Microsoft Watch writes a new study by Forrester Research indicates Microsoft's market share in the operating system market is slightly eroding:
Windows' enterprise adoption declined 3.7 percent, going from 98.6 percent in January to 94.9 percent in December. Mac OS gained 3 percent, going from 1.2 to 4.2 percent in the same time frame. Linux gained 0.5 percent in 2007.
Adoption of Windows XP held fairly steady, hovering around 90 percent of enterprises. Windows Vista ended the year at 6.3 percent. While Windows' usage declined, "Microsoft's monopoly remains undisputed," wrote Forrester analyst Thomas Mendel. He also cautioned about benefits to Apple:
"While 2007 was a big year for Apple, with its enterprise share growing threefold to 4.2 percent, uptake remains limited to enthusiasts and small workgroups. IT departments crave standardization, and Macs pose too many problems for IT departments. The verdict for enterprise-focused vendors is clear: Unless your market is a niche business group, Windows is the only desktop you need support."
While Windows as a broader product is in no danger, Vista is in real trouble. Mendel wrote: "Vista is having a tough time in enterprises." He noted that Vista's modest gains are coming from Windows 2000. "Its drop of six percentage points mirrored Vista's growth" and XP's adoption "remained fixed." Mendel warned about the future:
"2008 will be a make-or-break year for Vista: One-quarter of enterprises have scheduled 2008 deployments, but given the slow start, little gain in productivity, and the timetabled release of Windows 7 in H2 2009, businesses may decide to pull back rollouts or skip the version altogether, pushing Vista the way of Windows Millennium."