Windows 7 adoption swells, as XP suffers record drop

Mobile operating systems make more gains, Mac OS X up slightly

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Vizzaccaro again pointed out the mobile category as the one to watch. "This is the beginning of a shift to a lot more mobile operating systems on the Web," he said. "The trend from desktop to mobile, month to month, is a curve that looks like it's going to continue to go up."

In January, mobile operating systems powered 1.5% of all the hardware that browsed the Web during the month, Vizzaccaro said, an increase of 0.13 of a percentage point over December.

"The iPhone and iPod Touch are doing extremely well, " said Vizzaccaro. "So is Symbian and even BlackBerry. But the Android curve seems to have peaked during the month."

He was at a loss to explain the flattening of the growth of Google's Android operating system, although he mentioned the introduction of the Nexus One and the resulting complaints when customers weren't able to reach support. "A lack of customer support may work okay with beta software, but not with a cell phone," Vizzaccaro said. "No one wants to wait two weeks for an e-mail reply to a question about their phone."

NetApplications will start tracking Apple's iPad Web usage when it starts shipping in late March, said Vizzaccaro. He was pessimistic that the tablet would show a measurable share for some time, however.

NetApplications measures operating system usage by tracking the machines that browse the 40,000 sites it monitors for clients, which results in a pool of about 160 million unique visitors each month. It then weights share by the estimated size of each country's Internet population.

January's operating system data can be found on the NetApplications.com site.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, send e-mail to gkeizer@ix.netcom.com or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed .

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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