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Vista and Mac OS adoption increasing--and Linux? 0.5% market share.

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From the Wall Street Journal.

August 22, 2008, 3:35 pm
Windows Vista: Coming Soon to Your Work Computer?
Bad news for workers: Some of you may be using Windows Vista sooner
than you think.

You mean I may have to start using Vista?
According to most comments this blog receives – a vocal minority, to
be sure – Vista is the worst computer operating system ever created.
But despite the negative publicity, the rate at which businesses are
adopting Microsoft’s newish operating system is starting to pick up,
according to a study released Friday by Forrester Research. (The link
is to an excerpt. You have to pay for the full report.) Forrester
recorded the computer operating system used by more than 50,000
clients – representing 2,500 different companies – that visited its
Web site. Between October 2007 and June 2008 the percentage of
visitors running Vista climbed from 5% to 8.8%.

Why does a jump of less than four percentage points matter? Because
the growth came at the expense of Windows XP, the previous version of
the operating system. (XP is still installed on 87% of the PCs that
visited Forrester’s Web site.) Early adoption of Vista mainly came
from businesses that ran Windows 2000 and other older operating
systems. The fact that businesses are replacing XP is a sign that
corporate tech departments are becoming more comfortable with the new
operating system – even if the average worker hasn’t.

Macs, meanwhile, continue to make inroads with businesses. Between
October 2007 and June 2008 the percentage of computers running Mac OS
grew from 3.6% to 4.5%. Even more telling: Mac OS was only installed
on 1.1% of the computers that visited Forrester’s Web site in October
2006. Linux, another alternative to Windows, was only installed on
0.5% of computers in both October 2007 and June 2008.

Most people will look at Vista’s growth rate and think it’ll be a
while before the tech department presents them with a Vista PC – or
that they’re just as likely to get a Mac. But consider: Many tech
departments have delayed buying new computers in 2008 because of the
economy. Those computers will all be a year closer to dying in 2009,
increasing the need for businesses to invest in new ones. Guess what
operating system brand new computers come with? Now that most
businesses are starting to become comfortable with Vista, it’s less
likely that they will leap through hoops to downgrade new computers to

Plus Microsoft hired Jerry Seinfeld to promote Vista. So we think it’s
pretty safe to assume that the operating system’s image problems with
the general public will soon be a thing of the past.

-Ben Worthen

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