Mac Internet share hits record 8.87%; Windows drops below 90%

Apple’s (AAPL) slice of the Internet pie grew measurably in November as both the Mac and the iPhone hit record numbers in a Net Applications Web survey issued overnight Monday and updated Monday morning.

At the same time, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Web presence crossed two psychological barriers, with Windows’ Internet share dropping below 90% for the first time and Internet Explorer’s market share retreating to less than 70%.

The Mac’s share of Web hits, having lost ground in October, grew 8.04% in November to a record 8.87%, according to the Web metrics firm’s preliminary corrected data. The iPhone’s gains were sharper: up 12.12% to 0.37%.

(Linux grew even faster, up nearly 16.9% for the month, following a 22% drop the month before.)

Windows’ share slipped nearly 10% to 89.62% as Vista’s gains failed to make up for sharp losses by Windows XP.

Internet Explorer’s shrinkage — down 2.1% to 69.78% —  was largely due to gains by Mozilla’s Firefox, which topped 20% for the first time in November.

“Reaching 20 percent worldwide market share is a significant milestone for Firefox and Mozilla,” Mozilla CEO John Lilly told Net Applications. “It’s a huge achievement by the global Mozilla community, one that just a few years ago most would have considered impossible.”

Net Applications’ monthly surveys are conducted by sampling browser data from some 160 million visits to Web sites operated by firm’s clients. Although the company describes the results as “market shares,” Net Applications does not actually measure share of market in the traditional sense of sales revenue or unit sales. It does, however, provide a consistent methodology by which to measure browser and operating system trends.

To see Net Applications’ Nov. 1 report, click here. The results are summarized in the tables below.

These monthly reports, however, mask considerable variation from week to week and day to day. To get a sense of how variable web browsing patterns can be, see the see-saw graphs below the fold created by Financial Alchemist‘s Turley Muller, who has been tracking Net Applications’ daily reports since last June.

Below: Muller’s daily tracking of Mac and iPhone Internet shares.

For more of Muller’s analytical work, visit his Financial Alchemist website here.

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