Since the evidence is mounting that Vista will be a success, I wanted to see if this had an effect already on their market shares in the operating system market. So I checked the survey of NET applications. The most interesting question is: Can Vista help Microsoft extend their market share?
Vista-user base is growing steadily. There are already more Vista PCs out there than Macs. The market share of Vista in October was 7.91% whereas only 6.55% computer users rely on Macs. However, I can’t see a significant improvement of the Vista sales in the NET applications statistics. If you compare the last three months of Vista’s market shares (5.41, 6.26, 7.38), you will probably to come to the conclusion that the breakthrough Microsoft is talking about is not yet visible in these numbers. Between September and October the growth even slowed down.
I find it interesting that the overall market share of Windows did not change. It is still about 90%. Obviously, Windows XP users just switch to Vista. But Vista isn’t helping Microsoft gain a bigger market share. It is also interesting to note that Apple’s market share rose in the last year by 1.16%. Okay, that is not really a surprise. I think most of it is related to the success of the iPod and also to the broad media coverage of the iPhone.
I think many are buying a Mac at the moment because they think they fit well to their iPod, even though, they have no idea about its operating system. A friend of mine recently told me that she wants to buy a MacBook. When I asked her why, she replied that she wants a white laptop. Well, how do you respond to such argument? Sometimes I wonder what would happen if Microsoft only issued the Windows logo to PCs with a white case. Would this mean the end for Apple? Probably, not. Steve Jobs is smart enough. He would just start selling pink Macs.
I doubt anyway that it would be helpful for Microsoft if they eat up this delicious white Apple. This 1.16% gain in market share only reduced the share of “other operating systems“. Supposedly, we are talking mostly about Linux here. I don’t think that Linux just lost users to Apple. Those who prefer white laptops usually don’t have a big heart for endangered penguins, I guess. However, there is no doubt that many don’t use Windows simply because they don’t like the Redmond money makers.
So there are two groups who won’t be buying Vista, anyway: those who have class and style and those who dream of a better world where all software is free. Together they represent 10% of all computer users. The other 90% are just average guys like you and me who buy what everyone uses. It seems that these numbers can’t be changed easily.
The conclusion is that Vista probably won’t change the market share of Windows. However, I do believe that we will see major shifts in the server market as soon as Windows Server 2008 comes out. CIOs are mostly driven by costs and not so much interested in cool colors or cute penguins.