Well well.... I couldn't blog on friday when the news were fresh (and I knew right away everybody was going to comment on it). GNU/Linux has hit a 1% market share during April 2009 according to Hitslink's statistics. Alongside these statistics we can see that IE keeps bleeding market share while FF and Chrome continue to go up. Great news as well.
But then I find Adrian Kingsley-Hughes' article on the subject where he makes a comparison of market shares the way they were a year ago.
GNU/Linux had a market share of 0.63% in april 2008. One year later, it's (finally) reached 1,02%. If we look at the sheer number it's still laughable, right? Well, It's not laughable for two reasons:
- It's an increase of over 60% year over year for GNU/Linux (the brighter side of having such a low number to start with, for sure).
- Also, I bet they are not laughing at this at Redmond, Washington. Windows is one of two cash cows of Microsoft and losing a hundredth of the (potential) income these days plus having to almost give away Windows to be present on one of the few markets that's healthy nowadays (netbooks) is costing them hard cash.
Year over year, Windows had a decrease of 4.02% (from 91.58% to 87.9%). Some months ago it had to face being under 90% in years (probably more than a decade), and still going down.... very slowly, but down nevertheless.
Also, if we consider how FF has been going against IE, we find these numbers: FF was at 17.76% in april 2008 and it's at 22,48% last april which translates in an increase a little over 26% YoY. Not bad. IE's numbers are a little different. One year ago it was at 74.86% and last april it's at 66.1% which means it had a decrease of over 11% year over year.
I see two menaces for Microsoft here. Microsoft's own survival depends (completely, I think) on Windows' survival. Windows doesn't survive, Microsoft will follow through next shortly, so loosing Windows' market share directly is bad news no matter how you see it. But also, remember that a little over 10 years ago Microsoft had to basically kill one of the biggest threats to Windows as a platform: web browsers. The new push for alternative web browsers means they have a direct threat to Windows yet again, plus loosing their chance to leverage their stuff through EEE. And having FF (which is a direct legacy of Netscape's browser) spearheading this wave is more than poetic justice to me.
Overall, not good news for Microsoft, but good news for everyone else. Let's hope next year I can still comment on news as good as this one.