But, according to Freelancer although there is now a surge in demand for Windows skills, Microsoft has been fighting aggressively to keep itself relevant in recent years.
And, it cites observations by Benedict Evans from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz that “Windows had actually ceased to be the dominant development platform in the late 1990s with the rise of the web,” while noting that Microsoft’s steep decline is due to its near-absence from mobile.
“The launch of recent Windows 10 devices (the Surface Book; the Surface Pro 4; the Lumia 550; Xbox One, and the revolutionary holographic computer Hololens, has sparked a massive interest in all things Windows. This fact is evident in the number of Windows jobs being posted on Freelancer.com,” says Matt Barrie, Chief Executive of Freelancer.com.
“What remains to be seen is how long it will be among the top players in the industry.”
According to Freelancer, the marketplace has seen an incredible surge in Windows Desktop projects, up 62.7% (to 2,121 jobs) since last quarter, making it the fastest growing online job of the third quarter of 2015.
In addition to the increase in Windows Desktop jobs, Freelancer also reports there has also been growth in Microsoft Office work - Word projects have grown by 29.3% (to 3,455 jobs), while other Microsoft Office jobs have increased by 8.3% (to 1,323 jobs).
Freelancer says this suggests that Microsoft Word is still the preferred word processing software for professionals, despite the existence of Google Docs.
Excel jobs also grew by 26.6% (to 25,215 jobs) in the quarter, as well.
Barrie says Microsoft has made an extra effort to ensure it doesn’t lose its market share to alternatives such as Google Apps, with Office 2016 rolled out in September this year, boasting real-time collaboration, OneDrive integration, and cross-platform, cross-device functionality. “These features at the very least match, if not exceed, those of Google Apps,” Barrie says.
Also reported by Freelancer, is a rise in creative projects, with Content Writing still leading, at 21.9% growth. In addition, photography jobs have increased by 13.0%, Video Editing, Video Services, and Videography jobs have gone up by 18.6%, 14.2%, and 7.2% respectively.
And, design work in various fields is on the up, with 3D Design growing at 12.0%, Flyer Design at 10.9%, and Banner Design at 7.3%.
“With the rise of these Young Urban Creatives, and the many millennial professionals who comprise Freelancer.com’s users, it’s only logical that creative jobs will continue to prevail. The Internet enables this demographic to provide their services to a large number of businesses around the globe - this is one work trend that can only go up,” Barrie says.
While noting that social media once helped to level the playing field for small business owners wishing to push their products online, Barrie says, however, that social media marketing is now becoming much harder for small businesses.
According to Barrie, Social@Ogilvy has noted the steady decline of organic reach on Facebook (a 49% drop from the October 2013 peak), and it says it is only a matter of time before that figure hits zero.
And, he says, this has affected entrepreneurs wishing to push their products on social media, with Facebook Marketing jobs falling by 12.9%.
“This might be spurring an exodus to other platforms. While Pinterest’s user base is smaller than other social media sites, projects for the visually-heavy platform have been growing over the past year, and this quarter is no different with a jump of 9.9%. Pinterest is a great tool for marketers wishing to push their products using visuals. Pinterest users are very active in sharing their purchase desires and aspirations.
“The competition for eyeballs in the hyperconnected world is getting more exciting, as social media platforms and small businesses continually compete for consumers’ diminishing attention spans,” Barrie concludes.