New market share figures from Net Applications unveil Microsoft Windows' marketshare has dropped below 90 percent, a 15-year low. For the first time in its 23-year old history, Windows lost 2.8 percent of marketshare in just 12 months.
In the operating system market Apple Mac OS X now holds the second spot with a marketshare of 8.87 percent, up from 6.80 pecent a year ago, but that's still a very long way from the 89.62% marketshare of Microsoft's Windows operating system. Linux is the third largest operating system, albeit with a marketshare of only 0.87 percent, up from 0.57 percent a year ago.
Windows market share is generally believed to have peaked at 97.5% in the 2002-2003 time frame. Of course, we were interested in finding out about the timeframe when Windows crossed the 90% market share mark on the way up. It turned out that we had to go back quite a bit and if we believe this story published in December 2005 by Ars Technica, then Microsoft cleared the 90% hurdle in 1993 or 1994 with Windows 3.11. On a personal note, this is about the time when this author was first confronted with a Windows PC and was fascinated by the simplicity of the operating system (well, at least from the view of the time back then.)
If we dive a bit deeper in the most recent operating system market share developments, then it is interesting to see that while Vista is now listed with a market share of nearly 20.5%, it is far from being able to pick up the market share older Windows versions are losing. For example, Windows XP lost about 2.4 points (from 68.67% to 66.31%) over the past three months, but Vista gained only 2.1 points (18.33% to 20.45%). And we are talking only about XP here: Windows 2000 lost an additional 0.35 points, Windows NT 0.03 points, Windows 98 0.05 points and Windows Me 0.02 points, according to Net Applications.