Apple Macintosh easily leads Linux in market share, installed base

“With the release of its first Linux laptop last week, Hewlett-Packard predicts this year the free operating system will unseat the Mac as the No. 2 desktop operating system behind Windows. Indeed, some analysts say Linux displaced the Mac as the leading alternative in 2003,” Leander Kahney reports for Wired.

“But the Mac hasn’t been relegated to third just yet. While Linux machines are shipping in ever greater numbers, especially to giant markets like China, the vast majority are stripped of Linux in favor of pirate copies of Windows, experts say,” Kahney reports. “Peter Kastner, an analyst with Aberdeen Group, said the Mac has roughly 3 percent of the desktop market, and the Linux share is considerably lower than that… Apple estimates its customer base is between 24 million and 25 million users.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews article:
More people use Apple Macs than you think; 8-12 percent of homes use Macs – March 31, 2004


  1. This is a surprisingly intelligent article re the current state of affairs, indicating Macs probably exceed Linux boxes by 3 to 1. I hope they’re wrong about the future and the Mac takes off…

  2. Does it matter? Both are far behind Windows. And both have completely different target audiences. I use both Apples and Linux. Each have their pluses and minuses. I think on the desktop, Linux has one huge advantage over the Mac for a corporate or educational environment. Thin client. I just set up a 30 station network running thin client. I’ve got a Dell 2650 Dual Xeon server with 8GB’s of memory running Linux. Loud as hell. Why can’t they learn from Apple. Each of the 30 clients is a $250 idotPC with no hard drive and 128MB of memory all bootable using PXE. Attached to each one is a 17″ LCD. Each client can run, Evolution email, and Firefox. All are virus free and Microsoft free. And easy to administer since I have to only deal with the server. Of course, in another area of my work, we just purchased a dual 2.0ghz G5 for video editing and are attaching it to an Xserve RAID. Looking forward to setting this up in the next week. And at home, I’m running a PowerMac Dual 2.0ghz G5 along with a AMD 1.4ghz system running Debian Linux. Once again, loud as hell compared to the G5.

    Each has their strengths and weaknesses. Its inevitable that Linux will have a larger market share than the Mac. After all, the goal is to reduce Windows market share.

  3. The stories of Linux having a greater installed base than the Mac OS was nothing more than just FUD anyway. Personally I don’t know a single person that uses Linux as their primary OS. Of those I do know that have it installed, they mainly only play around with it on the side and use Windows or OS X as their primary boot OS. Linux is growing, but it hasn’t come close to passing the Mac yet, despite what some might wish to be true.

  4. The only person I know who used linux on the desktop switched to Mac OS X about 18 months ago — this person still maintains an array of SUN and linux work stations, and has not used or installed any MS software in at least a decade!

  5. I switched from Linux to the Mac, as soon as I saw you could have a decent Unix platform, with decent desktop apps & hassle free compatibility with most of the USB gizmos out there, sold!

  6. I use Linux (Libranet 2.8.1) on my PC, along with Windows XP (yuck I know) for gaming setup in a dual-boot config. Linux I like alot, and I am not one to become fanboy for 1 OS / GUI and ignore the rest. They all have advantages. I prefer OS X of course for 90% of what I do on a computer but some things I run in Linux and gaming of course in Windows.


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