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OS dominance

According to the Google statistics done on September 2003, located http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html, the operating systems used to access Google are:

38% Windows XP
29% Windows 98
20% Windows 2000
  3% Windows NT
  3% Macintosh
  1% Windows 95
  1% Linux
  5% Other


So:

91% Microsoft operating systems
  1% Linux


Go, Microsoft! Go, go, go! 8-)

Jack
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Also, on that page you can see how strongly IE 6 is raising, and what pathetic market share Mozilla and Netscape have.

Jack
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I often wonder how the figures for Apple would look if you excluded business, if you go to any corporate then its Windows everywhere but I guess Apple would look a lot stronger if you could exclude big businesses from the figures.

Tony Edgecombe
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

And if you also excluded design shops from the figures?

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I wonder what the 5% "other" are made up of?

Eric DeBois
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Who knows - Amiga, WebTV, etc.

Jack
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Yeh, but going back to the point, what o/s served that query?

_
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

AmigaOS ?


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

BeOS?

CP/M?

Beware the power of my stinky feet!
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Looks like a monopoly gives one leverage.

Mike
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

FreeBSD, Solaris mainly.

NetBSD, OpenBSD, AIX, HP-UX, QNX, etc.

David Jones
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Go Microsoft? Do you work for them? If not, then why the shameless (and somewhat embarrassing) promotion of someone else's interests?

I use Microsoft products, develop for the Microsoft platform, and have been the voice that led several large firms to choose .NET over Java, but I still find it ridiculous seeing someone acting as a fanboy to Microsoft. Personally I'd rather see Microsoft around 50% simply to push them to excel.

Having said that, Google rankings can be deceiving, much like doing a sex distribution (or percentage of smokers) study at a bingo hall. For many occasional computer users "All roads lead to Google" (or rather "All roads lead from Google") -- every computing session starts with a visit to Google. Hell, I worked with one gentlemen who actually worked in the organizations IT, and when I told him the URL to a site (i.e. www.somesite.com) I was agog watching him boot up Google to type the URL in the search bar... We know that occasional or beginner computer users are much more likely to use Windows, and furthermore are more likely to use whatever came with it (i.e. Mozilla).

Advanced computer users, on the other hand, are more likely to launch up their computer and then visit a set list of locations (i.e. joelonsoftware, slashdot, anandtech, whatever...the point is that google plays no part in these visits). Advanced computer users obviously have a higher percentage of users using Linux (not because it is more advanced, but rather because the barriers to entry at the low end are a bit higher), and much more likely to have tried and used several differing browsers, such as Mozilla.

In other words, the Google results might be generally correct, but I wouldn't bet on them being better than maybe  +/- 10% correct.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Ugh...obviously when I said that they are more likely to use whatever came with the OS, I meant IE. Sorry for the confusion.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

It's also possible that it underestimates older versions of Windows:

( http://www.assetmetrix.com/solutions/win98/ )

A cynic writes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Why support windows? Because a single OS with an overwhelmingly large portion of the market means no wasted time doing conversions for other OS's.

Mr Jack
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Would be nice if true, but it isn't "a single OS", there are significant differences between the various flavours of Windows (*cough* Unicode support *cough*).


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Macintosh is strong in the States but non-existent in the Gulf or Spain for example; in general countries that came late to computing missed out on Macs completely.

The statistics look about right to me, particularly the large share of W98. W98 SE is a reasonably stable operating system, and the configuration that W98 machines are likely to have (Pentium II's) does not need upgrading for normal use.

Unlike Dennis I would say that most beginners don't use Google. It's the semi-advanced and advanced people who use it most because they know what to enter in the search bar. My boss for example first used Google only a week ago, and he's been working with computers since 1997.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Why support Windows?

I support Windows because it's the OS for which I program.

After finishing school, I have tried programming for Linux, too. I have tried to get contracts for Linux programming.

And.. guess what!

I found lots and lots of people needing Windows programs (database programs, TCP/IP programs, ISAPI, etc, etc), and very few people needing Linux programs.

So - Windows programming now earns me a good living, while Linux barely brings me a project per year.

With little paid work going around for Linux, and with it's reliance on the "give all away, if you don't give away you are evil" GPL license, Linux and Linux programs are a threat to people who make a living programming.

But, it seems there is a very vocal community who wants to push Linux.

Is Linux better than Windows, at least from a programmer's point of view? YES! It allows one to control a lot more in the OS.

If everybody switches to Linux, programmers will have better, or worse lifes?

At least from my experience and from what I know, programmers will have worse lifes - they will find a lot less projects, and will earn a lot less money for their work.

If a very vocal community pushes Linux, why can't I push Windows?


Wednesday, December 17, 2003

What do these stats really mean anyways. I've got 5 computers at home, 2 with XP, 1 with Win2K, and 2 with Win98.

