Microsoft’s Windows platform is losing traction as a target for application developers in North America but still is the dominant platform, according to a recently released survey of more than 400 North American developers and IT managers, conducted by Evans Data.

The survey found that the number of developers targeting Windows for their applications declined 12 percent from a year ago. Just 64.8 percent targeted the platform as opposed to 74 percent in 2006.

“We attribute [the decline] largely to the increase in developers beginning to target Linux and different Linux [distributions]. Novell and Red Hat are the two dominant ones right now,” said John Andrews, the CEO of Evans Data.

The arrival of Windows Vista likely only kept the numbers from being even worse. “I think Vista probably offset some of the decline,” Andrews said.

Windows’ share is expected to drop another 2 percent in the next year. Andrews added.

The targeting of Linux by developers increased by 34 percent to 11.8 percent. It had been 8.8 a year ago, according to the survey. Linux targeting is expected to reach 16 percent over the next year.

Evans views the situation as a battle of Windows versus open source, with open source maturing. Windows remains tops, though. “They’re still dominant, there’s no doubt about it,” said Andrews. Use of Windows on the development desktop remains steady.

The survey, featuring developers at enterprises and solution providers like system integrators, covered both client and server application development. 076784



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