Windows Net share shrank 3.68% year to year

April 1, 2009, 2:51 PM UTC

Microsoft (MSFT) Windows ended the first quarter of 2009 with an Internet market share  — as measured by Web hits — of 88.14%, 3.37 points (or 3.68%) smaller than last year, according to preliminary data released overnight Tuesday by the Web metrics firm Net Applications.

In the same period, Apple’s (AAPL) Mac OS’s Net share grew to 9.77%, up 2.29 points (30.61%) and the iPhone’s grew to 0.49%, up 0.34 points (226.67%).

Net Applications’ monthly surveys are conducted by sampling browser data from some 160 million visits to websites operated by the firm’s clients. The company describes the results as “market shares,” but they do not actually measure share of market in the traditional sense of revenue or unit sales. They do, however, provide a consistent methodology by which to gauge operating system trends. (See Ars Technica for a good review of the different ways to measure Mac market share.)

To see the Net Application’s April 1 report, click here. The year-to-year comparisons are summarized in the table below.

Note that the Sony (SNE) Playstation — once a contender — has fallen off the chart, and Sun Microsystems’ (JAVA) Java ME (widely used in cell phone applications) has found its way on.

Below the fold: a spreadsheet showing the changes between February and March, which were minor.

See also: Competitors gaining on the iPhone