Net Applications: Apple’s Mac OS X posts record gain as Windows XP continues to slide

“On the heels of yesterday’s launch of Windows 8’s preview, new statistics show that Microsoft’s decade-old Windows XP again plummeted in usage share and will be surpassed by Windows 7 in June,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld.

“According to Internet metrics firm Net Applications, Windows XP lost 1.8 percentage points last month to drop to a 45.4% share,” Keizer reports. “Meanwhile, Windows 7 continued its charge, gaining 1.7 percentage points to end February with 38.1% of the desktop operating system usage share.”

Keizer reports, “Apple’s Mac OS X gained ground in February, growing its share by more than half a percentage point and ending the month with 6.9% of the usage market. It was the Mac operating system’s biggest one-month increase in Net Applications’ tracking history, and put Apple within spitting distance of its October 2011 record amount of usage share. Windows overall share receded slightly to 91.9%, the fourth straight month that the operating system has grown share, stayed flat or lost less than two-tenths of a percentage point.”

Amongst Macs, OS X 10.7, aka Lion, again boosted its share; in February, the mid-2011 edition accounted for 38.9% of all Apple desktop operating systems in use. Snow Leopard, or OS X 10.6, retained its lead over Lion, however. The 2009 version powered 43.4% of all Mac desktops and notebooks.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gee, soon it’ll be time for Net Applications to “revise” their methodology again. We can’t wait for “Double Secret Country Level Weighting.”

Related articles:
Net Applications institutes ‘Country Level Weighting,’ cuts Apple’s Mac ‘market share’ in half – August 2, 2009
Net Applications’ Browser and Operating System market share stats ‘under review’ for June – July 6, 2009


  1. …and in slightly related news, Ed “The Ditzky” Zabitzky just said on CNBC that AAPL is a sell. I tell ya’ I want some o’ what he’s drinkin’…

    1. The funny thing is that he bases his opinion on the notion that web apps and HTML5 will somehow hurt Apple. He doesn’t seem to realize that Apple is a huge supporter of HTML5, and web apps were what Apple was pushing back in 2007 to 2008, before stand-alone apps. I just wish someone who knows a little something would at least ask him what makes Apple weak on web apps an HTML5.

      Oh, and the CNBC gang were being a little harsh on Zabitsky. They acted as if he were delusional without saying, “are you delusional”?

  2. I find these stats interesting since even at work Windows is rapidly receding and almost no one I know has it at home. They must be counting every factory floor, kiosk, and ATM (if they run Windows) in the world.

    1. I keep a Pismo running OS 9 for my clients who drag in old PageMaker and Quark files. I continue to be amazed that my 11 year old Pismo runs like a charm so long after it was discontinued.

  3. What this tells me is that a significant percentage of Apple users are reluctant to upgrade to Lion.

    It could be due to the loss in speed, or the iOS-ification of the Mac OS. Or perhaps Snow Leopard was so well-done, there is little to compel users to upgrade to Lion

    1. I have upgraded within the first week of every OS upgrade except Lion. SL is an exceptional OS but the real reason comes down to one word: Canvas. If you A*holes at ACD are reading this, you should look at the graphs qka above mentions and start worrying whether your business is going to last much longer.

      1. The outrage perpetrated by that company on Mac Canvas users was exceeded in contemptuousness only by the hijacking and marooning, by SPSS, of Systat, and in brutality only by the kidnapping and murder, by Microsoft, of FoxBase.

  4. I always wonder what the consumer OS market share numbers are. The usual market share numbers we hear include all the countless Windows machines on each and every desk in each and every office. If we just look at computers in people’s homes, I think we’d see OS X a lot closer to Windows’ numbers.


    1. We know this already. An interesting quirk right after the massive layoffs in late 2008/early 2009 was that the percentage of Macs hitting websites suddenly spiked upward while Windows dropped. Not because everyone was buying Macs after being laid off, but because they were browsing on their Macs at home, not WinPCs at their former work.

  5. This disparity is truly remarkable. The majority of Windows market share is still held by Windows XP — an operating system that came out when Apple was still preinstalling System 9 on all of their Macs (XP came in Aug 01, OS X became default on Macs in Jan 02).

