You know those graphs of Earth’s motion recorded by scientists to find location and strength of earthquakes? Here’s one for market-share of operating systems. I obtained it by adding up StatCounter’s page-view shares for M$’s Windows. For a month there was a rapid decline in share and then the rumbling began on May 2, when Earth shifted on its axis the decline in the share of that OS was suddenly reversed until two weeks later, it’s share returned to “normal” and stayed there with no further declineStats-quake_Day

Now, let’s locate that epicentre and strength… Since there is nothing in the news, we can fly several hypotheses and pick the best one. Since no single entity is large enough to do this on its own I speculate that something triggered many smaller organizations to dance in time.

  1. Did millions of college students return home spending weeks shopping for new Wintel PCs only to turn them off? They didn’t do that last year!
  2. Did M$’s salesmen or BSA bullies push many to fire up new instances and then abandon them? Did folks browse from a virtual machine using multiple OS for a while?
  3. Did a bunch of StatCounter’s accounts die over two weeks and a bunch on that date, shifting the stats that much? That suggest StatCounter’s clients are rather granular. Perhaps they are not a good sample of the universe.

Nothing since 2009 shows any such rapid shifts:

Nothing natural explains this strange phenomenon. It’s too large to be real and it makes no sense that the share of an OS should decline for years, spike and then flatten… Hence, it must be unnatural, like a scam to manipulate the stats: “Let’s ramp up the page-views on a bunch of sites and see what happens to the stats… Oops! Too much! Back it off to this rate to keep it from sliding…”

What will M$’s technological evangelists do to top this? Only they could replace technical excellence with Astroturfing.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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3 Responses to Stats-Quake!

  1. Mats Hagglund says:

    Wikimedia is showing the same devastating trend for Microsoft Windows. Yes – it’s the Neanderthal OS.

  2. Maou Sadao says:

    You’re a genius, Mr. Pogson! But your prophecies are about as accurate as a Roland Emmerich disaster movie.

  3. ram says:

    I know positively for sure that on websites I administer that the vast majority of Microsoft operating system and browser page views come from IP addresses assigned to Microsoft Corporation.

    None of the companies whose sites I administer sell consumer products or any Microsoft products (never did, never will), so clearly Microsoft is trying to make their systems look like they are in wider use than they are. Even so they have never reached a majority of page views and are under ten percent (all combined) now.

    I am certain most webmasters have seen, and investigated, similar things in their server logs.

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