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.

Worldwide device shipments[edit]

According to Gartner, the following is the worldwide device shipments (referring to wholesale) by operating system, which includes smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs together.

Worldwide Device Shipments by Operating System
Source Year Android iOS/OS X Windows Others
Gartner[1] 2014 48.61% 11.04% 14.0% 26.34%
Gartner[2] 2013 38.51% 10.12% 13.98% 37.41%
Gartner[3] 2012 22.8% 9.6% 15.62% 51.98%

Desktop and laptop computers[edit]

Desktop operating system browsing statistics
Windows 7
  
58.04%
Windows XP
  
16.94%
Windows 8.1
  
10.55%
Mac OS X 10.10
  
3.96%
Windows 8
  
3.52%
Windows Vista
  
1.97%
Mac OS X (other)
  
1.71%
Mac OS X 10.9
  
1.61%
Linux
  
1.5%
Windows (other)
  
0.2%
Desktop OS market share as of March 2015 according to Net Applications[4]

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 pirated copies. For example, in 2009, approximately 80% of software sold in China was pirated.[5] In 2007, the statistics from an automated update of IE7 for registered Windows computers differed with the observed web browser share, leading one writer to estimate that 25–35% of all Windows XP installations were illegal.[6]

Web clients[edit]

Web clients' OS family statistics
Windows
  
55.74%
Linux based
  
22.02%
iOS, OS X
  
17.17%
Symbian, S40
  
2.02%
Other
  
3.05%
Web clients' OS family statistics in February 2015 StatCounter[7][8]

The following information on web clients is obtained from the user agent information supplied to web servers by web browsers. These figures have a large margin of error 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 twelve 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: 55.51% +0.09% Apple: 17.21% -0.04% Linux kernel based: 22.56% +0.09% Others[a] 4.72% -0.14%
8/8.1 7 Vista XP WP&RT OS X iOS Linux Android
Net Applications[9][10][11] Feb 2015 Increase11.46% Increase45.71% Increase1.72% Decrease15.63% Decrease0.49% Increase5.63% Decrease7.82% Increase1.25% Decrease8.60% Decrease1.69%
StatCounter Global Stats[7] Feb 2015 +0.0211.83% -0.6533.85% -5.951.58% +2.417.65% -0.000.70% +0.175.68% +0.7011.49% +4.501.16% +0.9320.65% -7.995.41%
W3Counter[12] Feb 2015 +0.2211.59% -0.3139.28% -0.122.04% -0.527.36% -0.00 -0.066.28% +0.1711.42% +0.092.44% +0.5512.62% -0.376.87%
AT Internet[13] Feb 2014 +0.43%8.00% -0.46%43.30% -0.26%4.70% -0.76%14.40% 0.0 -0.03%6.60% +0.53%12.70% 0.00%1.00% 0.56%8.20% 0.03%0.40%
Wikimedia[14] Aug 2014 +0.436.82% +0.2524.75% -0.01%1.53% -0.08%5.32% +0.090.86% -0.05%4.85% -1.0037.27% -0.06%1.16% +0.30%12.55% -0.050.37%
Note
  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 200 million iPads sold as of June 2014,[15] compared to 174 million Android and 5 million Microsoft based tablets, with others systems under half a million as of March 2014.[16]

Global shipments ("shipments refer to sell-in", that is, wholesale)
Source Date Android iOS Microsoft Windows Others
Gartner[16] 2013 61.9% 36.0% 2.1% <0.1%
Gartner[16] 2012 45.8% 52.8% 1.0% 0.3%
Strategy Analytics[17][18] Q1 2013 43.4% 48.2% 7.5% 0.9%
Global tablet web usage
Source Date iOS Android Linux Win RT BlackBerry Others
StatCounter[19] Feb 2015 66.47% 29.6% 2.48% 1.16% 0.17% 0.08%
StatCounter[20] Oct 2014 71.67% 25.62% 2.31% 0.08% 0.19% 0.13%

As of March 2015, Android is on a clear path to becoming the most popular tablet operating system (based on StatCounter's web use as a proxy, but sales numbers would also confirm);[21] that is the trend in many countries (at least counties where the market isn't saturated) having already gained majority in big countries (India at 63.25%,[22] Indonesia at 62.22%,[23] and in Russia Android is at 49.55% having gained parity with iOS at 49.48%[24]) and in the Africa continent with Android at 50.81%, with steady gains from 20.98% in August 2012[25] (Egypt at 62.37%,[26] Zimbabwe at 62.04%[26]), and South America at 46.9% has made similar gains almost closing the gap.[27] (Peru already at 52.96%[28]). Asia is at 43.17%.[29] In Nepal, Android gained majority lead in November 2014 but lost it down to 41.35% with iOS at 56.51%[30] In Taiwan, as of February 2015, Android is on top with 51.31% after losing and gaining majority twice in 2014 up from 18.35 in August 2012.[31] China is a major exception (there Android phablets are much more popular than Android tablets, while similar devices get classified as smartphones) where the iPad/iOS is at 82.84% in March 2015.[32]

