little real world software support (well, outside of server apps).

      I’ve considered Ubuntu-izing some people, but what usually happens is I discover that Ubuntu will probably seriously limit what they can do with their comp. From new hardware and peripherals, to applications that they may need or want.

        • alsoRun
        • 11 years ago

        I bought 3 Windows computer last year, all within $400 (hardware+software).

        This $300 OS stuff is totally propaganda.

          • Farting Bob
          • 11 years ago

          Yea at some point you could buy vista ultimate retail for around $300, but next to no-one did. They just got one of the cheaper versions or an OEM, or got it with their PC.

        • AMDisDEC
        • 11 years ago

        This perhaps may have been true 10 years ago, but today Linux is just as productive as Windows. and maybe more so.

        I have my system setup to dual boot Windows XP or Ubuntu. I spend 98% of my time in Ubuntu using;
        Evolution, Firefox, Open Office Word, Open Office Presentation, Project Manager, the PDF reader, Deluge Bit-torrent, F-Spot Photo manager (for my Canon camera), and CUPS interfaces seamlessly to both my HP Printer/Scanner and Samsung Color Laser printers.

        Unless it’s due to Windows specific software, I have no use for Windows anymore.
        This is great because I used to spend thousands of dollars per year on Microsoft junk.
        Today, I’m very proud to state, I spend 0 dollars with Microsoft and very much doubt if I will in the near future.

          • Tamale
          • 11 years ago

          well, it doesn’t really matter. we’re still less than one percent of the market 😐

            • Vhalidictes
            • 11 years ago

            I can even tell you why. DirectX.

            No matter how nice Ubuntu is (and I’ve tried it), in the end I can’t switch.

            Because none of the games I play work under Linux (don’t get me started about Cedega – or whatever they are named this month).

            I did manage to get UT2004 working (better than normal) using proprietary drivers, but all my MMOs are SOL. As is Linux on my desktop.

          • FireGryphon
          • 11 years ago

          Linux is great for lots of things, and I dual boot Ubuntu as well. I use Windows more often. Linux still doesn’t have an analog to Photoshop; there are some nice graphics programs, but I find Photoshop to be better overall, especially considering the third party apps that I use along with it. Small third party apps is another thing. Lots of times someone will whip up a small program to help with this or that, and lots of times they make the program for Windows, not Linux. Ham radio apps are excellent examples.

          I do agree that for the overwhelming majority of people, Linux is a perfectly viable alternative to Windows, and Ubuntu is my distro of choice when I try to convert users to Linux.

      • kccboy2004
      • 11 years ago

      Oh Man,

      Somebody saw you coming. I paid $95 for my Vista Home Premium which includes Media Centre.

      You must be a bit of a mug to pay $300. Wow !!

      I have a friend who has taken every upgrade from Apple since 2001. He has paid nearly $1000 in upgrade fees. Apple is VERY expensive to keep up with.

        • AMDisDEC
        • 11 years ago

        LOL, I NEVER use the HOME version of any Windows package.

        On the shelf, I have copies of Vista Ultima, X-64, XXP Pro, and 10 seat Win-2000. Not to mention many copies of 98, ME, 95.
        Like I said. They’re on the shelf.

          • Anomymous Gerbil
          • 11 years ago

          Wow, good for you. Of course, your experience applies to everyone else.. oh, except that it doesn’t.

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      /[

        • AMDisDEC
        • 11 years ago

        Nope. These people used their PCs for work stuff , surfing, or school. They aren’t your typical Techreport Stalker, Quake gamer, so they never missed Windows. All are quite pleased with no being bombarded with Adware & viruses every week that rendered their PCs useless.

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          My 75 year old mother has managed to surf the net for years now without being “bombarded with Adware & viruses every week” and her machine has never been rendered useless. These people were doing it wrong (or were getting bad advice, which amounts to the same thing).

          And alternative operating systems don’t save users from their own ignorance/stupidity. Linux and Mac users can still fall for phishing scams and the like.

            • AMDisDEC
            • 11 years ago

            My old grannie builds PCs while baking Apple pies and cleaning her false teeth, but the truth is, many PC Windows users will get affected with some form of Adware/Spyware/virus sooner or later.

