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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vista use grows as Mac OS X stays flat?

Computerworld is all over the map on this one:
Microsoft's OS should pass Apple's next month
Huh? Vista surpassed Mac OS X about five months ago from what I can tell. PC makers sold almost 60 million PCs in the second quarter alone. Let's assume that 80 percent of them come with Vista. That means that almost 50 million Vista users came on board in just that quarter. That's more than double the actual number of Mac OS X users.
Windows Vista's share of online users has increased every month this year, while rival Mac OS X -- to which Vista has often been compared -- has shown little, if any, growth, a metrics company reports.
I'm not a big fan of using Web metrics to establish usage share, but whatever. I don't think that anyone would claim that:

1) Vista hasn't already surpassed OS X usage.

2) Mac OS X usage is not growing.

These two points of fact sort of render the Web metrics argument to be as useless as I always believed, no?
According to Net Applications, in June Windows Vista accounted for 4.52% of all systems that browsed the Web, up from January's 0.18%. Vista has grown its usage share each month since its release to consumers Jan. 30, hitting 0.93% in February, 2.04% in March, 3.02% in April and 3.74% in May. Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, meanwhile, accounted for 6.22% in January and hit its high point of 6.46% in May, but it slipped back to 6% in June.

If Vista's uptake trend continues, it should pass Mac OS X in Web usage share by the end of August.
Or by the end of last February, when the real usage shift actually happened.
According to Net Applications' data, the computer maker is not making new Mac converts ... Net Applications' 6% share for Mac OS X jibes with recent IDC sales estimates, which put Apple's portion at 5.6% of all personal computer sales in the U.S.
So are the Net Applications numbers only from the US? Because even with 30 percent YOY growth in CYQ2 2007, the Mac has about 2.88 percent market share worldwide. This article doesn't introduce the term "U.S." until the discussion about Mac market share.

In short, this story is an absolute mess and cannot be trusted. Here's my summary, which runs contrary to just about everything you'll read in this waste of time:

1) Real world Vista usage surpassed Mac OS X usage sometime in February 2007, March at the latest.

2) Real world Mac OS X usage is continuing to grow, as evidenced by Apple's quarterly market share gains worldwide and in the US. (And you silly Mac fanatics thought that my focus on market share was malevolent.)

3) Web analytics cannot accurately measure OS usage, sorry. It's unclear whether these guys can do anything except give rough numbers for Web browsers. And even that's inaccurate given all the browser ID spoofing.

4) You can't mix market data even though I see it happen all the time. If Net Applications is measuring some subset of the Web world, either within the US or not, you cannot draw conclusions about a particular OS's market share in the US. Obviously.

Thanks Paolo.

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[ Posted at 8:38 AM | Permalink ]


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