    Meanwhile, System 9 is essentially nowhere to be seen, and the vast majority of Macs are running an OS no more than 3 years old. There should be no surprise that MS stock has been flat since the release of XP, as it truly represents the state of their Windows…

  6. What that means is that pcs are being exchanged at a rate of 1% a month to include win 7. This may seem a lot but given that you can buy xp licenses anymore companies are either recycling xp licenses or keeping their machines for longer.

  7. Wow, 45.4% of Windows users are using an OS that’s over 10 years old! Think about how much technology has advanced since then.

    Not only that, but Windows XP was replaced 5 years ago. Mainstream support was ended 3 years ago.

    While some people may have bought new PCs and installed Windows XP on them, I would think that would be the minority. You’re looking at a hell of a lot of old PCs still in use.

    There’s a huge potential market of reluctant upgrade people using Windows XP. I wonder how many of them are going to have negative reactions to Windows 8 and either continue to hold on to XP or finally come over to Mac thinking the change would be just as radical as upgrading Windows at this point.

    I also wonder how many of those old PCs are just Facebook/email machines? I’m guessing quite a large percentage, which when they physically die, many users will be likely to replace them with iPads.

    1. “Think about how much technology has advanced since then.”

      For the average Mac or PC user, surprisingly little. Other than more efficient multicore processing, there’s not much that 7ista can do that XP can’t. XP is also a much lighter, less GPU-intensive OS than any subsequent Windows version. That’s the real reason that anyone with a 3+ year old PC hasn’t found any reason to pay MS for a newer OS.

      For what it’s worth, the statistics show that Mac users don’t feel the need to jump on the latest OS that Apple pushes out the door, either. …and that’s OK.

      1. That is mostly true, however Snow Leopard is not nearly as ancient as XP. In those terms, a majority of Mac users have upgraded to a fairly modern version of the Mac OS while a large percentage of Windows users have stuck with a pretty old version of Windows. Snow Leopard and Lion combined equaling 82.3% of the Mac OS share and Snow Leopard was released at the same time as Windows 7. So, in the same time period 82.3% of Mac users upgraded vs just 38.1% of Windows users. At the very least this shows how excited (or unexcited) the Windows crowd is about Microsoft’s ability to make great software.

      2. I don’t think I explained that point very clearly. What I meant is that in the ten years, we’ve seen all kinds of technology advancement. Compare the iPhone 4S to any phone or PDA from 2001 and the difference is mind blowing. Likewise compare a Mac from 2001 (probably running OS 9) to a Mac today.

        We’re doing all kinds of new things today and things on a much greater scale. So it seems really strange that people are using such an old interface and operating system to do those things, even if it is “capable” of doing it. OS 9 is still capable of ripping DVDs, and so is XP, but I can’t imagine using it or any computer from 2001 to build out my video library with the multi-terabyte hard drives I have.

  8. The installed base of Windows XP is so misleading. Know what they include? ATMs. Elevators. Kiosks. Just about any not-personal computer that needs a computer is running Windows XP. We have a paper cutter with Windows XP on it. Puh-leeze. I roll my eyes every time I see one of the usage charts showing how huge the Windows XP base is. Whatever. It does not now nor has it ever convinced me to buy a PC.

      1. Actually a lot probably. You don’t have to have a person behind a device to have that device using the internet. A lot of devices gather info from the web and repurpose said info for humans to view or for that device’s own internal function. The postal scale at my old job used to use the internet to keep it’s self updated with the latest data for postage costs.

        1. Those machines connect to the Internet, sure, but not the Web.

          The Web is made up of web pages written in HTML designed to show information to humans.

          A machine getting information off of the internet is not browsing websites, it’s downloading raw data.

          The only way a machine will trigger web tracking code is if it is downloading HTML web pages, which it has no reason to do unless there’s a human browsing the web.

          1. An ATM is basically a specialized web browser with cash in it. It goes to the bank and redisplays the info for humans, it even has advertisement some times. I would bet it’s triggering something like page views.

            1. Huh, I’ve never seen an ATM that advanced before. Most of the ones I see in NY don’t even have color screens. Is this a west coast thing?

            2. Guess it must be. A lot of the ones here in Northern CA have full color screens and they display what look like specialized web pages, some even have ads on them.

  9. The Department of Energy standard is XP, so any new computers bought with Win7 licenses are reimaged as XP machines, even though they have Win7 licenses. I did 500 of them in 2010-2011.

    (Another government operation that needs to be terminated.)

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.