Usage share of operating systems
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
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. Conversely, sales underestimate usage by not counting infringing copies. For example, in 2009, approximately 80% of software sold in China was pirated. 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 to estimate that 25–35% of all Windows XP installations are illegal.
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||Apple||Linux kernel based||Other[a]|
|Net Market Share||Mar-14[update]||8.43%||36.37%||2.23%||20.65%||0.18%||0.19%||5.65%||13.55%||1.11%||10.53%||0.28%||1.85%|
|StatCounter Global Stats||Mar-14[update]||8.66%||38.35%||2.58%||13.06%||0.63%||0.14%||6.02%||9.88%||1.10%||12.94%||1.18%||3.03%|
- The 'Other' column is obtained by summing all percentage data and subtracting from 100%.
|Strategy Analysis||Q1 2013||48.2%||43.4%||7.5%||0.9%|
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 related to Unix. Many[which?] statistics sites also consider tablet operating systems as part of the mobile OS market share.
|comScore Reports (US only)||Jan-14||subscribers, US||41.6%||51.7%||3.1%||0.2%||N/A||3.2%||N/A|
|International Data Corporation||May-13||units shipped||17.3%||75.0%||2.9%||0.6||N/A||3.2%||0.0%|
|Net Market Share||July-13||browsing||58.26%||25.28%||3.23%||2.23%||0.05%||1.15%||0.19%|
|StatCounter Global Stats||Feb-14||browsing||22.97%||47.57%||2.62%||14.86%||3.86%||2.22%||2.22%|
|Strategy Analytics||Oct-13||units shipped||13.4%||81.3%||1.0%||N/A||N/A||4.1%||0.2%|
Table is share of smartphone OSs - not overall marketshare.
Servers on the Internet
Server market share can be measured with statistical surveys of publicly accessible servers, such as web servers, mail servers 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. 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|
|W3Techs||February 2014||Units (Web)||67.4%||38.6%||1.0%||27.77%||32.6%|||
|Security Space||November 2012||Units (Web)||62-82%||58-78%||>4%||18-38%|||
A method to measure the overall server market, rather than subsets like publicly accessible web servers, is to count server hardware sales, using data from server manufacturers. Using this method, market share can be measured either in units or in revenue. In either case, the measure refers to server hardware, not to software. Units refers to the number of physical servers running a given OS, and revenue refers to hardware revenue for physical servers running that OS. It does not refer to software licensing or support revenue, which often varies considerably from one OS to another.
Gartner reported on December 23, 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.
- 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.
- Gartner reported at the end of 2008 that Novell had an 80% share of mainframe Linux.
|Source||Date||Method||Linux||Unix||Mixed||Microsoft Windows||BSD based||References|
|TOP500||November 2013||Systems share||96.4%||2.2%||0.8%||0.4%||0.2%|||
|TOP500||November 2013||Performance share||98.0%||1.4%||0.47%||0.13%||0.05%|||
|Category||Source||Date||Linux based||Mac and Other Unix||In-House||Windows||Other|
|Desktop, laptop, netbook||Net Applications||Mar-14||1.49% (Ubuntu, etc.)||7.57% (OS X)||90.94% (XP, 7, Vista, 8)|
|Smartphone, tablet||StatCounter Global Stats||Mar-14||46.26% (Android)||33.09% (iOS)||1.78% (WP8, RT)||18.87%|
|Server (web)||W3Techs ||Jan-14||34.62% (Debian, CentOS, RHEL)||32.48% (BSD, HP-UX, Aix, Solaris)||32.90% (W2K3, W2K8)|
|Supercomputer||TOP500 ||Nov-13||96.4% (Custom)||2.4% (UNIX)||0.4%||0.8%|
|Mainframe||Gartner||Dec-08||28% (SLES, RHEL)||72% (z/OS)|
|Gaming console||Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Ouya ||Jun-13||0% (SteamOS, Android)||29.6% (PS3)||40.9% (Wii)||29.5% (Xbox)|
|Embedded||UBM Electronics ||Mar-12||29.44% (Android, Other)||4.29% (QNX)||13.5%||11.65% (WCE 7)||41.1%|
|Real time||NewTechPress ||Nov-11||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.
- Comparison of operating systems
- List of operating systems
- Timeline of operating systems
- Usage share of BitTorrent clients
- Usage share of Instant Messaging clients
- Usage share of web browsers
- Desktop Operating System Market Share, Net Applications
- "Software Pirates in China Beat Microsoft to the Punch". The New York Times. 19 October 2009.
- "Around 25–35% of Windows XP systems are pirated (calculations included)".
- "Worldwide user OS families use in March 2014".
- "Top 8 Operating System from Aug 2011 to Mar 2014".
- Operating System Market Share, Hits link
- Operating System Market Share, Hits link
- Desktop vs Mobile
- "OS monthly 2014-03", StatCounter
- Global stats, W3 Counter
- Operating system barometer, AT Internet
- Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Operating Systems, 2014-03, Wikimedia
- Nathan Ingraham (October 22, 2013). "Apple has sold 170 million iPads since it launched in April 2010". The Verge. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- "Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q13".
- "comScore Reports January 2014 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share - comScore, Inc". Comscore.com. 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
- "Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 1Q13".
- "Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 1Q13 (Units in Millions)".
- "NetMarketShare:Mobile/Tablet Operating System Market Share".
- "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on Feb 2014".
- "Android Captures Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013".
- "Mail Server Survey". Security Space. August 2011.
- "Usage of operating systems for websites". W3Techs. February 2014.
- "Usage of Unix for websites". W3Techs. February 2014.
- "Web Server Survey". Security Space. December 2013.
- "OS/Linux Distributions using Apache". Security Space. December 2013.
- "Web Technologies Statistics and Trends". W3Techs. December 2013.
- "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.
- "IBM Tightens Stranglehold Over Mainframe Market; Gets Hit with Antitrust Complaint in Europe". Computer & Communications Industry Association. 2 July 2008.
- "Vendor Rating: Novell, 2008". Gartner RAS Core Research Note G00162399. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- Claybrook, Bill (1 September 2009). "Red Hat bolsters Linux for mainframes, tries to catch Novell". SearchDataCenter.com. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
- "Top500 OS chart". Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Operating system Family share for 11/2013". Top 500 project.
- "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on March 2014".
- "Usage of OS for websites". W3Techs. January 2014.
- "Ouya hardware impressions, aka Indie Game: The Console". Ars technica.
- "Embedded market study -- Mars, 2012".
- "RTOS market". NewTechPress. November 2011.
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