Windows Vista and Mac usage both on the rise

Windows Vista made its biggest leap yet in November, with the operating system now in use on nearly one out of ten Internet-connected computers, according to a research firm.

Vista's predecessor, Windows XP, fell a nearly commensurate percentage, according to Net Applications, while the Mac platform's share continued to grow, reaching nearly 7%.

Windows' overall share continues to exceed 92%, according to the Aliso Viejo, Ca. research firm.

Linux was in use on 0.6% of PCs worldwide, according to Net Applications. Despite its small share, Linux's slice of the market has nearly doubled since the beginning of the year.

Vista's share has grown from 0.2% to 9.2% since the beginning of the year. XP's share, meanwhile, has fallen from to 78.4% from 85% at the beginning of the year.

Internet Explorer 7's share continued to grow, to nearly 37%. It is poised to eclipse its predecessor, IE 6, which fell more than 3% to 40.2%. Altogether, IE held 77.4% of the market, down from 80% at the beginning of the year.

IE's main competition, Firefox, held 16%. It is up from 13.7% at the beginning of the year.

Apple Inc.'s Safari held 5.1%, up from 4.7% at the beginning of the year.

Net Applications also debuted a beefed-up presentation of its survey results. As part of that, the firm showed off a map displaying Mac share by state headlined "Democrats vote for the Mac?"

The states with the highest percentage of Mac users, in order, were Hawaii (15.9%), Vermont, (15.1%), California (12.8%), Oregon (12.7%), New York (12.3%), Alaska (11.9%), and Massachusetts and Maine (both 11.2%).

The states with the lowest percentage of Mac users, by contrast, were West Virginia (3.5%), Mississippi (3.7%), Alabama (4.5%) and South Carolina (4.6%).

Net Applications noted the similarity to the map of blue and red states during the 2004 presidential election.

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