Operating Systems: almost a 7% European visit share for iOS

May 2012 - Operating Systems Barometer


  • Study carried out from the 1st to the 31st May 2012
  • Cross-section of 13,659 websites

Published on 09/07/12 – Microsoft has on average more than 8 out of 10 visits in Europe but its challengers are continuing to make progress. Apple has now reached a 14% visit share in Europe and Google, with a low visit share, has followed the same upward trend.

Apple’s Operating Systems continue to progress in Europe…

The following graph shows an estimate of the average traffic distribution recorded by European websites in May 2011 and May 2012 by the different groups of operating systems. The study was carried out in 23 European countries (see methodology for further information).

The leader in the Operating System market, Microsoft, with more than 8 out of 10 visits, continued to lose ground over the last 12 months (-5.9 points):

  • In May 2012, 82.3% of website traffic coming from a European country was made via a Microsoft operating system, in comparison to 88.2% in May 2011.

Apple, still very dynamic, progressed and gained 4.3 points over the same period:

  • In May 2012, 14.1% of website traffic coming from a European country was made via an Apple operating system, in comparison to 9.8% in May 2011.

Google broke the 2% visit share barrier:

  • Google reached a 2.2% visit share in May 2012 with a 1.6 point gain vs. May 2011.

Linux’s visit share remained at 0.9%.

… thanks to the success of the iOS

The following table provides detailed information on the different groups of operating systems from December 2011 to May 2012.

Great performance for iOS (iPhone, iPod, iPad), in particular over the last 3 months

  • After a stable period at the beginning of the year (December 2011 was a very strong month), the visit share for iOS (iPhone, iPod, iPad) progressed by 1.3 points in 3 months with an important increase in April (+0.8 points vs. March), to reach 6.8% in May 2012.
  • Mac OS X Intel remained stable over the last 6 months with an average visit share of 7.2% for websites in Europe in May 2012.

Google continued to increase with a small share gaining almost half a point over the last 2 months

  • 2.2% of traffic in May vs. 1.8% in March 2012.

Microsoft lost 1.5 points between March and May 2012

  • Whilst the leader maintained its visit share at the beginning of the year, it decreased during the following months: -0.5 points in March, -1 point in April and -0.5 points in May.
  • Windows 7 broke the 40% visit share barrier in March 2012 and gained more than 4 points in six months (41.9% in May 2012 vs. 37.5% in December 2011),
  • It hasn’t been able to counter the decline of Windows XP (-4.4 points) and Windows Vista (-2.3 points) over the same period.

iOS appreciated in the United Kingdom

We are now going to have an in-depth look at the European countries who have a higher evolution than the European average for the Microsoft, Apple or Google operating systems with the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, and the Netherlands in particular.The following table provides detailed information on these 4 countries based on the top 4 Operating Systems established for the European average. The table provides an estimate of the average distribution for the operating systems in terms of average visit share for sites of each of the aforementioned countries for May 2011 and May 2012.

In the United Kingdom, 13.6% of traffic came from iOS in May 2012 (vs. 6.8% in Europe)

  • Apple gained more than 9 points in one year to reach a 24.9% visit share with an increase of 7.9 points for iOS, ahead of Mac OS X Intel (13.6% vs. 11.1%).
  • The leader, Microsoft, decreased by 11 points to fall to a 71.1% visit share in May 2012.

In Switzerland, traffic coming from Apple is half that of Microsoft

  • In May 2012, 32.1% of traffic came from an Apple Operating system (+8.4 points in one year) vs. 64.2% via a Microsoft Operating system (-10.2 points in one year).
  • iOS reached a traffic share of 12.6% with a 7.3 point gain since May 2011.
  • Progress made by Google: 2.7% of traffic in May 2012 (+1.9 points in one year)

In Norway, a good dynamic for Apple (+9.8 points in one year) as Windows 7 progressed

  • 26% of traffic came from an Apple Operating system, 12.4% from iOS (+8 points in one year).
  • Microsoft experienced a downward trend (-11.5 points in one year). Windows 7, however, performed well with a 46.7% visit share in May 2012 (vs. 41.9% for the European average).

Google made progress in the Netherlands

  • 3.3% of traffic came from Google (vs. 2.2% for the European average) with a 2.7 point increase in one year.
  • Apple increased and reached almost 1 visit out of 5 thanks to the progress made by iOS (10.8% of traffic with a 7 point gain in one year) whilst Microsoft decreased by almost 10 visit share points.

In France, the main operating systems’ evolutions and visit shares are similar to the trend taking place in Europe: Microsoft with 80.9% of traffic in May 2010 (-5.2 points in one year), Apple with 14.5% of traffic (+3.8 points) and Google with 2.4% of traffic (+1.6 points).

Apple continues to experience a monthly upward trend in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands, with a visit share up to 32.1% in Switzerland in May 2012.

Google, with a 2.2% visit share in Europe in May 2012, remained a less important player on the operating systems market but continued to progress via Android with a 1.6 point gain over the last year.

Microsoft is still losing ground in Europe but remained largely ahead with more than 8 out of 10 visits in Europe. Will the release of Windows 8 on the market, whose launch date has not been officially announced (date to be given in autumn 2012), allow the leader to increase its market share? Stay tuned as AT Internet will provide a new European operating system barometer soon.


We are interested in the average distribution of visits, by operating system, which have been recorded by a certain cross-section of websites (except mobile websites).

In order to establish the cross-section of websites to be used as part of a study, a website is only used if the selection criteria, which have been established previously, are respected. These criteria are very strict and their aim is to remove any websites which have an anecdotal audience, a chaotic audience, or whose collected data underlines a dysfunction in the measurement.

For each country, only websites whose traffic has been mainly generated within the country itself are considered. In addition to this, only visits to these websites which have been generated within the country itself are considered. We calculate average traffic distribution per website. For each website, the visit share for each operating system corresponds to the total number of visits of the analysed operating system compared to the overall number of visits for all operating systems combined over a given period.

The European indicator is representative of the countries audited. The average visit share in Europe corresponds to the average if the indicators for the 23 countries studied. To evaluate the average, all countries are regarded as being equal in the value of their parameters.

The 23 countries included in the study are as follows:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.