Microsoft Windows 7 is continuing its climb in the operating system market, as measured by NetMarketShare figures based on visits to websites. In the October charts, released today, it reached 18.24%: up 1.14 percentage points over last month, and 14.24 points over the past year. Over the same time period, Microsoft Windows XP lost 9.98 points, falling to 59.07%, while Windows Vista lost 5.67 points, falling to 12.88% of the market. Overall, Windows dropped 1.12 percentage points to 91.12% of the market measured by NetMarketShare, though it didn't lose any of its PC market share.
The Apple Macintosh market continued to show a very slow upgrade from Mac OS X 10.5 to 10.6. Over the past year, 10.6 has increased its share from 1.38% to 2.79% (or 1.41 percentage points) while 10.5 has fallen from 2.61% to 1.60% (-1.01 percentage points). However, Mac OS X's overall market share fell to 4.98% -- the sixth fall in the past seven months.
For completeness, Linux's market share increased from 0.85% to 0.86% month on month, though it's down from 0.96% a year ago.
All the personal computer operating systems can be expected to lose market share because NetMarketShare includes mobile phone and other operating systems. Mobile phone browsing has more than doubled over the past year, with Apple's iOS growing from 0.44% to 1.25% and Java ME from 0.35% to 0.92%. The iPhone's market share, measured this way, is 0.79%, so it looks likely to overtake Linux. The iPad (0.34%) is closing rapidly on Windows NT (0.36%) and Windows 2000 (0.39%).
In the web browser market, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 continued its welcome decline, dropping another 0.54 percentage points. Over the past year, its market share has tumbled from 23.30% to 15.01%, with most users now in China and other "emerging territories". Meanwhile, IE7's market share has fallen from 18.16% to 9.92%, while IE8's has grown from 18.82% to 29.01% -- or to 32.04% if you include IE8 in "compatibility mode". However, IE8's fell by 0.05 points compared with last month, as more advanced users tried the IE9 beta (0.28%).
Over the past year, both IE and Firefox lost market share. IE's share has fallen from 64.64% in October 2009 to 59.26% this year, with Firefox dropping from 24.07% to 22.82%. Google's Chrome was the winner, more than doubling its market share from 3.58% to 8.47% (4.89 points). Apple's Safari grew from 4.42% to 5.33% (0.91 points) and Opera from 2.17% to 2.28% (0.11 points). Presumably both Chrome and Safari benefited from their use on mobile phones: NetMarketShare doesn't give separate numbers for phones, though it credits Opera Mini with 0.95% of the market.
NetMarketShare's numbers will differ from others based on different selections of sites, and are certainly not correct to two decimal places. Nonetheless, it does try to provide a balanced view (it sells its more detailed market research), and historically it has proven to be a good guide to market trends.
NetMarketShare charts the operating system market