Net Applications is one of the companies that monitor operating system (OS) usage and market share. This is done by looking at results provided by search engines, and although not a dramatic increase there is a continued increasing trend for Apple at the expense of Microsoft windows.
The iPhone currently claims 0.5 % (approx) which, if added to the OS X share totals just over 10%. Browser share is also showing this sort of trend with IE now at its lowest share since records started.
So should this be a surprise? Why are we seeing this trend?
Well, if we start with the obvious points; Microsoft's main success has been at dominating the corporate market, if any of you watched the recent Money Programme on Bill and M$, you'll see that Bill was very shrewd in making Windows the default OS in the home and in the office. I believe that part of their continued success was because people would use Windows at work, become accustomed to the way it worked and thereby become happy to use it at home.
Let me be clear before I make the next point: all operating systems are rubbish (not trying to flame, but that statement should probably be saved for another blog).
Apple on the other hand have been plodding along over the years, usually the preserve of the geek or the creative. Breaking into the M$ market share for OS and browser has long been a challenge for Apple and other browser vendors. Mozilla/Firefox have made decent in roads into the browser market, and the means by which they have done this are also for another blog (bias disclaimer: it's just better). The desktop operating system market share has been a little harder; it's always been battled out between Linux/Apple/Microsoft and Linux have consistently hovered around the 1% mark (ish). This has gone up a little over the years due to initiatives from companies like Dell who now ship with Ubuntu, and the advent of the "netbook" (or umpc's for the acronym addicts out there) that usually have some flavour of Linux installed.
What should be obvious to everyone is Apple's success in other areas, I am of course talking about the iPod which is now so ubiquitous that's it's become one of those household names like "Hoover". This has built Apple brand and popularity to the extent that when the iPhone was released it was received with feverous excitement. Some called 'hype' and some called 'inadequate' so the 3G iPhone was released and the rest of us got on with loving it.
What people may not realise is that while they are using their iPhone they are in fact using an Apple operating system, it's my belief that the familiarity with the iPod, iPhone and Apple as a brand, is opening people up to using a Mac at home. Apple particularly make an effort to get young people involved early by giving them large discounts on their hardware. I think once these students make their way into the business world we'll start to see a serious shift in market shares.Tweet