ChangeWave: Mac OS X Leopard satisfaction far outpaces Vista; Apple Mac strong despite PC slowdown

“Only 8% of the 4,427 consumers surveyed by ChangeWave in late February say they’ll be buying a laptop in the next 90 days – the lowest level of consumer laptop demand in the past 12 months,” Paul Carton and Jim Woods report for ChangeWave Research. “The same trend was seen in desktop PC purchases, with just 6% saying they’ll be buying one – also a low for the year.”

“Things weren’t any better on the corporate side, where PC buying has also slowed precipitously. In February, only 73% of 2,204 corporate respondents said their company plans on buying laptops in the next quarter – down 4-pts from a year ago. It’s the same pattern for desktops, with corporate purchases down 5-pts,” Carton and Woods report.

Carton and Woods ask, “Given such big declines, which computer manufacturers will be hurt most?”

“Despite the slowing PC environment, planned purchases of Apple Macs remain relatively strong,” Carton and Woods report. “Looking at the next three months, Apple remains the leader among consumers who plan to buy a laptop (31%) – down just 2-pts from the all-time high recorded in our previous survey. Apple planned desktop purchases (28%; down 1-pt) are also near record levels.”

“Importantly, Apple’s numbers are up more than 50% from a year ago,” Carton and Woods report.

“Corporate planned Mac purchases are also at or near record highs, as laptops (7%) were unchanged from previously, while desktops (6%) fell just 1-pt,” Carton and Woods report. “And in a clear sign PC buyers like what Apple is doing, our survey showed the company continues to set the standard for customer satisfaction.”

Carton and Woods report, “Among corporate respondents using the Leopard operating system, over half (53%) report they are Very Satisfied. This compares to a 40% Very Satisfied rating for Windows XP Pro users, and a dismal 8% Very Satisfied rating for Microsoft Vista Business (8%).”

MacDailyNews Take: In our experience, those who claim to be at all “satisfied” with any Windows version have never really tried a Mac.

Carton and Woods continue, “Clearly, the Leopard OS is a crowd pleaser.”

“Dell’s fortunes going forward are far different than Apple’s,” Carton and Woods report. “Our previous consumer PC survey showed Dell with a small uptick in planned consumer buying, but that rise appears short lived – they are once again losing traction going forward. Planned purchases of Dell laptops (28%; down 2-pts) and especially desktops (32%; down 4-pts) are considerably weaker than in our previous survey.”

“Dell is also plagued by a downturn in planned corporate PC buying for next quarter, with desktop (32%; down 3-pts) and laptop (32%; down 1-pt) purchases falling to new lows,” Carton and Woods report. ‘It’s like déjà vu, all over again,’ Yogi Berra famously said, and that’s what it looks like as Dell once again resumes its market share slide.”

Carton and Woods report, “Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) also wasn’t spared in our surveys, as they are experiencing weaker PC sales going forward – led by a big drop in consumer planned buying of desktops (18%; down 5-pts) and laptops (19%; down 2-pts). On the corporate side, planned purchases for H-P desktops fell 1-pt to 17%, while laptops dipped 2-pts to 14%.”

“One thing in H-P’s favor, however, is their strong sales overseas (nearly 70% of their total sales) – where the current slowdown is likely having less of an impact. Note that our ChangeWave surveys focus mainly on the U.S. market,” Carton and Woods report. “When we did ask respondents living outside the U.S. about Hewlett-Packard planned purchases, H-P registered higher market share numbers for consumer desktops (22%), corporate desktops (20%) and corporate laptops (17%).”

Full article and video presentation of the survey findings here.


  1. I’m not surprised that OS X is #1. It’s the only unix based OS out there that’s easy to use and blows any windows os ever made out of the water.

    Linux is secure, stable, and free, but (with the exception of Ubuntu) most people would have a lot of trouble using it. I’m guessing the high satisfaction rating has to do with Linux’s performance in servers…

    MS is f*cked though. I foresee Windows 7 sucking (Vista 2.0). Momentum can only carry you so far. The second any other OS gets a market share in the double digits, MS is dead.

  2. “Substantive IT support for Macs will happen when Apple decides the enterprise is important enough to their revenue stream to dedicate resources and application support in proportion to the demand. Frankly, it’s just not in Apple’s interest to do that, and until that time, Macs will be an afterthought in the enterprise.”

    In other words:
    It’s up to Apple to make it happen in the corporate world.

    IT man up there is dead on.

    Apple IS moving. It’s called the iPhone.
    In the back door…

  3. If I may contradict:

    Windows is NOT single source. It is provided by Micros**t.
    You can go and buy a Dull or HP desktop or whatever to run Windows. Heck, build the computer from the ground up if you want to. Buy a stripped down $500 box and load your proprietary apps on it. Great for IT.

    Use OSX however and you ARE stuck with one supplier: Apple.
    You can only run OSX on Apple hardware. Period.
    You cannot buy OSX and build you own machine to run it on.

    It is Apple who is preventing widespread use of OSX, not Micros**t.
    Apple has great customer service – for consumers, but what IT head is going to send his men to SF for Macworld to hear about the latest shiny toys?
    Mr IT boss wants roadmaps, nice low $$ numbers to show his boss.

  4. “Au contraire – the three reasons don’t hold water. The real reason that most IT go with Windows is simple inertia.”

    You call it inertia, but in the corporate world, it’s called Business Continuity, and it’s not a fleeting notion.

    “MS is f*cked though. I foresee Windows 7 sucking (Vista 2.0). Momentum can only carry you so far. The second any other OS gets a market share in the double digits, MS is dead.”

    Somehow I don’t think M$ is too worried about maintaining momentum. Mac users forget that there’s another entire business unit in M$ just devoted to enterprise OS and application support, which did $11 billion by itself last year. Expect that to increase significantly with the release of W2K8 and SQL Server 2008.

    This is what I’m saying; there’s no push from Apple to do that kind of business, and considering their business model (consumer-oriented products), no reason for them to do it, unless they want to change focus from the end user to deal with the needs of corporate computing, cut margins to the bone and lose money to build marketshare in the enterprise.

    Exactly how many Macolytes are wanting that to happen?

  5. @Hm, what are you smoking?!?!?

    Haven’t you heard of bootcamp, parallels or even fusion?
    the only reason I would consider purchasing Apple Mac/MacBook hardware is the ability to run any and every OS I can…

    To, IT’s comment; The only thing that is upto Apple is who they sell OS X off to in order to make it an enterprise worthy OS… Look at what Motorola just did splitting their company in to two company’s one for cellphone hardware and for services and software…

    I would love to try a MAC but as I’ve said before when you compare spec for spec to another manufacturer, Apple is charging too much of a premium charge for the ability use an OS that you might be happy with but isn’t 100% compatible with what you use at your work, your kids use at school and what 80% of the rest of the world currently use…

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