Mac OS X and Microsoft's betas gain market share

Microsoft's betas are climbing in use but so is Apple's Mac OS X.

According to the figures from Net Applications, which looks at which OS is used by people connecting to the internet, Apple's Mac OS has taken 9.93 per cent of the market, up from 7.48 per cent in March last year. Most users are on the most recent version, Mac OS X 10.5, which has 5.28 per cent of users.

Despite the climb, it's still running a distant second to Microsoft's Windows system, which holds 88.26 per cent. Most of those users, some 63.76 per cent, are on Windows XP, followed by Vista at 22.48 per cent.

Even though it's only a beta and was released just last month, Windows 7 is pulling in quite a crowd, climbing to 0.23 per cent market share.

"The Windows 7 beta releases in January have led to a spike in usage share," said Net Apps, adding it seems to be used mostly on weekends, suggesting people are testing it at home.

"This is an indication of strong interest in Windows 7, since it does not come pre-installed on a computer like Vista," the firm said. "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."

Another Microsoft product yet to be formally released is also becoming increasingly popular. The release candidate for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) has exceeded one per cent, coming in at 1.16 per cent at the end of last month.

While that's nothing on the near 70 per cent of the market held by earlier versions of IE, or the 18.3 per cent picked up by Firefox 3, it easily tops the 0.67 per cent share held by rival browser Opera.