Windows lost nearly a full percentage point of market share for the second month in a row in December, pushing Microsoft Corp.'s operating system to a new low, an Internet measurement company reported yesterday.
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In December, 88.7 percent of the people who browsed the Web sites that Net Applications monitors did so using machines powered by Windows, a 0.94 percentage point drop from November. The slide was Windows' largest in the four years that Net Applications has collected operating system data, and the second record-setting monthly loss in a row for Microsoft's software.
During November, Windows' market share slipped 0.84 percentage point, dropping the operating system under 90 percent for the first time since Net Applications has been tracking OS use.
The combined decline of November and December totaled 1.8 percentage points, Windows' biggest two-month dip ever, nearly double that of its previous record, a 0.92 percentage point fall in December 2007 and January 2008.
Microsoft's OS ended the year down 3.1 percentage points, a 3.4 percent drop in its share from the same time last year.
Apple's Mac OS X's market share continued to grow at Windows' expense. For the second month in a row, Mac OS X posted a record increase, growing by 0.76 of a percentage point to end the month at 9.6 percent. December was the first time that Net Applications had pegged Apple's operating system above the 9 percent mark.
And just as Windows set a record for a two-month drop, Mac OS X set a record for a two-month increase during November and December. Those months' combined gain of 1.4 percentage points was substantially larger than the earlier record, a 0.9 percentage point boost the operating system received in September-October 2006, and almost double the 0.73 percentage point increase of November-December 2007.
Mac OS X's market share was up 2.3 percentage points during 2008, an annual growth rate of 31.7 percent.