The Win98 machines are collecting dust.

Am I still a 40% Win98 shop?

NC
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Lets introduce some reality here.

It's all well and good to talk about theory and how it would be great if MS had some competition.... IN THEORY.  In REALITY, a single standard O/S is a win-win for me and my customers.


I'm still selling the same VB 3 programs I wrote back in the early 1990's for Win 3.1.

They're still 100% compatible with Win XP.


It's true that there are minor differences b/t Win versions. But I'd rather deal with a 1% difference than having to port 100% of my code to Apple, Tandy, Commodore 64, CP/M, etc.


That lets me spend my time writing NEW programs for my customers. Having one O/S for 90%+ customer computers is a win win for me and my customers.

Entrepreneur
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

so, those figures, are they page impressions or unique users?

It might be just that the few winxp users there are in the world are just more clueless??

;-)

i like i
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

"Having one O/S for 90%+ customer computers is a win win for me and my customers. "

Undoubtebly. There is just the small matter that there are lots of companies who would like to be the supplier of that 90% marketshare OS, and they couldn't care less about you and your customers.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

"Unlike Dennis I would say that most beginners don't use Google. It's the semi-advanced and advanced people who use it most because they know what to enter in the search bar."

Totally disagree with this, and I don't know a single beginner who isn't well aware of, and a user of, Google. I've heard Google in movies as a pop reference, the term "Googled" is in common use, and I've seen so many mainstream press (i.e. newspapers) print articles commenting on Googling or Google that they number in the hundreds. If by "beginner" you mean "used a computer for less than a week", then sure, but beyond that it's extremely common for Google to be used.

Regarding the other comments, this truly is a sad state for the industry that so many people are so happy basically to be sharecroppers for the landlord Microsoft. There are a lot of us, long Microsoft advocates, that got a little tired of this situation and we're now promoting web applications (using no IE specific extensions, and sticking to the standard scripting languages and DOM), or other cross platform technologies (I've been validating .NET apps as operating in mono, ot great success).

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

As a sidenote, it is fascinating that there are hundreds of massive, huge industry influence apps such as Apache that work on hundreds of operating systems with just a recompile (both OSS and proprietary alike) because many of them follow the "standards"...yet here we have people pleased that Microsoft has a stranglehold on the OS industry so their VB app works on tihs "standard" platform...

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

http://www.onestat.com/html/aboutus_pressbox21.html

According to this survey, 55.2% of users use Google, and 21.7% use Yahoo.  Who provides the search back-end for Yahoo? Last I heard it was Google.

I don't think that I'd categorize 76.9% of users as advanced....

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

That's what you get for producing stageringly good, well designed, user friendly software.

Google is my hero.

(And Yahoo for that matter, I tip my hat to the man who went "their software's way better than ours; let's just use their's")

Mr Jack
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Go MSFT! Go, go, go.

Unitl resistance @29, sell 50%, and put in a stop for the rest @28.

This is a great stock to buy support (last entry at 25.5) and lately, you get killed if you don't sell resistance.

Stocks pass from weak hands to strong.

dumbass trader
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Dear Dennis,
                    I doubt if you do actually know any "beginner" users.
                    There are millions of people who use AOL because that is what they were taught the internet is, and if you tell them they don't need to spend their money on it, but can get the same service or better for free they are lost. This is particularly true of people in their sixties or older.
                    Loads of people use the intenet for hotmail and for job hunting. Where do they find the sites to go to. People tell them and they write them down on a scrap of paper, or they get sent links to their hotmail address by email.
                      A very substantial minority of people are incapable of searching for anything. I've just got another private message from a EFL forum I hang around in. It is from a guy in China, who has been teaching there for some years, and who is the most prolific poster on the whole forum. This guy can go to work in China, has lived and worked in plenty of other countries as well, and is clearly able to look after himself, yet he sends a private message to a guy he has never met in Saudi Arabia asking if a certain place in Nigeria exists, because hi hasn't worked out how to get the info from the web. In fact a web search wasn't even necessary; I simply pasted the entry from Encarta.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Okay, point taken. Let me rephrase my original statement to use the term "casual user". Casual users comprise a fairly large, but not overwhelming, percentage of computer users. Casual users want the "least resistance" route for the occasional use of their computer, and obviously this means using Windows and IE. Casual users know how to use Google, and use it frequently.

Advanced users, the people who often tolerate a bit of resistance because overall it's worthwhile (I use Mozilla for browsing, and overwhelmingly it is positive. Every now and then, particularly with Microsoft sites, I need to launch IE just for that site, but this resistance is worthwhile for me. For my wife it wasn't for her occasional use, and just led her to stick with IE), comprise a sizeable minority of computer users. These are the IT workers, amateur and professional software developers, hobbyists, etc. These people are _dramatically_ more likely to run alternative browsers, alternative operating systems, etc. These people are also, as I mentioned, far less likely to be searching, and more likely to be visiting a select group of sites.