            Linux systems are far less prone to these culprits because the majority of malware is specifically written for Windows.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Well, to the extent that this data is a reliable sample…

    It’s interesting that for all the attention Netbooks are getting as the only growth segment in the industry, and all the publicity about vendors selling them with Linux rather than Windows, that hasn’t translated into much of a bump in Linux share. And Netbooks should be somewhat overrepresented among new sales, also, since they’re going to be used for browsing (vs servers, point of sale, and other PCs that never browse the net).

    With past versions of Windows the version transition is primarily driven by new PC sales. The vast majority of people use the OS that comes on their new PC; crazies like us that install new OSes atop old ones are a small niche. Obviously almost no one is buying new machines today, but even when they were buying machines in ’08 and ’07, a lot of people were electing to get XP, not Vista. That was particularly true with corporations, which like to maintain a common OS platform until they switch en masse (usually after 5 years when the hardware has fully depreciated) — though corporate desktops are probably unrepresented in measures like this that look at browsing.

    The Mac growth is going to be all new sales (the hackintosh nuts just don’t have the numbers to matter when we’re only looking at one digit past the decimal point), and they’re going to be somewhat overrepresented as well since they mostly aren’t corporate desktops, but given the economic climate it’s still impressive — even if I can remember a time when Mac marketshare was comfortably into double digits..

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 11 years ago

      Linux marketshare grew by over a third, that’s somewhat significant.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 years ago

        3+1 = 4, which is a 1/3 growth. Percentages of small samples can be almost meaningless.

          • ew
          • 11 years ago

          “approximately 160 million visitors per month.” is a small sample?

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            At 160M, the delta from .65 to .88 is 368K. More to the point, what’s the monthly /[

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            It’s impossible to know because they don’t talk about unique visitors to each site, and how many of those visitors visit multiple sites. The data, as pro-Mac as it can be spun to be, is useless.

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Still, hard to say how much pent-up demand actually exists for W7 given the miserable global economy. That said, I can’t wait to have the RTM release–I’m loving the beta.

    • Buzzard44
    • 11 years ago

    So Vista usage only gets up to 23% right before it is to be replaced by 7? Wow, I didn’t know Vista migration was that bad, being that most new computers are sold with Vista.

    I wonder how long it usually takes Windows OSes to get widespread adoption. Surely it must be more than 25% over the 3?(I forget Vista release date) years since their introduction. I’m sure some knowledgeable gerbil knows.

    That being said, I still run XP for performance issues, among other things. My fastest computer turns 4 this summer.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      In past transitions MS didn’t offer the option to downgrade to the previous OS on a new PC.

        • cygnus1
        • 11 years ago

        Sort of not true. They didn’t offer the downgrade on consumer OS’s before XP. But they’ve had the downgrade option on the NT side for many version, you could downgrade from XP to 2000, and from 2000 to NT4.

          • PeterD
          • 11 years ago

          I actually donwgraded a W XP HE to W Me, because my other pc also had W Me.
          So, MS doesn’t have to offer the downgrade possibility to make it possible for the user to do it himself.

            • Farting Bob
            • 11 years ago

            You actually on purpose downgraded from XP to Me? You have got to be the only person here who ever did that. 😉

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            Remember – 9x was faster than XP for gaming, ME included.

            • AMDisDEC
            • 11 years ago

            Actually, there aren’t many people here. 😉

      • AMDisDEC
      • 11 years ago

      This is right. Users aren’t choosing Vista. Manufacturers are pushing Vista on users by bundling it and making it difficut to unbundle. A few users have actully taken HP and De to court to get a refund for Windows and won, but that’s a lot of trouble to go through to get rid of something you didn’t want in the 1st place.
      Microsoft runs their business like US banks.

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        /[<"Microsoft runs their business like US banks."<]/ Funny because most US Banks run W2K or NT4 still on the client-sideg{<.<}g

          • AMDisDEC
          • 11 years ago

          Yeah. I don’t blame them. Win2000 is the last real value product they released. I still have 1 server running 2000.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 11 years ago

    I’m sure Windows 7 will help slow down the migration away from Windows

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