Mac's OSX gains ground on Windows

Nearly 10 percent - 9.9 percent, to be specific.

That's how much of the market share Apple's Mac OS X has captured, even as tech journalism has been rife with stories about the impending Microsoft Windows 7.

Let's face it - Windows is still the 400 lb. gorilla, with 88.3 percent of the market, according to stats from Net Applications. And some might say that's a decline of a scant of 2.2 percent in the same time that Mac has creeped upward. But Net Applications reports that's the biggest drop in a three-month period since the company began tracking it four years ago.

Some of the decline may be attributed to Vista, which was much derided. There may be hope for Windows yet, as Windows 7's beta release has captured 1/10th of a percent of the market just since it was released in mid-January.
"Similar to Windows Vista, Windows 7 usage share is showing a pattern of being much higher on weekends than on weekdays," the company said in a note on its Web site. "Beta users are taking the time and effort to install it on their home computers, since corporations generally prohibit beta operating systems to be used in production environments."
Microsoft's website says Windows 7 was "built around your feedback," so it could fare much better in the marketplace than Vista did. W7 will have an improved taskbar, full-screen previews, jump lists, better ways to manipulate the windows on your desktop, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Live downloads that include Windows Messenger, a simplified way to set up a home network and a better device manager.

Stephen Baker, director of industry analysis at the NPD Group, told Yahoo! Tech that the increasing sales of Macs are no longer due to the so-called "iPod halo effect," where anything Apple was considered better because of the iPod's intense popularity. They're now popular in their own right.

Microsoft has nothing to worry about at the moment, but maybe Steve Ballmer should be looking over his shoulder just a little bit.