Windows Enterprise Desktop

Mar 27 2009   4:00PM GMT

Vista Grows Market Share: Too Little, Too Late?

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

On March 23, Sam Diaz blogged for ZDnet that Vista’s market share has apparently climbed past 30% for the first time, according to an analysis by Web traffic monitoring company StatCounter. According to that latter company’s CEO, Aodhan Cullen: “Based on daily data Windows Vista has only topped 30% a few times before and only for a maximum of three days running. This is the first time it has broken through 30% on a weekly basis suggesting that it is gaining some consistent traction in the US.” Based on an analysis of 4 billion pageloads monthly, this data also makes some other interesting observations possible:

  • XP still predominates with a market share in excess of 55%.
  • Vista traffic spikes on weekends, while XP predominates on weekdays. This underscores the presence of Vista in the consumer category, probably pre-installed on newer PCs, with the continuing presence of XP in the workplace.
  • Mac OS numbers show slightly in excess of 8%.
  • By extension, this puts Linux, Unix, and other OSes at about 7%.

While Vistaheads (like me) might be tempted to take some heart from this upsurge (which has climbed steadily since hovering around 10% until last fall), the real news here is that a big loyal installed base of XP continues to rule the workplace. With free support for XP scheduled to end on April 14, 2009, does this mean that companies will be boosting MS support coffers with paid support while waiting for Windows 7 to ship?

I don’t see how it’s possible to come to any other conclusion. It will be interesting to watch the Vista numbers for movement in the coming months, as businesses — especially smaller ones — start to realize what the end of free XP support really means, and to weigh the risks and costs of switching to Vista sooner or paying for the privilege of switching to Windows 7 later.

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