Report: Microsoft Windows Vista adoption outpacing Apple Mac OS X (and water is wet)

“Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system has been steadily gaining market share since its release earlier this year, and is on pace to overtake usage of Mac OS X within the next few months, according to a study published Tuesday by research firm NetApplications,” Kevin McLaughlin reports for CMP Channel.

MacDailyNews Take: Who needs a study? Look at PC sales, realize that the vast majority of the boxes come preloaded with Vista, then look at Mac sales, and you’re done. There are some 23 million Mac OS X installs today. IDC says all vendors shipped over 58 million PCs worldwide in Q2 07 (Apple shipped just over 1.5 million Macs). Vista is not “on pace to overtake usage of Mac OS X.” Vista shipments overtook Mac OS X long ago.

McLaughlin continues, “In February, Mac OS X’s market share stood at 6.38 percent, while Vista — which launched Jan. 30 — stood at just 0.93 percent. But in June, Mac OS X usage had dipped to 6 percent, while Vista usage had jumped to 4.52 percent, according to the study.”

MacDailyNews Take: NetApplications did not do a “study.” They took a snapshot of participating web sites and recorded the OS used. It’s not a measure of market share, which is a percentage of units sold vs. total units sold, it’s a measure of which OS was used to visit a selection of web sites. Nobody has the “true” market share figures, anyway; not IDC, not Gartner, nobody. They all just have market share figures for the markets they measure – what about the whitebox market, for example? They’re all just estimates. What’s important are the trends measured: Is Apple Mac gaining based on what IDC and Gartner measure? Yes, it is.

McLaughlin continues, “Many solution providers say their customers still don’t see the business benefits of adopting Vista, and have avoided migrating to the next generation OS until application and hardware compatibility issues are addressed. Many VARs believe this will happen when Microsoft releases Vista service pack 1 later this year.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, yeah? “Microsoft has apparently told executives at one of the world’s largest PC makers not to expect a formal release of Windows Vista SP1 — the first major set of upgrades and bug fixes to its Vista operating system — until 2009 at the earliest,” ValleyWag is reporting today. [Thanks to MacDailyNews reader “RadDoc.”]

McLaughlin continues, “Industry giants have also recently raised the yellow flag on Vista adoption. Earlier this month, a Dell Europe executive said the company was ‘stepping back’ from telling people they must upgrade to Vista. And on Monday, Acer president Gianfranco Lanci went even further in describing the impact Windows Vista has had since its release. ‘The whole industry is disappointed with Windows Vista,’ Lanci said in an interview with the German edition of the Financial Times.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, Microsoft’s Windows Vista is a disappointment. Yes, a recent survey showed that 30% of businesses will never upgrade to Windows Vista. Yes, Apple’s Mac OS X is growing at a pace three times faster than the PC industry as a whole. Yes, the vast majority of Windows sufferers have no idea about Mac OS X (they haven’t chosen Windows, they just blindly bought some PC) while the majority of Mac OS X users have used Windows (at work and school) and made the informed choice to use Macs.

By the way, the same sheep-like behavior that propels Windows adoption also helps iPod sales: many people just buy iPod because “everyone else does.” Luckily for them, Apple’s iPod+iTunes is also the best choice, unlike Windows. If people really thought about it, the Mac is clearly the best choice: it’s more secure, more intuitive, more elegant, can run the most software (even Windows, if need be), lasts longer, has higher resale value, etc., etc., etc. Most people just don’t think. Period. Just by thinking at all, Mac users Think Different™. So, the more people that get Macs, the more they will spread the word, and it will snowball; it’s already started.

Regardless, today it’s delusional to imply or pretend that Vista adoption won’t or hasn’t already obliterated Mac OS X adoption. Simple math shows that fact. Apple has miles and miles to go (however those miles can be traveled faster than many might think). Vista and other flavors of Windows can and will have the bottom and middle of the barrel and, as always, it’s Mac OS X that’s the cream on top and it’s getting thicker with each passing day.


  1. Windows=Windows=Windows. It’s the business model, not people clamoring for Vista.

    BTW, is the whole net experiencing some sort of attack today, or is it just good ol’ Florida?

  2. So, uh, the viral infected PC’s outpace Macs in sales? What else is new? Vista comes with the sale of HP, Gateway, Dell, Sony, Acer, IBM, etc. OS X comes with a Mac. The people who do these studies are f’in morons.

  3. Vista is the best weapon Apple has for encouraging people to switch. Every single friend of mine who was sitting on the fence, and then bought Vista, has now switched. Their experience was horrible.

    Apple should sell Vista in their stores with a 90 money back guarantee or something.

    Either that or send Balmer a finders fee for every switcher who does so after purchasing Vista.

  4. Well, let’s remember that a huge portion of the sales are for corporations where a very small number of IT people control — in a draconian environment — the computers bought. So be nice to that poor unfortunate office-droid using Vista. They had no choice. Vista was foisted on them.

    Be sorry for them. Very, very sorry.

  5. As Vista’s installation numbers climb, it’s likely those users are simply replacing another flavor of Windows on their computers, rather than signaling a stampede of new Windows users hitting the Internet. So Vista’s gains are mostly at the expense of its older relatives.

  6. Regarding the Net Applications data, a valid review of the data reveals the following:

    1) Vista share is all at the expense of 2000 and XP.
    2) Mac share is not flat, it’s up 40% over last year.
    3) Mac’s share is at the expense of Microsoft’s older OSes (95, 98, and NT).
    4) Microsoft has actually lost share in the last year.

    It’s all here:

    A look at Computerworld’s article on Net Applications’ market share data.

    As for Vista’s disappointment, the latest slam from the head of Acer is only the latest:

    Acer head blasts Microsoft’s latest.

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