The Baltimore Sun’s David Zeiler looks at reasons why some Mac users are clinging to the old Mac OS 9 operating system instead of upgrading to Mac OS X.
“The almost universal praise showered upon Apple Computer Inc.’s new music service has obscured a rather daunting reality: the majority of Macintosh users cannot access it! Most of the reviews dutifully noted that the iTunes Music Store is for the time being Mac only, and thus restricted to Apple’s approximately 3 percent of the computing market. Few bothered to point out, however, that because the iTunes Store requires Mac OS X, only those who have moved on from Mac OS 9 to OS X — about one in four Mac users by Apple’s most recent estimate in January — can use the service,” writes David Zeiler for The Baltimore Sun.
MacDailyNews note: the “3 percent” figure Zeiler cites is a rough estimate of the past few quarters’ retail marketshare. It would be more accurate to state that Apple has somewhere between 5-10% of the computing market when you consider that Mac users tend to keep their Macs longer on average than “PC” users and also take into account that many “PC” machines are in a business setting that most likely wouldn’t be accessing the iTunes Music Store anyway. If you look at the total amount of machines in homes and small businesses, Apple most likely has a higher percentage of the computing market than 3%.
Zeiler continues, “In January Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that with 5 million of an estimated 20 million or so Mac users running OS X, ‘we can now say that the Mac OS X transition is nearly complete.’ Apple has said all along that the conversion is on schedule, but it would seem that having 75 percent of Mac users still on Mac OS 9 — or earlier versions, for that matter — is far from a transition in its final stages.”
MacDailyNews note: earlier today, Senior Vice-President for Worldwide Product Marketing, Phil Schiller told BusinessWeek, “We count somewhere north of 25 million active Mac users in the world. Over half of that user base [own] systems that can run Mac OS X.” This, of course, would make a maximum of over 12 million Mac OS X users worldwide, according to Apple. However, since the iTunes Music Store is US-only, the number of 5 million Mac OS X users that can access the iTMS that Zeiler cites as a basis for his article ends up being close to the mark. Zeiler’s claim of “75 percent of Mac users still on Mac OS 9” doesn’t quite jive with Schiller’s statement of 50 percent even if all of them aren’t running OS X on systems that can run the new OS. The real percentage is probably somewhere between 60-65% that are still running Mac OS 9 of all the total Mac users.
“Considering that OS X’s official release was more than two years ago and that converting its user base to the new system has been an Apple priority, one might wonder what’s behind the delay,” writes Zeiler.
Full article here.