Usage share of operating systems

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The usage share of operating systems is the percentage market share of the operating systems used in computers. Different categories of computers use a wide variety of operating systems, so the total usage share varies enormously from one category to another.

In certain categories, one family of operating systems dominates, for example, most desktop and laptop computers use Microsoft Windows, while most supercomputers use Linux. In other categories, such as smartphones and servers, there is more diversity. Data about operating system share is difficult to obtain, since in most categories there are few reliable primary sources or agreed methodologies for its collection.

Desktop and laptop computers[edit]

Desktop operating system browsing statistics on Net Applications
Windows 7
  
53.05%
Windows XP
  
17.18%
Windows 8/8.1
  
16.80%
OS X
  
7.05%
Windows Vista
  
2.82%
Other
  
1.69%
Linux
  
1.41%
Desktop OS Market Share as of October 2014 according to Net Applications[1]

There is little openly published information on the usage share of desktop and laptop computers. Gartner publishes estimates, but the way the estimates are calculated is not openly published. Also, sales may overstate usage. Most computers are sold with a pre-installed OS; some users replace that OS with a different one due to personal preference, or install another OS alongside it and use both. Conversely, sales underestimate usage by not counting infringing copies. For example, in 2009, approximately 80% of software sold in China was pirated.[2] In 2007, the statistics from an automated push of an IE7 update onto legal copies of Windows contrasted with observed web browser share, leading one author[3] to estimate that 25–35% of all Windows XP installations are illegal.

Web clients[edit]

Web clients OS families in October 2014
Windows
  
56.08%
Linux
  
21.26%
iOS, OS X
  
18.38%
Symbian, S40
  
2.46%
Other
  
1.41%
BlackBerry
  
0.41%
Web clients OS families in October 2014 StatCounter[4][5]

The following information on web clients is obtained from the user agent information supplied to web servers by web browsers. These figures are inaccurate for a variety of reasons. For a discussion on the shortcomings see Usage share of web browsers.

The most recent data from various sources published during the last six months is summarized in the table below. All of these sources monitor a substantial number of web sites; statistics related to one web site only are excluded.

Source Date Microsoft Windows: 57.12% -1.15% Apple: 18.04% +0.84% Linux kernel based: 20.12% +0.56% Other[a] 4.74% -0.24%
8/8.1 7 Vista XP WP&RT Other OS X iOS Linux Android Other
Net Applications[6][7] Jul 2014 -0.458.21% -0.6033.68% -0.861.23% -0.9816.32% +0.190.85% 0.00.08% -0.694.37% -0.1015.14% -0.011.10% +2.2715.28% -0.260.00% +1.593.83%
StatCounter Global Stats[8][9] Sep 2014 +0.01%10.08% -0.96%34.99% -0.14%2.01% -0.05%9.18% -0.01%0.73% +0.04%0.13% +0.74%5.83% +0.60%12.21% -0.051.17% +0.63%17.97% -0.02%0.98% -0.24%4.74%
W3Counter[10] Sep 2014 +1.1610.34% +1.2940.81% -1.252.64% -0.048.93% -0.00 -0.00 +0.686.64% +0.1110.55% +0.072.10% -0.629.87% -0.00 -1.068.72%
AT Internet[11] Feb 2014 +0.43%8.00% -0.46%43.30% -0.26%4.70% -0.76%14.40% 0.0 0.0 -0.03%6.60% +0.53%12.70% 0.00%1.00% 0.56%8.20% 0.0 0.03%0.40%
Wikimedia[12] Aug 2014 +0.436.82% +0.2524.75% -0.01%1.53% -0.08%5.32% +0.090.86% -0.010.03% -0.05%4.85% -1.0037.27% -0.06%1.16% +0.30%12.55% 0.0%0% -0.050.34%
Notes
  1. ^ The 'Other' column is obtained by summing all percentage data and subtracting from 100%.

