updated 10:05 am EST, Tue December 1, 2009
Mac down slightly as Windows 7 comes in
Mac web usage saw an uncharacteristic drop in November that may be owed partly to Windows 7, new data from NetApplications shows. Windows 7's first full month of availability saw its share nearly double to 3.98 percent of Internet traffic and contributed to a rare fall in the Mac's share, which fell 0.16 percent across all versions. The data also reveals that many users had skipped Vista entirely, as Windows XP lost 1.45 percent of absolute share in the Windows 7 switchover while Vista only lost 0.23 percent.
In contrast, Linux regained some of the web share it had lost in several months and reached an exact 1 percent.
A direct explanation for the Mac's apparent loss isn't given, though as it represents web share and not absolute market share it can be impacted by factors outside of actual computer purchases. Mac use historically experiences a spike in December as users spend more time at home with Apple systems and can sometimes dip when people are most likely to be at work with Windows PCs. Also, Mac owners themselves can contribute to Windows share as they install and run a new Microsoft OS in virtual machines or Boot Camp for the first time.
In web browsers, Microsoft still faced sharp declines and dropped more than 1 percent of Internet Explorer's share to reach 63.61 percent, again its lowest ever, while Firefox now has nearly a quarter of the market, having jumped to 24.74 percent. Safari declined very slightly to 4.36 percent, but Chrome has gained almost half a point to 3.92 percent while even Opera made significant strides to reach 2.31 percent.