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Mac flirts with 10 per cent web share

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Web-use statistics prove that the Mac continues to gain market share from Windows-based PCs.

According to Web analyst outfit Net Applications, Mac-run browsers accounted for nearly 10 per cent of all web hits in January, coming in at 9.93 per cent. That's an increase of 0.3 per centage points from December.

Use of Apple's Safari web browser increased to 8.29 percent in January, up from 7.93 per cent in December. But some of those Safari hits come iPhone and iPod touch users, and others come from people fooled into installing Apple's browser on their Windows machines.

While a 0.3 per cent Mac increase may seem small, two factors should give Windows fanbois pause.

First, that seemingly minor monthly rise works out to an annualized rate of 3.6 per cent - and a 3.6 per cent rise in market share is far from small potatoes, especially considering that in the declining market through which the world is currently grunting and groaning, every user is precious.

It's essentially a zero-sum game. A 3.6 per cent rise for Apple in 2009 - should it happen - would have to come out of someone's hide. And it certainly won't be Amiga's.

Second, the Mac's strong December performance could have been explained away by the fact that December is a stay-at-home month and that the Mac is a stronger player in the home market than it is in business.

But January was back-to-work time, and still, the Mac continued to nibble away at Windows, even though office folks were browsing away on their corporate Windows boxes.

Further bad news for Ballmer et al: In January of 2009, according to Net Applications, 88.26 per cent of web browsing was done from machines running Windows. In January of 2008, that percentage was 91.5 per cent.

That one-year slippage of 3.24 per cent during 2008 makes a 3.6 per cent drop in 2009 seem a reasonable prediction. ®

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