Microsoft's operating system continued its downward trend in January, according to recent figures from Net Applications, with about 88.26 percent of all web traffic coming from Windows users compared to 91.5 percent a year ago and 88.68 last month. Conversely, both Linux and Mac OS systems are making small but steady gains, with the latter accounting for nearly 10 percent of all web hits in January.

To put that into perspective, Apple market share was up 2.3 percentage points compared to last year, showing an annual growth rate of 31.7 percent - add iPhone users (0.48%) to the mix and we are looking at a very respectable 10.41 percent share of the market. Linux for its part came in third at 0.83 percent in January. On the bright side for Microsoft, Windows 7's public kickoff last month appears to have been a success, since despite being a beta its share peaked at 0.22 percent.

Internet Explorer is suffering too, according to the report. The browser had a 75.5 percent share of traffic in January 2008, but this has now decreased to 67.6 percent, whereas Firefox usage has increased from 17 to 21.5 percent and Safari from 5.8 to 8.3 percent over the same period.

Net Application collects data from web browsers from the 160 million users visiting a network of websites that track this statistics.