Chicago (IL) – February turned out to be a good month for Microsoft, at least as far as market shares for its browsers and operating systems are concerned. While Internet Explorer was able to slow its declining share considerably, the company was able to grow its operating share – and Apple lost share for the first time in more than a year.
According to data released my Net Applications, Microsoft was able to grow its operating system market share from 88.20% in January to 88.42% in February. Apple lost 0.28 points in the same time frame and is now estimated to hold about 9.61% of the market. Linux continued its upward trend and is listed with 0.88%.
We suspected Windows 7 to be behind the increased Windows market share number, but Net Applications’ data suggests this was not really the case. Windows 7 market share began to jump to about 0.10% in mid-January and ended the month at about 0.22%. If we believe the data provided by the market research firm, interest in Windows 7 may be subsiding, as the market share of the OS showed a slight but noticeable decline from more than 0.20% down to about 0.16% (0.18% on weekends) in February.
In any case, the pre-release versions of Windows 7 do not have a substantial impact on the OS market yet.
Windows Vista has made much more significant contributions to the Windows market share gains, as the operating system jumped from 22.48% in January to 22.79% in February. All other Windows versions, however, lost ground: Windows XP, which remains the dominant operating system in the market, dropped from 63.76% to 63.67% and Windows 2000 fell from 1.37% to 1.33%.
An interesting side note are mobile operating systems. Apple holds the lion’s of the market – Net Applications came up with an iPhone Mac OS share of 66.61% for February, followed by Java ME with 9.06% and 6.91% of Windows Mobile. However, there are huge market share shifts from month to month indicating that consumers aren’t settled yet and a lot can change over the course of a year. For example, the iPhone held 69.54% in January, while Java ME had 8.40% and Windows Mobile 7.59%.
Surprisingly, Blackberrys still have a negligible market share in mobile web browsing– but it seems that the release of the Blackberry Storm is showing some impact: Blackberrys have been hovering around 1.5-1.7% for some time, but increased their share to 2.24% in February.