This seems to be a market stats day, so I thought I would mention the latest from OneStat:
OneStat.com ( www.onestat.com ), the number one provider of real-time intelligence web analytics, today reported that Microsoft’s Windows dominates the operating system market with a global usage share of 96.97 percent. The leading operating system on the web is Microsoft’s Windows XP with a global usage share of 86.80 percent.
The 10 most popular operating systems in the world on the web are: …
Here’s the top 6:
The magnitude of the Windows predominance on the Web isn’t really a surprise, although I would expect there are more of the older Windows versions tucked away doing non-Internet applications.
Just last month I was grousing that yesterday’s end of support for Windows 98 would be the perfect time to roll out Microsoft’s planned Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (codename Eiger), except that it had reportedly been delayed until later in the year. That delay seems to have vanished suddenly:
Microsoft Windows® Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is now available to Software Assurance customers. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs extends the security and stability of Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 to legacy PCs and eases the transition to Windows Vista™ Enterprise.
This isn’t exactly a money maker, but more of a snappy answer to complaints from business users about the demise of Windows 98 although it clearly has limited applicability:
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is not a general-purpose operating system. It is designed to work with the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection client or third-party clients such as the Citrix ICA client. In addition, it allows for a limited number of workloads to be executed locally, including security software, management software, terminal emulation software, document viewers, and the .NET Framework.
The end of extended support for Microsoft’s Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows ME isn’t until July 11, but farewells have started appearing in the press and more are sure to follow. Some notable excerpts:
Clement James at vnunet.com:
Microsoft will discontinue extended support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Millennium edition from 11 July.
The move, which is being made in accordance with the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy, effectively means that the software giant will end public and technical support, including security updates, by this date.
Microsoft said that existing support documents and content will continue to be available through the Microsoft Help and Support website.
However, the company stated that it will make Custom Support Agreements (CSAs) available for “eligible enterprise customers under qualified conditions” .
The latter translated means “if you’ve got the money, you can still get support.”
Brian Krebs at The Washington Post:
At the end of 2005, licensed installations of Windows 98 and Windows ME made up more than 13 percent of Microsoft’s user base, according to Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC, a Framingham, Mass., market-research firm. IDC estimates that about 48 million computers were still running licensed versions of Windows 98 at the end of last year, and 25 million were running Windows ME.
Gillen said he expects machines running Windows 98 and ME to account for just 6 percent of all Windows installations by the end of this year, and that the loss of security patches for those operating systems will probably not be a major concern for users.
“The laggards are those users who are going to keep these systems around until [the machines] either catch fire or simply don’t turn on one day,” Gillen said. “Generally speaking, these people who run old operating systems are probably not waiting on the edge of their seat for the next new Windows operating system to arrive.”
Still, Ullrich said, many companies that make anti-spyware, anti-virus and software firewall programs are phasing out support for Windows 98 and ME, although some older versions of those products will still run on them.
The latter source, Johannes Ullrich, chief technology officer for the SANS Internet Storm Center, also makes the surprising claim (to me, at least) that most of today’s malicious software won’t run on Windows 9x. Regardless, the general recommendation is to retire these old systems, or at least put a more more modern operating system on them.
Yesterday, Bink.nu reminded us of “Eiger” now known as Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs. It’s based on Windows XP Embedded, available only to Microsoft System Assurance customers (i.e. business customers), and designed to be run on legacy PCs that don’t have the oomph to run Windows XP. The advantage is better security and maintainability which would be nice in view of the imminent, inglorious end of service of Windows 98. The unfortunate answer is that despite initial plans to ship Fundamentals in June 2006, it has been pushed back to later in the year. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it before, but with Windows 98 left hanging with a large security flaw, Fundamentals is turning out to be very late to the party.