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Mac web share hits record 9.9 percent in January

Even as the economy has continued to falter, Apple's share of web users has climbed up to a landmark 9.93 percent in the first month of 2009 while Windows' own share continues to slide downwards.

Web tracking data compiled from tens of thousands of websites by Net Applications shows Apple reaching the all-time high with an 0.3 percent bump to the number of Macs making page requests.

The web firm doesn't explain the increase, which comes despite fears of a slide in market share for Apple during the holidays. However, Net Applications has previously warned of a abnormal December web share boost with users likely to spend more time running home Macs during the holidays. That wouldn't have been a factor for January, when many users often return to their frequently Windows-dominated workplaces.

Apple's gain is also roughly on par with the percentages same period a year ago. In January 2007, Apple had reached a then-significant 7.57 percent and gained about 0.26 percent over the holidays; while smaller in relative terms, the gain points to Macs consistently avoiding an immediate post-holiday plunge.

iPhone share has similarly been on the rise and is now at a peak 0.48 percent web share, up only slightly from 0.44 percent in December but well over three times larger than the 0.13 percent of January last year. The company's Safari browser also made gains and now accounts for 8.29 percent of all visits regardless of operating system, up 0.36 percent from the month prior.

Net Applications web share data for January.

Most rivals are suffering as a result. Despite its marketing campaigns and the release of a beta for Windows 7, Microsoft is still losing share and has managed 88.26 percent, down a slight 0.42 percent from December but a much more substantial 3.24 percent from just 12 months before. Internet Explorer has been partly hurt by Safari and now represents just 67.55 percent of traffic, with the largest portion of the loss attributable to Apple. The primarily Mac-oriented browser outpaced the cross-platform Mozilla Firefox (21.53 percent) and currently Windows-only Google Chrome (1.12 percent) in terms of absolute growth.

And while it has often profited from Microsoft's troubles at the same time, Linux hasn't shared in Apple's success: in January, it sank back to its November web share level of 0.83 percent.