Published on 2/07/2014 – With more than 2/3 of website traffic arriving via Windows in May 2014, Microsoft‘s operating systems remain largely ahead in the European market. However, Microsoft continues to lose ground whilst Apple’s and Google‘s OS take advantage of their smartphone and tablet OS and continue to advance. Apple’s OS account for more than 1/3 of website traffic in the United Kingdom, and Google’s OS is establishing itself as a leader in Spain with 17.5% of traffic in May 2014.  

Perimeter and methodology

  • Study carried out from the 1st to the 31st of May 2014
  • Cross-section of 7,914 websites

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.

Apple and Google OS still gaining ground in Europe at Microsoft OS’s expense…

The following graph shows an estimate of the average traffic distribution recorded by European websites in May 2013 and May 2014 by the different groups of operating systems. The study was carried out in 23 European countries (see methodology for further information). With more than 2/3 of website traffic using Windows, Microsoft’s operating systems still lost 8.7 points over one year

  • 67.8% of website traffic from a European country came from a Microsoft OS in May 2014, compared to 76.6% in May 2013.

Apple’s operating systems increased by 4 points

  • In May 2014, 21.1% of website traffic from a European country came from an Apple OS, compared to 17.1% in May 2013.

Google OS almost doubled its share and gained 4.7 points over the same period

  • 9.6% of visits in May 2014 compared to 5.0% in May 2013.

Linux OS remained in 4th place with a 1.1% visit share in May 2014. Web visit distribution by group of OS

… which lost more than 3 points between February and May 2014

web visit distribution by group of OS

Apple and Google OS take advantage of their smartphone and tablet OS

The following table provides detailed information on the different operating systems by group from December 2013 to May 2014. Windows 8.1, the latest version of Microsoft, gained ground but didn’t offset the traffic loss from previous versions

  • Released on the 17th of October 2013, Windows 8.1 accounted for 5.2% in May 2014 with +2.6 points in 6 months. Over the same period, Windows XP lost 3.4 points and Windows Vista 1.1 points.
  • Since the 8th of April 2014, there were no more security updates or technical support for the Windows XP operating system.

Apple OS gained 1.1 points in 6 months due to iOS for iPhone, iPod

  • A 8.5% visit share for iOS for iPad, 6.7% for Mac and 5.9% for iOs for iPhone, iPad in May 2014.
  • The visit share coming from Macs remained stable over the last 6 months. The visit share from iPad and iPhone particularly continued to rise: +0.5 points and +1.1 points respectively.

The visit share of Google OS progressed by almost 2 points in 6 months

  • To reach 9.6% of visit share in Europe in May 2014.

web visit distribution by OS

 15.9% of visits from iOS for iPad in the United Kingdom in May 2014

The following table provides detailed information on 4 European countries (Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom) for May 2013 and 2014 based on the top 4 operating systems established for the European average. More than 1/3 visits in the United Kingdom were made with Apple OS in May 2014 (vs. 21.1% in Europe) with a 5.8 point gain in one year

  • Apple’s dynamism is due to the iPad and iPhone’s success; iOS for iPad had 15.9% of visits in the UK in May 2014 and iOS (iPhone, iPod) had 9.5% of visits, which increased respectively by 3.4 and 2.4 points over the last year.

Google OS were used more in Spain than in the rest of Europe, with 17.5% of visits in May 2014

  • vs. 9.6% in Europe and a gain of 7.3 points in one year.
  • a 2% visit share for Linux OS in May 2014 vs. 1.1% in Europe.

In Germany as in France, the main operating systems’ evolutions and visit shares are similar to the trend taking place in Europe

  • With a specificity for Germany: Apple OS were used less (18.7%) than in Europe while Google OS were well positioned (10.9%).
OS Barometer

Microsoft dominates the market with its operating systems, but it continued to lose ground with almost a 9-point loss between May 2013 and May 2014. The rise of Windows 8.1 has not compensated for the decrease in traffic caused by the previous versions: it accounted for 5.2% of traffic in May 2014. Apple’s operating systems continued to gain ground over the same period to reach 21.1% of traffic in May 2014 in Europe. Its rise is due to iOS for iPhone, iPod and iOS for iPad’s increase, with 35.2% of visits in the UK. Google’s operating systems are used more and more in Europe with an average of 9.6% of visits in May 2014, reaching 17.5% in Spain.



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