OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the 10th major release of a Mac OS X operating system, was released on October 22, five days after Windows 8.1. The two are battling for fifth place in Net Applications' account of November internet traffic from a desktop PC, with 8.1's 2.64 per cent share edging out Mavericks' 2.42 per cent.
Windows 8.1 adds many of the features stripped during the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8, including a new version of the missing Start button. It can also boot directly to the desktop for a user experience that apes Windows 7, entirely abandoning Windows 8's tiled "modern" interface.
According to the report, Windows 8.1 holds a third of the market share of its Windows 8 predecessor, with 2.64 per cent and 6.66 per cent, respectively. Both pale in comparison to Windows XP, which still has 31.22 per cent coverage a full 12 years after it launched. Windows 7 is the outright winner, though, with a 46.64 per cent share — more than Windows 8, 8.1, XP, Vista, Mac OS X 10.8 and 10.9 combined.
What the figures also show is that even brand new operating systems, like Windows 8.1 and Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, demand a sizeable amount of market share in their first few weeks of release. With automatic updates and the rapid growth of online app stores, it's not just software geeks and early adopters who are switching to the latest operating systems.