Mobile devices[edit]

Mobile operating system browsing statistics on Net Applications
Android
  
46.87%
iOS
  
42.61%
Symbian
  
3.43%
Java ME
  
3.32%
Windows Phone
  
2.66%
BlackBerry OS
  
0.98%
Kindle
  
0.07%
Others
  
0.08%
Mobile OS market share as of February 2015 Net Applications[33]

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 successors Windows Phone 7/8, Samsung's Bada and Tizen, and LG's webOS. Android and webOS are 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. BSD and NeXTSTEP are both variants of Unix, while Linux is an Unix-like operating system. Net Applications and Wikimedia statistics consider tablets as part of the mobile OS market share.

Source Date Method iOS Android
(including forks)
BlackBerry Symbian/Series 40 Bada Windows Others
comScore[34] (US only) Jan 2014 US subscribers 41.6% 51.7% 3.1% 0.2% N/A 3.2% N/A
Gartner[35] Q1 2013 Units sold in quarter 18.2% 74.4% 3.0% 0.6% 0.7% 2.9% 0.3%
Gartner[36] Q2 2013 Units sold in quarter 14.2% 79.0% 2.7% 0.3% 0.4% 3.3% 0.2%
International Data Corporation[37] Q1 2013 Units shipped in quarter 17.3% 75.0% 2.9% 0.6% N/A 3.2% 0.0%
International Data Corporation[38] Q2 2014 Units shipped in quarter 11.7% 84.7% 0.5% N/A N/A 2.5% 0.7%
Net Applications[33] Jul 2014 Browsing 44.19% 45.26% 1.21% 2.57% 0.00% 2.49% 0.09%
Net Applications[33] Mar 2014 Browsing 53.29% 36.58% 1.13% 3.92% 0.00% 0.69% 4.39%
StatCounter Global Stats[39] Feb 2014 Browsing 22.97% 47.57% 2.62% 14.86% 3.86% 2.22% 2.22%
StatCounter Global Stats[40] 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[41] Q3 2014 Units shipped in quarter 13.4% 81.3% 1.0% N/A N/A 4.1% 0.2%
Note
Table is only showing mobile OS market share - not the overall market share.

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"[42] with several countries in Africa having done so already, including Ethiopia and Kenya (there mobile is 72.23%).[43]

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[44] 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 2015 Units (Web) 67.8% 35.9% 0.95% 30.9% 32.3% [45][46]
Security Space Feb 2014 Units (Web) <79.3% N/A >20.7% [47][48]
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.[49]
Note
Revenue comparisons often include "operating system software, other bundled software"[50] 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.[51]

Linux as guest on mainframes[edit]

Operating systems for IBM System z generation hardware include IBM's bundled proprietary z/OS,[51] 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.[52]

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.[53]
  • Gartner reported at the end of 2008 that Novell had an 80% share of mainframe Linux.[52]

Supercomputers[edit]

Supercomputer OS family - 1994-2014 systems share according to TOP500[54]

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

Source Date Method Linux Unix Mixed Microsoft Windows BSD based (incl. in Unix) References
TOP500 Nov 2014 Systems share 97.0% 2.6% 0.2%[55] 0.2% 0.0% [54]
TOP500 Nov 2014 Performance share 98.23% 1.67% 0.06% 0.06% 0.0% [54]
TOP500 Nov 2013 Systems share 96.4% 2.4% 0.8% 0.4% 0.2% [56]
TOP500 Nov 2013 Performance share 98.0% 1.4% 0.47% 0.13% 0.05% [56]

Market share by category[edit]

