BEING THE first of the month, the latest figures are in from Net Applications' NetMarketShare service and desktop operating systems have had another fairly interesting month.
First, the winners. Windows 7, now grandfathered by Windows 8.x and Windows 10 has seen a full percent jump in its market share to 48.41 percent (+1.21) giving it its highest cut of the market since last June.
As we've repeatedly pointed out, when you're doing the maths here, you have to allow for the fact that Windows 10 is available in form factors beyond the desktop meaning the gap between Windows 7 and Windows 10 on 25.19 (-0.11 - yes, down slightly!) is actually bigger than it appears.
Windows 10 only went above the 25 percent mark last month and to immediately have a drop, and more importantly, Windows 7 have a gain is a little cringemaking. If it was a tiny fraction, we'd probably speculate it as a ‘blip' but this is an out and out change of over one percent. Ouchy.
Elsewhere, Windows 8.x has held completely steady at 8.52, with a slight nudge down for Windows 8.1, suggesting that people are stubbornly stuck on Windows 8, but migrating away from its successor.
Meanwhile, for Windows Vista, which will be EOL at Easter, the slow descent continues to 0.78 (-0.06) which Windows XP drops to 8.45 (-0.72).
Linux sees an incremental drop to 2.05 (-0.22)
In Apple news, Mac OS 10.12, which covers most of the current range of desktop machines, save the iPad Pro, which Apple insists is also a computer but runs iOS, has seen a rise to 2.91 (+0.16).
The rise and fall of Apple OS is more linear than Microsoft, so it's no surprise to see that macOS 10.11 has dropped by an almost identical amount to 1.55 (-0.18). macOS 10.10 is down to exactly 1 percent (-0.07) and the rest stand at 0.73 (-0.04) giving macOS a total market share of 3.28 percent.
We've been doing this long enough now that we can safely speculate that the Windows figures may be a blip, but equally, the continuing clinging on of Windows 7 shows no sign of abating with Windows 10 taking its market share from elsewhere.
What can Microsoft do to make Windows 10 more appealing to the enterprise market, who are the most likely to be holding back from the big update? There will be brains wracking at Microsoft HQ as we speak. µ
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We'll leave you to make the obvious joke...