Tablet computers[edit]

Tablet computers, or simply tablets, became a significant OS market share category starting with Apple's iOS-based iPad. There have been 170 million iPads sold as of October 2013[13] with 132 million iPads in 2012 and 2013 combined, compared to 174 million Android and 5 million Microsoft based tablets, with others under half a million in the that time period.[14]

Global shipments ("shipments refer to sell-in", that is, wholesale)
Source Date Android iOS Microsoft Windows Other
Gartner[14] 2013 61.9% 36.0% 2.1% <0.1%
Gartner[14] 2012 45.8% 52.8% 1.0% 0.3%
Strategy Analytics[15][16] Q1 2013 43.4% 48.2% 7.5% 0.9%
Global tablet web usage
Source Date iOS Android Linux Blackberry Win RT (Microsoft) Other
StatCounter Global Stats[17] Oct 2014 71.71% 25.58% 2.31% 0.19% 0.08% 0.12%

Mobile devices[edit]

Mobile operating system browsing statistics on Net Applications
Android
  
47.06%
iOS
  
43.86%
Java ME
  
2.78%
Symbian
  
2.56%
Windows Phone
  
2.38%
BlackBerry
  
1.22%
Kindle
  
0.08%
Other
  
0.07%
Mobile OS Market Share as of September 2014 Net Applications[18]

Mobile operating systems that can be found on smartphones include Google's Android, Apple's iOS, Nokia's Symbian, BlackBerry's BlackBerry OS, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and its successor Windows Phone 7 and later 8, Samsung's Bada and Tizen, and LG's webOS. Android and webOS are in turn built on top of Linux, and iOS is derived from Darwin-like OS X, which in turn is built upon the BSD and NeXTSTEP operating systems. Linux, BSD, and NeXTSTEP are all variants of Unix. Many[which?] statistics sites also consider tablet operating systems as part of the mobile OS market share.

Source Date Method iOS Android
(including forks)
BlackBerry Symbian/Series 40 Bada Windows Other
comScore Reports[19] (US only) Jan 2014 subscribers, US 41.6% 51.7% 3.1% 0.2% N/A 3.2% N/A
Gartner[20] Q1 2013 units sold in quarter 18.2% 74.4% 3.0% 0.6% 0.7% 2.9% 0.3%
Gartner[21] Q2 2013 units sold in quarter 14.2% 79.0% 2.7% 0.3% 0.4% 3.3% 0.2%
International Data Corporation[22] Q1 2013 units shipped in quarter 17.3% 75.0% 2.9% 0.6% N/A 3.2% 0.0%
International Data Corporation[23] Q2 2014 units shipped in quarter 11.7% 84.7% 0.5% N/A N/A 2.5% 0.7%
Net Applications[18] Jul 2014 browsing 44.19% 45.26% 1.21% 2.57% 0.00% 2.49% 0.09%
Net Applications[18] Mar 2014 browsing 53.29% 36.58% 1.13% 3.92% 0.00% 0.69% 4.39%
StatCounter Global Stats[24] Feb 2014 browsing 22.97% 47.57% 2.62% 14.86% 3.86% 2.22% 2.22%
StatCounter Global Stats[25] Aug 2014 browsing 23.57% 54.87% 1.59% 9.73% 0.14% 2.36% 7.73%
Wikimedia Mar 2013 browsing 66.53% 25.93% 2.02% 3.03% 0.42% 1.85% 0.7%
Strategy Analytics[26] Q3 2014 units shipped in quarter 13.4% 81.3% 1.0% N/A N/A 4.1% 0.2%

Table is share of mobile OSs - not overall marketshare

Crossover to mobile getting more popular[edit]

According to Statcounter; "Mobile usage has already overtaken desktop in several countries including India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia"[27] with several countries in Africa having done so already, including Ethiopia and Kenia (there mobile is 72.23%).[28]

Public Servers on the Internet[edit]

Internet based servers' market share can be measured with statistical surveys of publicly accessible servers, such as web servers, mail servers[29] or DNS servers on the Internet: the operating system powering such servers is found by inspecting raw response messages. This method gives insight only into market share of operating systems that are publicly accessible on the Internet.