I mean a quick look at Zeitgeist's top gaining and top searches should give a pretty clear view of the average Google user.  http://www.google.ca/press/zeitgeist.html

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Dennis,
          I use Netscape, though my bank insists on IE.

            However I dispute the idea that advanced users use Google less than the casual user. I visit the same five or six sites every day, but I still find myself using Google a couple of times a day to find out some info. The casual user will also have his five or six sites, and I have no reason to believe he uses Google more often than I do; I reckon he probably uses it a lot less.

            The figures seem right to me; there are a lot more than 1% of the world's computers with Linux installed but very many Linux installations are , like mine, dual boots, and in general the Linux installation gets rarely used.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Do not forget that some bots masquerade as IE 5 on Windows.

Pakter
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Anybody know how Google determines the OS? I for one set my browser (Safari) to lie about its identity (IE) simply because so many web sites seem to react differently to different browsers. Could be that doing so also tells the browser to lie about the OS too, I don't know.

David Roper
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

These stats are a bit off.

How could "snow" outrank "Average Joe"?

:)

Walter Rumsby
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

<quote>
Why support windows? Because a single OS with an overwhelmingly large portion of the market means no wasted time doing conversions for other OS's.
</quote>

Are you kidding? Single OS? How many windows are out there? Wasn't that Joel who boasted about how they had a lot of windows running in vmware for test purposes and how peculiar a particular windows can be.

Passater
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Don't forget that it is easy to fake your browser and OS to the web server.  Many Linux/Unix users will set their browser or local proxy server to identify as IE on MS Windows, because there are number of sites that refuse to function for you if they detect otherwise.

Some only do the fake halfway, and identify themselves as IE on Linux ;-).

T. Norman
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I would say there is certainly a minimum level of knowledge required for people to find/use google, but that level is pretty low.  My sister and mother, for example, are both pretty computer-illiterate but both know that when they want to find something on the internet they go to google.

Mike McNertney
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

LOL!

Incoherent Abbreviator
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I do as Roper does - I am on Safari as well and *many* sites will not render or refuse to allow you to browse or give other problems if they 'determine' that you are on the Mac. Thus, I id the browser as netscape on NT instead and everything works better, no problems here. I suspect this whole thing where sites will refuse to render for non-MS OS browsers it's a conspiracy engineered to knock down the stats on alternative operating systems. The stats are definitely nonrepresentational of the actual numbers.

Ed the Millwright
Thursday, December 18, 2003

How does one change the ID of the brower?

I need it badly to browse local non-English sites which are made "in Windows",  "for Windows" and "of Windows"!

Mozilla User on XP
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Passater,

Sure, there are different versions of windows, but getting one program to run on three versions of windows is a lot easier than getting it to run on two wildly different OS's, not to mention the difficulties of getting a native interface style on each OS.

Mr Jack
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Mozilla User on XP - not sure if you are serious or not. If so, Mozilla may have something built in to allow it, otherwise there are proxys which will do it for you. I use Junkbuster at home and that allows it.


Thursday, December 18, 2003

I think the "Win98" portion of the graph incorporates Windows ME as well--I  *KNOW* people still use WinME.  Maybe the Google checkamathon wheelymajig can't distinguish between the two.

..
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Hmmm, well I use AlltheWeb now more than I use Google... so Google's stats are getting one less Mozilla/Mac OS X user on a regular basis...

I do have a Windows machine at work I am forced to use on occasion, and it good to remember that for a large company, there might be 100's or more people who are only "Windows/IE users" because that was ploped on their desk and they were told to use it.

I don't know how many people I've met who say "I use Windows at work... but a Mac at home..." When it comes to choosing how to spend their own time and money, they choose a Mac over a Windows machine...

pete
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Dennis, you might have a limited or unusual set of acquaintances if you think only less capable people use Google. I would have put it the other way around. Most of the people I know google for heaps of things many times each day.

Who's presenting the paper? Look him up. Where did the new boss come from? Look her up. What are the hot issues in this topic? Have other people come across this problem? Yet get the idea.

Microsoft wins
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Are we talking per clicks or per visits?

If you separate the counts it could say two things:

Either: 1. No one uses Linux, or at least, no one who uses Linux find google useful.

Or: 2. Windows users are stupid, they need to search 500 pages to clue in one something a Linux user and a manpage can grok instantly.

I would tend towards the second possibility, from observing the way I have been surfing in the last few month regarding ASP, VB, and SQL Server.

j/k :-)

Li-fan Chen
Thursday, December 18, 2003

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