Category Source Date Linux based Mac and other Unix In-house Microsoft Other
Desktop, laptop, netbook Net Applications[57] Dec 2014 1.34% (Ubuntu, etc.) 7.21% (OS X) 91.45% (7, 8, XP, Vista)
Smartphone, tablet, handheld game console StatCounter Global Stats[58] Dec 2014 53.86% (Android) 31.10% (iOS) 1.87% (WP8, RT) 13.17%
Server (web) W3Techs[59] Sep 2014 36.72% (Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, RHEL, Gentoo) 30.18% (FreeBSD, HP-UX, Solaris, OS X Server) 33.10% (W2K3, W2K8, W2K12)
Supercomputer TOP500[56] Nov 2014 97.0% (Custom) 2.4% (AIX) 0.2% 0.2%
Mainframe Gartner[53] Dec 2008 28% (SLES, RHEL) 72% (z/OS) UNIX System Services
Gaming console Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Ouya[60] Jun 2013 0% (SteamOS, Android) 29.6% (PS3) 40.9% (Wii) 29.5% (Xbox)
Embedded UBM Electronics[61] Mar 2012 29.44% (Android, Other) 4.29% (QNX) 13.5% 11.65% (WCE 7) 41.1%
Real time NewTechPress[62] 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. ^ "Gartner Says Tablet Sales Continue to Be Slow in 2015". January 5, 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "Gartner Says Worldwide Traditional PC, Tablet, Ultramobile and Mobile Phone Shipments to Grow 4.2 Percent in 2014". July 7, 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Gartner Says Worldwide PC, Tablet and Mobile Phone Shipments to Grow 4.5 Percent in 2013 as Lower-Priced Devices Drive Growth". October 21, 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Desktop Operating System Market Share". Net Applications. 
  5. ^ "Software Pirates in China Beat Microsoft to the Punch". The New York Times. 19 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Around 25–35% of Windows XP systems are pirated (calculations included)". 
  7. ^ a b "Worldwide user OS families use in February 2015". 
  8. ^ "Top 8 Operating System from Aug 2011 to February 2015". 
  9. ^ "Operating System Market Share". Hits link. 
  10. ^ "Operating System Market Share". Hits link. 
  11. ^ "Browsing by Device Category Trend". Hits link. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
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  13. ^ "Operating system barometer". AT Internet. 
  14. ^ "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Operating Systems, 2014-08". 
  15. ^ Mark Rogowsky (June 2, 2014). "WWDC 2014: Live! News And Much More From Apple's Keynote". Forbes. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ John Callaham (24 April 2013). "Strategy Analytics: 3 million Windows tablets shipped in Q1 2013". neowin. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Android-Captures-Record-41-Percent-Share". 
  19. ^ Global Stats Top 7 Tablet OSs from Feb 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  20. ^ GGlobal Stats Top 7 Tablet OSs from Oct 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  21. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-ww-monthly-201208-201502
  22. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-IN-monthly-201403-201502
  23. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-ID-monthly-201403-201502
  24. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-RU-monthly-201502-201502-bar
  25. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-af-monthly-201208-201412
  26. ^ a b http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-EG-monthly-201208-201503
  27. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-sa-monthly-201208-201503
  28. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-PE-monthly-201208-201503
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  30. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-NP-monthly-201403-201502
  31. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-TW-monthly-201403-201502
  32. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#tablet-os-CN-monthly-201208-201503
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  35. ^ "Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 1Q13". 
  36. ^ "Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q13". 
  37. ^ "Top Five Smartphone Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, 1Q13 (Units in millions)". 
  38. ^ "Smartphone OS Market Share, Q2 2014". 
  39. ^ "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on Feb 2014". 
  40. ^ "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on Aug 2014". 
  41. ^ "Android Captures Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013". 
  42. ^ "Mobile internet usage soars by 67%". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  43. ^ http://gs.statcounter.com/#all-comparison-KE-monthly-201408-201410
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  45. ^ "Usage of operating systems for websites". W3Techs. 7 March 2015. 
  46. ^ "Usage of Unix for websites". W3Techs. 7 March 2015. 
  47. ^ "Web Server Survey". Security Space. 1 March 2014. 
  48. ^ "OS/Linux Distributions using Apache". Security Space. 1 March 2014. 
  49. ^ "Web Technologies Statistics and Trends". W3Techs. December 2013. 
  50. ^ "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. 
  51. ^ 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. 
  52. ^ a b "Vendor Rating: Novell, 2008". Gartner RAS Core Research Note G00162399. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  53. ^ a b Claybrook, Bill (1 September 2009). "Red Hat bolsters Linux for mainframes, tries to catch Novell". SearchDataCenter.com. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
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  55. ^ http://www.top500.org/system/176502
  56. ^ a b c "Operating system Family share for 11/2013". Top 500 project. 
  57. ^ "Operating System Market Share, 2014-12". Net Applications. 
  58. ^ "StatCounter Global Stats: Top 8 Mobile Operating Systems on December 2014". 
  59. ^ "Usage of OS for websites". W3Techs. September 2014. 
  60. ^ "Ouya hardware impressions, aka Indie Game: The Console". Ars Technica. 
  61. ^ "Embedded market study -- Mars, 2012". 
  62. ^ "RTOS market". NewTechPress. November 2011. 

External links[edit]