updated 06:15 pm EDT, Thu April 1, 2010
Mac makes only significant gain in March share
The Mac reached a new all-time high for market share in March, Net Applications found today. It saw the largest gain of any OS in the month and jumped to 5.33 percent of all traffic online. Windows erased all its brief gains and, while still dominant, fell to 91.58 percent.
Most of Apple's gains could be attributed to new Macs running Snow Leopard, but the reverse was true for Microsoft. Windows 7 cracked the 10 percent mark for the first time, but it wasn't enough to offset declines in both XP and Vista users that may have been switching to alternate operating systems rather than upgrading to 7.
Google reaped the greater rewards in web browsers as it gained half a point and now sits at 6.13 percent. Firefox recovered most of its small losses to hit 24.52 percent, but Internet Explorer continued its steady decline and represented 60.65 percent of browsers. Safari reached its own high but still had modest growth, with a 4.65 percent slice of traffic.
The figures don't necessarily reflect actual share but are often overall clues as to the active user base and of trends. Microsoft has generally received strong reviews for Windows 7 but has had to face a relatively strong Mac lineup and customers hesitant to jump to the new OS; Vista is known to have persuaded some to remain on XP even today and to face the prospects of a complete system format to use it. Chrome has been helped by advertising on Google's own sites as well as newer Mac and Windows updates.
Web browser online share