Operating system and browser market share – 2016 to 2020

Microsoft Windows and Google Chrome are the dominant software solutions in the desktop market when it comes to operating systems and web browsers respectively.

This has been the case for many years, but the manner in which they have dominated their respective areas is quite different.

Microsoft has released numerous iterations of its Windows operating system – with the most recent being Windows 10.

However, this does not mean that all users now use this software; well over 20% of all desktop users still use Windows 7, which was released in 2009.

Since this operating system was released, Windows has already cycled through another iteration – Windows 8 – before launching the current Windows 10 operating system.

In contrast, Google Chrome was launched in 2008 and has remained the company’s browser offering ever since.

What this means is that while Google Chrome has a market share in excess of 70%, Windows 10 has a market share of under 60% – despite Windows operating system users as a whole being significantly more prevalent than those who use Google Chrome.

Market share through the years

NetMarketShare is a platform that collects data from site visitors across thousands of websites to determine the software they are using on their devices.

It takes into account the following elements to ensure improved accuracy:

  • Bot/Fraud detection – NetMarketShare uses various techniques to detect which sessions should be rendered invalid.
  • Hidden pages removed by default – Some pages downloaded from the web are often not visible on the user’s device, and can skew the usage share data. NetMarketShare has measures in place to deal with this.
  • Country-level weighting – “For example, although we have significant data from China, it is relatively small compared to the number of internet users in China. Therefore, we weight Chinese traffic proportionally higher in our global reports,” explained NetMarketShare.

NetMarketShare first began tracking the market share of browsers and operating systems in July 2016 and provides monthly updates on this information.

MyBroadband has visualised this data in the graphs below.


Desktop Operating System Market Share

Desktop Operating Systems

Desktop Operating System Market Share: 2016 – 2020
Operating System July 2016 Jan 2017 July 2017 Jan 2018 July 2018 Jan 2019 July 2019 Jan 2020 July 2020
Windows 10 19,22% 24.19% 26.49% 34.29% 36.58% 40.9% 48.86% 57.08% 59.37%
Windows 8.1 7.23% 7.14% 6.4% 5.56% 5.09% 4.34% 5.29% 3.38% 2.87%
Windows 7 47.48% 45.75% 46.07% 42.39% 41.23% 37.19% 31.83% 25.56% 23.34%
Windows XP 10.87% 9.28% 8.55% 4.05% 4.07% 2.76% 1.68% 1.34% 0.82%
Mac OS X 10.15 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3.39% 4.53%
Mac OS X 10.14 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 5.12% 5.38% 3.12% 1.87%
Mac OS X 10.13 N/A N/A N/A 4.46% 5.6% 2.73% 1.7% 1.51% 1.26%
Mac OS X 10.12 N/A 3.48% 4.58% 2.65% 1.48% 1.19% 0.78% 0.75% 0.51%
Mac OS X 10.11 5.61% 2.2% 1.62% 1.47% 1.04% 0.81% 0.53% 0.52% 0.39%
Linux 1.19% 1.34% 1.7% 1.31% 1.24% 1.72% 1.66% 1.1% 1.46%
Ubuntu 0.65% 0.66% 0.58% 0.57% 0.62% 0.68% 0.42% 0.36% 2.07%

Desktop Browser Market Share

Browser Market Share

Desktop Browser Market Share: 2016 – 2020
Browser July 2016 Jan 2017 July 2017 Jan 2018 July 2018 Jan 2019 July 2019 Jan 2020 July 2020
Google Chrome 55.5% 56.65% 59.65% 61.41% 64.67% 67.29% 68.6% 66.93% 71.11%
Mozilla Firefox 15.27% 15.56% 12.59% 10.85% 9.68% 9.92% 8.34% 8.12% 7.36%
Internet Explorer 14.79% 14.93% 15.96% 11.84% 11.15% 7.94% 7.44% 6.6% 4.23%
Safari 4.57% 3.43% 3.22% 4.18% 3.49% 4% 3.4% 4.24% 3.36%
Edge 2.91% 3.42% 3.78% 4.67% 4.21% 4.61% 5.8% 7.02% 8.09%
Opera 1.61% 1.41% 1.58% 1.6% 1.58% 1.6% 1.43% 1.35% 1.06%

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Operating system and browser market share – 2016 to 2020