IT Industry Trends for 2011

About this time, every six months, or so, I like to look at the latest IT trends compared to six months, and a year previous, to see what's going on in the industry. What do the latest stats show?

Operating Systems

What is the most popular operating system, and is the usage declining or increasing? These stats are based on the % of users logging into a site with their computers. The site picks up the operating system.  For these numbers, I used the w3cschools's statistics for consistency over time.

Most Popular Operating Systems by Usage %
Sept 2010 Mar 2011 Sept 2011
Windows 87.3 85.8 84.8
Apple 7.2 8.0 8.6
Linux 4.6 5.1 5.1

It looks like Microsoft is gradually, very slowly, declining due to Apple and probably the iPad.


Are folks moving to Windows 7 from XP? Let's take a look.

Most Popular Windows Operating System by Usage %
Sept 2010 Mar 2011 Sept 2011
XP 51.7 42.9 36.2
Vista 10.0 7.9 5.6
Windows7 24.3 34.1 42.2

So Microsoft's WIndows 7 "your way" ads are working, or is it just that people are replacing old computers?

Linux Distros

What about the most popular Linux distros. This time I used distrowatch as my source. These stats are by the number of hits on the various distros sites over the time period.

Most Popular Linux Distro by avg. hits per day to their site
Sept 2010 Mar 2011 Sept 2011
Ubuntu 2,183 2,233 2,880
Mint 2,016 2,102 2,204
Fedora 1,580 1,669 1,861
Debian 1,363 1,314 1,404

It looks like Linux is growing, albeit, gradually, as the distros all appear to be gaining in hits. Ubuntu's popularity continues to grow. Bear in mind that Ubuntu just released their new version earlier this month, which probably changed the results a little. The big risk Canonical took in going to the Unity desktop, and the latest release that fixed a good number of Unity bugs appears to have been worth the risk.


Let's get to the Internet. What is the most popular browser? We'll go back to the w3schools stats for this one.

Most Popular Web Browser in Usage %
Sept 2010 Mar 2011 Sept 2011
Internet Explorer 31.1 25.8 22.9
Firefox 45.1 42.2 39.7
Chrome 17.3 25.0 30.5
Safari 3.7 4.0 4.0
Opera 2.2 2.5 2.2

With web browser's the stats show more movement. Safari remains stable, probably from loyal Apple users, but all the other browsers lost percentages to the surging Chrome browser. Despite the new IE9, which you have to have Windows 7 to load, Microsoft continues to lose ground. Chrome is clearly the second most used browser and is getting close to Firefox. The questions is whether it will pass Firefox in the next six months. It's coming on fast.

Given Microsoft's recent malware insertion of Bing into your browser windows, it is interesting to see what's going on in the search engine war. This is where the money is, and where the war is being waged. Ever wonder just how popular Google is? Lets take a look. I used the wiki on search engines for this

Search Engines

Most Popular Search Engines in Usage %
Dec 2010 May 2011
Google 84.65 82.80
Yahoo 6.69 6.42
Baidu 3.39 4.89
Bing 3.91 3.29
Ask 0.56 0.52
AOL Search 0.42 0.36

Google is the gorilla in this market space. Google is smart and keeps coming out with new products and innovations, like Google+, to keep itself at the top of the list, meanwhile Microsoft uses a malware approach by loading Bing into your browser, whether you like it or not, to get you to use Bing. It's not working Microsoft. For those not familiar with Baidu, which appears to have eaten some of Google's market share, it is the leading search engine in China, and indicates China's surge in Internet usage. Remember, China kicked Google out when it refused Chinese censorship, which of course, benefited Baidu.

Mobile Devices

Let's look at the mobile market and which devices are dominating. Again from w3schools.

Mobile Usage by % users
Mar 2011 Sept 2011
iPhone 0.18 0.17
iPad 0.21 0.30
iPod 0.06 0.04
Android 0.16 0.25
Others 0.09 0.13

Others includes the dying Windows mobile and other tablet computers. I believe the others increase is from other tablet computers, like the Sony and Samsung, not the Microsoft based phones. The trend here looks like IPad and Android are taking over as market leaders. iPod is dead. It's interesting to note the iPhone lost some market share while Android made a good gain. Clearly, Android phones are outselling iPhones.

Browser resolutions are only counted once a year, but as of January a whopping 85% of user's are using a higher resolution than 1024x768. 14% use 1024x768, anything lower in resolution is too low to be counted. Any of you web developers out there should be building your sites for at least 1024x768, and they should be liquid designs to adjust to the many screen resolutions available above 1024x768.

And to conclude, there are now 160 Million active web sites on the Internet. I said active, that is, someone's updating them regularly. The world's current population is 6,775 Million which means 2.3% of the world's population has an active web site they run. The US population now stands at 307 Million. Anyone know how many active web sites in the U.S.? I'm pretty sure we'll find a higher percentage per capita of active web site in the U.S., but I'll leave it to my readers to figure that one out. Until next time, chow.

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