Global Web usage share of the Mac OS has remained steady at around three per cent since early 1999, says a report from Internet analysts WebSideStory.

The analysts claim the data shows Apple has kept a core following among the online community, but has failed to dent Microsoft’s dominant market share for operating systems.

As of October 4, 2000, the Mac OS accounted for 2.84 per cent of all monitored Internet usage. Windows takes the lion’s share for operating system use online, with 92.84 per cent, and UNIX seized just 0.44 per cent. Other operating systems, including Linux, Sun OS and Amiga had an aggregate 3.9 per cent of users worldwide.

The data released shows that Mac OS took 2.66 per cent of online market share on January 10, 1999. It fell to 2.39 per cent on August 1, 1999, and reached a high point of 3.21 per cent on May 9, 2000.

Geoff Johnstone, vice president of product marketing for Stat Market, said: “The fact that the Mac OS’s share has not eroded, and that others have made small gains, seems to indicate that there is room for non-Microsoft operating systems on the Web.”

Despite this, the statistics also highlight the challenges faced by Apple as it struggles to escape its niche market status, and acquire further market share, according to analysts.