Mac OS X overtakes Windows Vista in global market share

Mac OS X overtakes Windows Vista in global market share

Summary: Apple's slow but consistent progress -- getting Macs into more and more homes and businesses -- has finally nudged its worldwide market share to a point where it beats Microsoft's Windows Vista.


Data released by web metrics firm NetMarketShare for August shows that worldwide usage of Apple's Mac OS X platform has overtaken that of Microsoft's Windows Vista. At the same time, Windows 7 has finally overtaken the aging Windows XP to become the world's dominant operating system.

Total worldwide usage for Mac OS X for August was recorded as 7.13 percent -- which doesn't seem like much when compared to total Windows usage of 91.77 percent -- but it comfortably beats the 6.15 percent worldwide usage share for Windows Vista.

The slow erosion of the Windows Vista usage share, combined with the similarly slow increase in Mac OS X usage, made the switch inevitable. Windows Vista never gained the widespread popularity -- either in the home or with enterprise users -- that was seen by Windows XP and Windows 7. At the same time Apple has been making slow but consistent progress in getting Macs into more and more homes and businesses, selling some 4 million each and every quarter.

The data also shows how rapidly Apple's latest OS X release -- OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion -- is being adopted by users. In a little over a month -- OS X 10.8 was released June 25 -- the ninth major release of OS X already has a worldwide usage share of 1.34 percent, rapidly closing in on 10.6 Snow Leopard with a share of 2.23 percent, and 10.7 Lion with a 2.29 percent share.

This rapid adoption is down to people upgrading existing Macs as opposed to people rushing out to buy new systems.

Overall though, if we look at the bigger picture, we're not seeing any evidence of any of the operating system players -- Windows, Mac or Linux -- making any significant land grabs in terms of usage share. 

NetMarketShare uses data captured from the 160 million unique visitors browsing some 40,000 web sites it monitors for its clients.

Image source: NetMarketShare.

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Microsoft, Windows

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  • No news.

    Apple charges users for incremental updates, another rip-off. Windows users get their updates for free and they are called service packs or windows updates.

    Vista is two generation old and corporate world never really adopted it, partly due to upgrade cycle, so its a pointless comparison.

    With ultra books taking over, apple OS is going to be a tough sell.
    • Don't know about you but I get many a free update from Apple:)

      Just downloaded a free upgrade from Apple yesterday. I've only ever paid for major upgrades you know when the cat name changes and such. So huh!?!

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • owllnet never used Apple before

        So yes, he speaks from ignorance. Crystal clear ignorance.
        Cylon Centurion
        • And you on the other hand

          speak from you rear end.
          • Is that why your mouth is open all the time, Bugsworth?

            Ready to receive?

            Cylon Centurion
      • Major upgrade?

        I have not seen a Major upgrade on mac software in a long time! When was that 12 or 15 years ago? What a joke! Haha
        • By your logic...

          Windows XP was an incremental upgrade over Windows 2000, Windows 7 was an incremental upgrade over Windows Vista, and since Windows 8 will most likely be version 6.2, that would also make it an incremental upgrade over Windows 7.

          Also, considering that Microsoft charged everyone full price for their Windows 98 mistake when they released Second Edition as the fix, I do believe that you just lost any points you had.
    • No clue...

      I love when people talk without a clue about a topic. Apple doesn't charge anything for updates. So you learned something today. As for Vista I thing it was the second worst version of Windows after of course Me (Millenium) remember it?
      • I don't no how

        you would no since you never used it.
        • Plz don't speculate

          I wasn't born with an Apple tattoo on my forehead. Also a quote says "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" so I always trying other OS. Doing that I have the right to speak about then without being a funboy
          • Forgive Bugsworth

            He hasn't eaten any fiber today.
            Cylon Centurion
      • Nope, Vista was 3rd.

        Windows 98 - the non second edition version - won second place.
    • Owllnet is confused...

      confused between Apple's $20 major yearly updates (Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion) and the incremental updates to those during the year.

      To clear confusion

      MAJOR update: ($20 on Mac / $40 - $100+ on Windows) - depending on the OS version (XP, Vista, 7, 8)
      Lion 10.7 is equal to Win 7
      Mountain Lion 10.8 is equal to Win 8

      Minor/Incremental Update (free on both platforms)
      Lion 10.7.1, 10.7.2 is equal to Win 7 SP1, SP2
      Mountain Lion 10.8.1, 10.8.2 is equal to Win 8 SP1, SP2

      Your welcome for the clarification.
      Lion 10.
    • Shrug, they're not that incremental

      Mountain Lion's doing a lot of the same stuff Windows 8 is doing (including the annoying stuff like borrowing from their respective Phone OS for UI elements.)

      Probably the best Ultra Book you can buy is the MacBook Air.

      If you want to install Windoze via its Bootcamp utility, go ahead,
      but once you use Mac (OS X), you won't go back !!!
  • No comparison

    "Mac OS X overtakes Windows Vista in global market share"
    So what? Who cares? How is this news?
    Windows Vista was a POS and most of the copies running were pre-installed, not upgrades.
    Comparing Windows Vista installs to OS X installs means nothing except that OS X can only now beat out the worst version of Windows ever made which is now 6 years old. It's actually kind of sad now that I think about it.
    • The good news is it shows even in an old area like the desktop Apple is

      growing. That is great to hear/realize:) So Apple is doing well on all fronts. Not as god as MS on the desktop of course but it is improving for Apple and that can't be bad.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Did you know that OS X mean all the versions.. 10.1 to 10.8?

        SO, tell me WIN Vista < all the mac out there...
      • Wow Jim

        By this rate it should pass Windows 7 sometime around 2248! Assuming Apple is still in business by then.
        • Faster

          By then there will be no more OS X! Just iOS.

          BTW some predict that Android will outsell Win8 devices by 2014 (that is: at the same time there will be more devices sold with Android than those with Win8)