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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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December 2, 2008 9:43 AM

Web tracking site detects drop in Windows market share to below 90 percent (barely)

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Net Applications OS market share.JPG Tech market share tracker Net Applications measured Microsoft Windows' share of the operating system market at 89.6 percent in November, which TG Daily called the lowest level since Windows 3.11. That figure is down more than 2 percentage points from a year ago. Meanwhile, as the charts show, Apple's operating system market share has increased in that period.

(Data and graphics provided by Net Applications.)

More from TG Daily:

"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."

A note about the data: Net Applications collects "data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month."

Update, 3 p.m.: I ran this by Matt Rosoff at Directions on Microsoft. He doesn't find this report significant in itself, but noted that it's part of a trend we've seen for some time now:

"Apple is the fastest-growing computer manufacturer in the U.S., and that it's starting to take noticeable market share from big Windows OEMs like Hewlett-Packard and Dell," Rosoff said in an e-mail. "Microsoft is certainly aware of the threat from Apple. That's the main driver of the Windows marketing campaign that the company unveiled a few months ago."

He also noted that, as I indicated above, this market share data does not capture the entire OS market. "Those numbers will skew toward home users, who are more likely to spend more time online than work users," Rosoff said.

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