updated 03:34 pm EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
Both Win 7, XP falling slowly, OS X 10.8 climbing at expense of 10.7
A new report finds that at the end of the first quarter of 2013, the landscape of the user base of the desktop and laptop operating systems has changed somewhat since the end of 2012, according to data published by Netmarketshare. The research firm says that Windows 7 continues to dominate the worldwide landscape with 44.73 percent of the total worldwide PC user base. Noteworthy numbers include Windows 8 climbing to 3.17 percent, and Windows XP holding a commanding second place at 38.73 percent, but falling gently. Mac OS X 10.8 has climbed to 2.65 percent, mostly at the expense of OS X 10.7 dropping to 1.81 percent.
Since the end of December, Windows 8 has gained 1.45 percentage points, with a 0.38 percentage point climb for OS X 10.8. Both Windows 8 and OS X 10.8 gained as a result of losses from predecessors, with Windows 7 falling a half of a percentage point, and OS X 10.7 falling 0.19 percent. Windows XP has fallen around a quarter of a point, from 39.08 percent at the end of 2012. For the first time, Windows Vista has fallen below five percent, dropping 0.68 of a percentage point since December 2012.
Overall, Windows holds 91.89 percent of the desktop operating system supply, with various flavors of OSX climbing slightly to 6.94 percent. Linux retains 1.17 percent overall, a figure largely unchanged for the past decade or more. Microsoft's anticipated Windows Blue service, planned to debut before the end of the year, will likely fragment the Microsoft-developed OS share more -- but to what extent is unclear.
The study and data do not reflect the trends toward a more mobile-centric landscape, and only address desktop and laptop usage on the Internet.