Mac OS X and Linux Left Scrambling for Wow Crumbs in the Windows Vista Dust

Microsoft is celebrating a veritable Windows Vista feast, while Mac OS X and Linux are left scrambling for Wow crumbs.

While Mac OS X and Linux are traditionally associated with rival products to Windows, on the current operating system market the most relevant face-off is positioning head-to-head Windows Vista and Windows XP. And Vista is slowly winning the battle, dislodging small chunks of audience from under XP's dominance with each passing month.

Made available to businesses in November 2006 and to the general public in January 2007, Vista has grown its share of the operating system market from close to nothing in the beta testing milestones to almost 8% at the end of November, having moved past the installed base of Linux and Mac OS X since summer.

Windows Vista is in fact the only product that has experienced growth between September and October, increasing its foothold on the market from 7.38% to 7.91%, according to data made available by Net Applications. At the same time, Windows XP dropped from 79.32% to 79.07%, and the Windows client released at the end of 2001 is increasingly struggling with an eroding market share. The various distributions of Linux only managed to account for a period of stagnation, remaining stuck at 0.81% for the past couple of months. But this is still more than what can be said for Mac OS X, as the combined results for Intel Mac and Mac OS decreased from 6.61% in September to 6.55% in October.

Still, the OS X drop comes naturally, accompanying the anticipation of the launch of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard at the end of October. The next month’s statistics are bound to be more favorable for Apple, as the Cupertino-based hardware company applauded selling two million Leopard licenses in the first weekend of availability. Still, Vista also has nowhere but up to go, with the upcoming holiday season and with the first service pack planned for the first quarter of 2008. Microsoft has boasted over 88 million sold licenses of the platform since launch, and a strong revenue growth for the Windows Client division which reeked in some $4,1 billion in revenue in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008.

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