There will be differences in the result depending on how the sample is done and observations weighted. Usually the surveys are not based on a random sample of all IP numbers, domain names, hosts or organisations, but on servers found by some other method.[citation needed] Additionally, many domains and IP numbers may be served by one host and some domains may be served by several hosts or by one host with several IP numbers.

Source Date Method Unix, Unix-like Microsoft Windows References
All Linux BSD Unknown
W3Techs Feb 2014 Units (Web) 67.4% 38.6% 1.0% 27.77% 32.6% [30][31]
Security Space Nov 2012 Units (Web) 62-82% 58-78% >4% 18-38% [32][33]

Note:

  • W3Techs from June 2013 checking daily the top 10 million Web servers but W3Techs definition of "website" differs a bit from Alexa's definition, the "top 10 million" websites are actually fewer than 10 million. However, this has no statistical significance.[34]

Note: Revenue comparisons often include "operating system software, other bundled software"[35] and are not appropriate for usage comparison as the Linux operating system doesn't cost anything (including "other bundled software"), except if optionally using commercial distributions such as Red Hat (in that case, cost of software for all software bundled with hardware has to be known for all operating systems involved, and subtracted). In cases where no-cost Linux is used, such comparisons underestimate Linux server popularity and overestimate other proprietary operating systems such as Windows.

Mainframes[edit]

IBM's System z10

According to a 2008 report nearly 95% of Fortune 1000 companies use IBM's Information Management System.[36]

Linux as guest on mainframes[edit]

Operating systems for IBM System z generation hardware include IBM's bundled proprietary z/OS,[36] Linux on System z and as of 7 October 2008, the prototype OpenSolaris for System z.

Gartner reported on 23 December 2008 that Linux on System z was used on approximately 28% of the "customer z base" and that they expected this to increase to over 50% in the following five years.[37]

Of Linux on System z, Red Hat and Novell compete to sell RHEL and SLES respectively.

  • Prior to 2006, Novell claimed a market share of 85% or more.
  • Red Hat has since claimed 18.4% in 2007 and 37% in 2008.[38]
  • Gartner reported at the end of 2008 that Novell had an 80% share of mainframe Linux.[37]

Supercomputers[edit]

Supercomputer OS family - systems share according to TOP500[39]

The TOP500 project lists and ranks the 500 fastest supercomputers that benchmark results are submitted for. It publishes the collected data twice a year.

Source Date Method Linux Unix Mixed Microsoft Windows BSD based References
TOP500 Nov 2013 Systems share 96.4% 2.2% 0.8% 0.4% 0.2% [40]
TOP500 Nov 2013 Performance share 98.0% 1.4% 0.47% 0.13% 0.05% [40]

Market share by category[edit]

Category Source Date Linux based Mac and other Unix In-house Windows Other
Desktop, laptop, netbook Net Applications[41] Sep 2014 1.64% (Ubuntu, etc.) 6.38% (OS X) 91.98% (7, 8, XP, Vista)
Smartphone, tablet, handheld game console StatCounter Global Stats[42] Sep 2014 49.74% (Android) 33.79% (iOS) 1.86% (WP8, RT) 14.61%
Server (web) W3Techs[43] Sep 2014 36.72% (Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, RHEL, Gentoo) 30.18% (FreeBSD, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, OS X Server) 33.10% (W2K3, W2K8, W2K12)
Supercomputer TOP500[40] Nov 2014 97.0% (Custom) 2.6% (UNIX) 0.2% 0.2%
Mainframe Gartner[38] Dec 2008 28% (SLES, RHEL) 72% (z/OS)
Gaming console Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Ouya[44] Jun 2013 0% (SteamOS, Android) 29.6% (PS3) 40.9% (Wii) 29.5% (Xbox)
Embedded UBM Electronics[45] Mar 2012 29.44% (Android, Other) 4.29% (QNX) 13.5% 11.65% (WCE 7) 41.1%
Real time NewTechPress[46] Nov 2011 19.3% (Android) 20.1% 35.8% (XPE, WCE) 24.8%

