We all know that Windows dominates the OS market in terms of market share, but rarely do you see someone talk about the most important number in the OS wars, revenue. Today Gartner offered up its estimations on the various OS player’s, and the results put Microsoft in a dominant lead, with $8 out of every $10 spent on operating systems ending up in the companies coffers. The results, which include server products, give the Redmond based software giant a 78.6% share of the pie, with Apple scraping by on a mere 1.7 percent. When you consider that in 2010 the OS market was worth $30.4 billion, the stakes here are definitely worth pay attention to.
Some analysts have called out the report as a success for Apple, not because of the overall market share numbers, but because of growth. Apple’s OS revenue grew by 15.8% compared to Microsoft’s 8.8%. Of course you could make the argument that percentages often favor the smaller guy, but clearly they are still doing something right. Linux comes up short in the results primarily because the vast majority of users simply download the latest and greatest version every few months for free. Red Hat, a popular Linux support service did make the list, but only earned enough revenue to place fifth.
The scientific method behind gathering these results wasn’t mentioned in Gartner’s blog post, but in general this is a pretty respected research company. I think it’s safe to say they’ve done their homework.