Some historical firsts are quite newsworthy.
Net Applications reports that for the first time ever, Windows market share has dropped below 90%. According to sources, this is mainly because Mac OS X is grabbing a stronger footing in the global OS market with 8.87% share. Linux, the iPhone and the PS3 gain a bit too, while FreeBSD looses 0.01%.
Now mind you, these are digits from consumers visiting sites, there could be much more market share for Linux and FreeBSD, because there are many servers running those operating systems, and servers don’t tend to visit websites all that much. The same, off course, can be said for windows servers.
This is significant, Windows has always been the dominant party in the desktop user market, and seemingly, this is changing. This whole year, Windows has pretty much shown a slow but sure decent, with as much as 91.64% market share in April of this year down to less then 90% today.
Why is this important? Well, Microsoft has been under fire for years on end now, allegations and convictions for unfair business tactics and anti-competitive behavior have cost them billions in legal fees, fines and penalties. This is sure to spark a change within the ranks of Microsoft, where the old walls get broken down, and a new flag of cooperation is to be seen on the Redmond flagpole. Perhaps not so much because the end user is aware of the bad things Microsoft has been doing, but more because other vendors (like Apple) offer better user experience on the desktop. Even the 0.83% share for Linux can be seen as truth to that statement, with the rise of user friendly distributions like the many Ubuntu versions.
Another important factor is the fact that many businesses are adopting an anti-vendor-lock in policy, where they do not wish to be dependent on just one software vendor and their course.
Another key factor is the ‘Vista factor’. Enthusiasm from many people not withstanding, a lot of people have even been heard making the dreaded ‘ME’ comparison earlier. Quite a few of the kinks have been worked out since that initial release, but consumers have long memories, and businesses do not like the heavy hardware requirements Vista has.
I’m not quite opening the champagne bottle just yet, but I am getting rather optimistic about the downward trend for windows. It should spark inovation in the offices of Microsoft, and inovation is the key to all progress.