Note: Embedded and real time segments are vast categories with subcategories including automotive, avionics, health, medical equipment, consumer electronics, intelligent homes, telecommunications. The aggregated information above may be very different for each subcategory taken separately.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Desktop Operating System Market Share". Net Applications. 
  2. ^ "Software Pirates in China Beat Microsoft to the Punch". The New York Times. 19 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Around 25–35% of Windows XP systems are pirated (calculations included)". 
  4. ^ "Worldwide user OS families use in October 2014". 
  5. ^ "Top 8 Operating System from Aug 2011 to October 2014". 
  6. ^ "Operating System Market Share". Hits link. 
  7. ^ "Operating System Market Share". Hits link. 
  8. ^ "OS monthly 2014-09". StatCounter. 
  9. ^ "Desktop vs Mobile". 
  10. ^ "Global stats". W3 Counter. 
  11. ^ "Operating system barometer". AT Internet. 
  12. ^ "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Operating Systems, 2014-08". 
  13. ^ Ingraham, Nathan (22 October 2013). "Apple has sold 170 million iPads since it launched in April 2010". The Verge. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c Lunden, Ingrid (3 March 2014). "Gartner: 195M Tablets Sold In 2013, Android Grabs Top Spot From iPad With 62% Share". Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  15. ^ John Callaham (24 April 2013). "Strategy Analytics: 3 million Windows tablets shipped in Q1 2013". neowin. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "Android-Captures-Record-41-Percent-Share". 
  17. ^ Monthly Tablet OS, 2014-10
  18. ^ a b c "NetMarketShare:Mobile/Tablet Operating System Market Share". 
  19. ^ "comScore Reports January 2014 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share - comScore, Inc". Comscore.com. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 1Q13". 
  21. ^ "Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q13". 
  22. ^ "Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 1Q13 (Units in Millions)". 
  23. ^ "Smartphone OS Market Share, Q2 2014". 
  24. ^ "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on Feb 2014". 
  25. ^ "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on Aug 2014". 
  26. ^ "Android Captures Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013". 
  27. ^ "Mobile internet usage soars by 67%". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  28. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#all-comparison-KE-monthly-201408-201410
  29. ^ "Mail Server Survey". Security Space. August 2011. 
  30. ^ "Usage of operating systems for websites". W3Techs. February 2014. 
  31. ^ "Usage of Unix for websites". W3Techs. February 2014. 
  32. ^ "Web Server Survey". Security Space. 1 December 2012. 
  33. ^ "OS/Linux Distributions using Apache". Security Space. 1 December 2012. 
  34. ^ "Web Technologies Statistics and Trends". W3Techs. December 2013. 
  35. ^ "Worldwide Server Market Revenues Decline -3.7% in the Third Quarter as Weak Unix Server Demand Weights on the Market, According to IDC". International Data Corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  36. ^ a b "IBM Tightens Stranglehold Over Mainframe Market; Gets Hit with Antitrust Complaint in Europe". Computer & Communications Industry Association. 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  37. ^ a b "Vendor Rating: Novell, 2008". Gartner RAS Core Research Note G00162399. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  38. ^ a b Claybrook, Bill (1 September 2009). "Red Hat bolsters Linux for mainframes, tries to catch Novell". SearchDataCenter.com. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  39. ^ "Top500 OS chart". Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  40. ^ a b c "Operating system Family share for 11/2013". Top 500 project. 
  41. ^ "Operating System Market Share, 2014-09". Net Applications. 
  42. ^ "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on September 2014". 
  43. ^ "Usage of OS for websites". W3Techs. September 2014. 
  44. ^ "Ouya hardware impressions, aka Indie Game: The Console". Ars Technica. 
  45. ^ "Embedded market study -- Mars, 2012". 
  46. ^ "RTOS market". NewTechPress. November 2011. 

External links[edit]