Friday, December 30, 2005

Market share of Operating System and Browsers


When it comes to market share for desktop operating systems, Microsoft probably has about 95% and definitely more than 90% of the OEM share.

But most Linux distributions are installed (single, dual, and multi boots) on machines originally purchased with a Microsoft OS. Also, end users change their Windows machine more often than Mac and Linux users. So, the OEM market share info may not my be the right guage.

And if you are designing a Web site, the other problem that could arise is that a particular Website may have a very different user base.

For instance, a Website dedicated to Web design recently said that 6% of its users came to their site using Safari. My interpretation is that the total number of Mac users (including FireFox and IE) was much higher.

So, about two weeks ago, I put a site counter on two of my blogs to get an idea the OS and browsers people use to come to those blogs. One of the blogs is mainly used to post interesting stories from www.digg.com. The other is used to post my thoughts, opinion and observations on economy, technology, finance, philosophy, globalization, etc.

I have regularly monitored the visitors, their referring URLs, their OS and the browser they use.

About 250 visitors have visited the two blogs so far – a fairly good sample size, I would say. So far, I have been pleasantly surprised. Here are some quick numbers: About 61% of the visitors use FireFox, 27% IE, 8.5% Safari and the remaining Opera and Netscape. In OS: 73% is Windows, 15% Mac and about 12% for Linux.

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