LINUX AND APPLE have thrown a huge curve ball into the increasingly predictable desktop market share figures for the month of September.
The figures from Net Applications' Netmarketshare service, which usually focus on the ups and downs and Windows versions, are this month dominated by a huge jump in desktop figures for Linux which stands at 4.83 per cent (+1.46) and macOS which has jumped to 7.05 (+1.11).
The reasons for this sudden surge aren't entirely clear and, having analysed these figures regularly for the past few years, we're not ruling out a blip - that's something we won't know until this time next month, but it certainly makes a change from the norm.
We don't have access to drill down to individual Linux distros, but we can look at how Mac breaks down. The current stable version is 10.12 which is standing at 3.8 per cent (+0.21) while the upcoming version in open beta (10.13) is at 0.09 (+0.07).
Older versions have done well too. macOS 10.11 now stands at 1.15 (+0.06), macOS 10.10 at 0.76 (0.04) and the rest at 1.25 (+0.01).
This is where we smell the rat as it represents a total 2.5 per cent swing away from Windows overall, consistent with everything that is Windows going down and everything else going up.
To do that by such a margin we are talking about millions of computers, so when we say Windows 7 is down to 46.22 (-2.21) and Windows XP is down to 5.51 (-0.56) then we're gonna take it with a pinch of salt until we see the pattern repeated.
Windows 10 saw a tiny rise to 28.65 (+0.66) and that's believable as progress has been sluggish. Likewise, Windows 8.x is now at 7.06 (-0.36).
So one of two things has happened. There's been some sort of genuine blip caused by a technical problem or maybe even the extreme weather in parts of the Americas, either knocking out computers, or more likely knocking out the monitoring methodology.
Alternatively, it could be a change in the calculation methods used by Netmarketshare that they haven't told us about - it wouldn't be the first time - and we have reached out for confirmation if it's that.
In short, then, it's a fascinating read on the face of it, but let's see what next month brings. µ
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