Vista Market Share On Steady Growth Curve
Windows Vista, Microsoft's beleaguered OS, finally has some good news surrounding it: it's gaining market share, and is poised to become the second-most popular OS, surpassing Apple's Mac OS X.
According to the latest
figures by research firm NetApplications, Vista's market share has increased from 0.18 percent -- where it stood at January's commercial release -- to 4.52 percent in June. That slow but steady growth curve means it should outstrip OS X, which currently has about 6 percent of the market, sometime this Fall.
The study compares three Microsoft OSes -- Windows XP, Vista and Windows 2000 -- and both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. Of those five, only Vista showed positive growth. Intel Mac had been trending upward, but suffered a slight drop in June. That finding has to be worrisome for Apple. The company's decision to drop Intel processors into Apple machines, thereby making them more compatible with Windows, was a key part of its strategy to increase market share.
XP still dominates the landscape, with slightly less than 82 percent of the market. That's down from a high of 85.3 percent in December of 2006. Windows 2000 has four percent of the market. The study's "other" category, the majority of which presumably consists of various Linux desktop flavors, comes in last at about 3.5 percent.
In the meantime, any bit of good news regarding Vista has to be a welcome relief to Microsoft. The OS is under the gun on several fronts:
- Microsoft recently revised
its FY 2008 sales forecasts, announcing that it expects Vista to sell
fewer units than predicted, and XP sales to remain strong.
- Confusion surrounds the release of Vista SP1. A beta
release was expected last week, but it never happened. Microsoft stated
previously that it would likely release SP1 early next year, in part
because it will include changes to desktop search technology following
complaints by competitors.
- Vista still suffers from
compatibility problems, particularly with business applications.
- Dell recently did an about-face and agreed to start offering XP again on computers, in response to
- In a story that first appeared in
Financial Times Deutschland, Acer President Gianfranco Lanci was
quoted as saying that "The whole industry is disappointed with Windows
Vista." Lanci was also quoted as saying that the Vista launch has had
the smallest impact on PC sales of any version of Windows in the
history of PC manufacturing, and that the situation didn't look likely
to change in the next six months. He continued his attack, saying that
Vista "stability is certainly a problem." It appears significant that the president of the
world's fourth-largest PC maker would bite the hand that feeds him.
Still, despite those problems, Vista use is increasing. But even that can be attributed largely to the fact that OEMs have pre-loaded Vista on most of their new computers, leading to the conclusion that market share increases aren't due to customer demand for the OS.
It's getting more and more difficult to find silver linings with Vista these days.