20 September 2008

Windows vs. Linux vs. Mac vs. Windows Vista (Computers & Electronics)

An article in PC World reminded me that I had thought about doing a computer operating systems face-off in the past. However, this was made difficult in Google Trends due to the many non-OS uses of "windows" as well as "apple." Google Insights for Search can handle this better because it is able to filter for "Computers & Electronics" only. I decided to also include Windows Vista next to Windows in general.

As expected, Windows dominated worldwide but was declining steadily. Linux was second and also decreasing to the point where an ascendant Mac overtook it in December 2007. Windows Vista on its own was decidely not Google-popular: it ended with half the number of its introduction peak in February 2007. This illustrated its lagging acceptance. The data can be compared with market share evolution (source: Net Applications):
  • 4th quarter of 2004
  1. Windows 96% (of which Windows Vista 0%)
  2. Mac 3%
  3. Linux <1%
  • 2nd quarter of 2008
  1. Windows 91% (of which Windows Vista 15%)
  2. Mac 8%
  3. Linux 1%

Notice how Linux generates a lot more buzz than market share. I expected the results to be a bit different in the US alone:

Mac precedes Linux overall and overtook it more specifically already in August 2005. How about Japan?

Linux, albeit still second, is stronger but still is joined by Mac in September 2007. One more comparison: the UK:

Windows is totally dominant here. The cross-over of Linux and Mac took place early, in May 2005.

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