Apple’s Mac OS X to exceed sales of x86 systems factory-shipped with commercial Linux by mid-2008

“I’ve kept a practically subterranean profile since Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference last month. I have so many venues at which to serve the many pots of content I’ve got bubbling upstairs that spreading it evenly and avoiding redundancy is the greatest challenge. The portion I’ll serve, in this space, is part of the sharpening outline of the shape that professional, commercial, and enterprise computing will assume by the end of the decade,” Tom Yager writes for InfoWorld.

Yager writes, “Apple’s Unix — or who knows what it’ll be called by then — will overtake commercial Linux in rate of revenue growth by the end of 2007. By mid-2008, Apple’s sales of systems with factory-installed Apple Unix will exceed the total combined sales of x86 systems factory-shipped with commercial Linux. At the end of the decade, we’ll find that Apple Unix has overtaken commercial Linux as the second most popular general client and server computing platform behind Windows.”

Yager writes, “Now before anybody goes nuts, understand what I’m saying: Apple isn’t going to win or even wage a religious war with Linux. The market will bring about the adjustments to which I’m referring. There will be more money than ever to be made with Linux, but sales won’t derive from a model fashioned to compete with Windows and OS X. Microsoft and Apple will be the top-seeded fighters in general client and server computing platforms.”

Full article here.


  1. I don’t think he’s confusing at all. What he said is very clear: “Apple Unix will become the #2 factory installed OS by mid 2008. He also said the Linux will continue to grow in usage, just that Apple Unix is going to grow faster.

    The only way that scenario can happen is with Microsoft OS share declining. THAT is already happening. Windows share has dropped 2% in the last 12 months. In the next 21 months (mid 2008) Windows share will drop another 5%.

  2. Am I the only person that thinks an ever-growing Apple market share is not necessarily a good thing?

    I think the exclusivity of OSX has been a large part of what truly makes it great.

    That’s just my take anyway.

  3. Don’t be fooled. This is a thinly veiled attempt to say that Linux has a larger install base than OS X… Something which is not true.

    OS X is a very popular consumer operating system. Linux is a very large server operating system. OS X doesn’t have large share in servers and Linux has the same disability on consumer desktops.

    Fans of Linux frequently go out of their way to suggest that Linux’s install base is larger than Apple’s… something which isn’t true. It’s equally untrue to say that OS X’s install base is larger than Linux’s.

    The two OSes are roughly equal in install base
    With that in mind, OS X’s market share (a statistic generated based on the sale of a product) is *already* MUCH larger than Linux’s.

    As everybody knows, Linux is a free operating system which doesn’t have direct ties to sales. It can relate to sales if its sold alongside a computer which is why leveraging its strength in servers is especially helpful to Linux’s actual as well as perceived growth.

    What this author is doing is playing on people’s misconceptions about the differences in market share, install base and how these figures are calculated. On top of that he’s just throwing out numbers that he pulled strait out of his ass.

    Mac Daily News readers ought not pay attention to this BS. This guy is obviously a Linux user with an agenda. I can spot it a mile away.

  4. I agree. I think the exclusiveness of OSX is what makes it great. If they keep increasing in popularity then it will be more vulnerable to more attacks and the coolness of having a mac will be taken away by everyone and their mother having one. Just mt 2cents

  5. And what is he really trying to say? I mean really? This is just another stupid fluff piece from someone trying to sound important. First, he ignores the fact that Linux is free, and is used by countless people in that context. He excludes these users by limiting his analysis to “comercial Linux”, but that ignores completly the whole reason Linux exists. Secondly, Apple OS X and Linux are sold “commercially” to completely different markets and the home market is vastly larger than the enterprise. So, by limiting his analysis and comparing two completly different market segments he can predict Apple will move ahead. Wow. Big deal. All it proves is how small Apple’s market share really is.

  6. re: “I think the exclusivity of OSX has been a large part of what truly makes it great.”
    re: “the coolness of having a mac will be taken away by everyone and their mother having one.”

    Have been trying to figure out those arguments regarding any of the Mac OS’s for 15 years now.

    Why would you have an OS, or a computer , or whatever just because it’s “cool.” So in what other areas of your life do you allow others to shape your thoughts and actions?

    Let everyone have OSX. The world would be a better place.

  7. OS X needs to get as popular as it can. Apple will not slack, it’ll continue to move forward and innovate as their perspective dictates. That’s in contrast to M$, which dominatedc, then stagnated.

    The world would be FAR better off with OS X all around.

  8. Let’s get this straight: Macs becoming more popular DOES NOT EQUAL becoming more vulnerable to attacks. Volvo doesn’t suddenly become a less safe car to drive because more people buy it.

    OS X will be more vulnerable if 1) Apple produces an OS that is more vulnerable and 2) if Apple doesn’t patch vulnerabilities in a timely manner.

  9. Am I the only person that thinks an ever-growing Apple market share is not necessarily a good thing?

    Only in one respect: Right now the vast majority of the computer illiterate use Windows, because that’s what the cheapo computers at Best Buy and Walmart run. As Macs get more popular, and their more computer-savvy relatives buy them and show them off, more and more of these computer know-nothings will buy Macs.

    Not that that’s a bad thing. Macs are better for the technically-uninclined, because it’s much harder to irreparably screw things up. (Of course, Macs are better for the technical wizards, too, because of the incredible level of control you can extert if you want to.) But it will be annoying, as more and more technophobes join the club. We will have to remember to be very, very patient.

  10. Apple can get up to about 20% market share and still have a sense of “exclusivity.” At that point, Apple would likely be the #1 PC maker in the world while maintaining the #2 OS status. That would be Apple’s ideal position during the next ten years, at least on the PC side of business. Who knows what will happen on the iPod/iTunes side.

  11. What a pointless article. I wasn’t even aware that any PC manufacturers supplied Linux as an option with their hardware. This article seems to more highlight the tiny share that MacOS really has, if commercially installed Linux currently exceeds it in sales.

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