The time is here for OS X to put a serious dent in Windows

“With the Mac having around 13% of the computer market share in the U.S. and Microsoft making one boo-boo after another, the time has come for Mac OS X to put a serious dent in Windows’ marketshare,” Dennis Sellers writes for MacNews.

“Not only has the iPad put a dent in PC (but not Mac) sales, but the iPad mini is expected to accentuate the trend. In a note to clients J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz predicts the smaller Apple tablet will steal even more sales away from the weakening personal computer market,” Sellers writes. “So far the Mac hasn’t been harmed — at least not much — by the tablet invasion. Mac sales have exceeded overall computer industry averages for 25 consecutive quarters. Look for that to continue with ever-increasing MacBook Pro and MacBook Air sales — and the iMac remaining Apple’s (and the industry’s) hottest desktop model.”

Sellers writes, “What’s more, the jury is still out on whether Microsoft’s Surface hardware and new Windows 8 — due Oct. 26 — will be successful or bomb. Initial reactions haven’t been good… If the change is too drastic for most Windows users, the chance for Macs to grab a bigger percentage of the computer market very quickly is tremendous.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What we wrote back in June 2011, right after we first heard about Microsoft’s plans for Windows 8, works just as well today as it did nearly a year and a half ago, if not better:

Our initial impression is that Microsoft, in trying to cram everything into Windows 8 in an attempt to be all things to all devices, will end up with an OS that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none (which, after all, ought to be Microsoft’s company motto)… We simply do not see the world clamoring for the UI of an iPod also-ran now ported to an iPhone wannabe that nobody’s buying to be blown up onto a PC display.

From what we’ve seen so far, Windows 8 strikes us as an unsavory combination of Windows Weight plus Windows Wait.

Not to mention that probably no one on earth knows how much or what kinds of residual legacy spaghetti code roils underneath it all (shudder)… No matter what, if Microsoft’s going to ask Windows sufferers to “learn a whole new computer” (and that’s exactly how they’ll look at it, regardless of how Microsoft pitches it), millions will simply say, “Time to get a Mac to match my iPod, iPhone, and iPad!”

As if they needed it: More good news for Apple.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]

55 Comments

  1. I think it would be a wise strategy to finally release OS X for PCs. In case some of you did not know you can build a “Hackintosh” with OS X 10.8.2, the latest NVIDIA drivers for OS X, and Gigabyte motherboards that require ZERO hacked drivers. Works out of the box! 🙂 With that in mind, Apple should partner with Gigabyte and release OS X officially. They’d kill Microsoft with an announcement like that.

    1. They would also kill themselves. Apple is a hardware company. The majority of their revenue and profits comes from the sales of hardware. Remember the ill fated licensing scheme with PowerComputing and others? They would just be allowing another company to steal their sales. It’s not about market share.

      1. Maybe not quite yet, but most hardware sales from Apple, in fact over 75%, come from iOS devices and only 15% from traditional computers. I’m not sure how this translates to actual percentage of profits taken, but I suspect that iOS would account for an even higher percentage compared to traditional computers.
        A limited opening up of the computer hardware franchise with a select few quality manufacturers with strict conditions (equal to or better environmental standards, energy efficiency, reliability, warranty etc), and what hardware they can and can’t make (OS X crammed into a tablet is OUT, but various server & desktop configurations are IN), say from HP, Fujitsu and one other (names given as pie-in-the-sky examples only, others might be a better fit) would wipe Microsoft and Windows off the map.
        I know it’s not Apple’s MO, but a new CEO, and diminishing reliance on the Mac as a cash cow would see new Apple becoming the dominant player in IT across the entire planet.

        1. Yes. Apple simply needs to separate the ‘consumer durable’ division from ‘computers’ and then this could work. But … Will the cache still be there without the prestige computers, and will the computer division generate an ROI that keeps them in business?

        2. Opening up OSX to other Desktop PC hardware from other manufacturers may make Apple’s Mac Pro division the new HP (an exquisite company that took one bad decision after another till they’re nearly extinct).

    2. “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” – Alan Kay

      He could have said: “People who are really serious about hardware should make their own software.”

      This is what Apple does, and is a huge part of what makes Apple so successful – they deliver the whole enchilada. It just works.

      If Apple gives up control of either hardware or software they lose what makes them Apple.

    3. Let’s hope that NEVER happens. Things are working perfectly the way they are.

      I still remember the “Power Computing” days. I never want to see Apple go down that road again.

    4. You need to lay off that sauce. Apple makes its money on HARDWARE sales, not software. So you want it to provide software for someone else’s hardware? Stupid.

      There is no shortage of Macs a person could buy. Apple has just been quietly improving OS X, building up developers and applications, and positioning the Mac so that it can pounce all over Microsoft when the Redmond behemoth finally screws up (hence all the big cat code names).

      That time is now. Windows 8 is the first real departure from the standard Windows UI since Win 3.1. It will freak people out. Then having software that doesn’t work with Win 8 will piss them off. And if they have to re-buy software and learn a new OS, why not the Mac, where you have virtually zero malware and tons fewer crashes? Plus, it works seamlessly with their iPads and iPhones.

      Opportunities like this don’t present themselves often. Let’s hope Apple takes advantage of it.

      1. @ bizlaw: you are correct that licensing OS X would be a horrible strategic mistake.

        that being said, the snide “sauce” comment gets you nowhere.

        other nitpicks:

        There IS a shortage of Macs a person could buy. The product gap between the Mac mini, the iMac, and the Mac Pro is enormous. Apple doesn’t even support enterprise servers, and it abandoned the >15″ laptop market. Anyone who needs specific hardware configurations for their special need is out of luck. Apple needs to stop pretending that companies no longer need PCs and that everyone will be happy with a 13″ laptop.

        Apple has just been “quietly improving OS X” ???? Mountain Lion represents a huge disappointment for productivity users of OSX, adding iOS feature bloat without any efficiency advantages. For a productive workplace, 10.6 works as good or better than any later version of OS X.

        Indeed Apple has an opportunity here, but like Microsoft, they keep selling cloud integration and handheld consumer devices instead of continuing the innovation & productivity improvement of OS and software.

        Example: Thunderbolt hasn’t yet been implemented on the flagship Apple workstation, the Mac Pro. Professional users have the choice of only 2 graphics cards, both well behind state-of-the-art. How sad is that?

        If Apple wants to improve market share of Macs, it needs to keep innovating and expanding the entire Mac lineup, not just MacBook Pros.

    5. Not release OS X but sell it for $399 a copy equipped with draconian serial number protection.

      Apple could call it Macdows.

      Windows PC owners would eat it up.

    6. I really don’t think opening up OS X to everyone is a good idea. Sure, you can put together a hackintosh, but there is always a trade off with doing so.
      The other problem is that Windows users won’t necessarily switch to the OS X platform because “they can”. They already have the option to do that, but don’t because they either don’t want to learn a new system (believe it or not) and/or they have an investment in the hardware peripherals and software already.
      Besides, I don’t want to see the cheapening of the Apple brand like what happened in the 90’s. I’m sure many Mac users feel the same.

    7. …and be stuck with their OS on tons of inferior hardware that would kill Apple’s reputation for “it just works”. Even with their vertical integration, there are already enough small problems.

      While some have noted that as a percentage, Mac sales are significantly less than for iOS, it should also be noted that Mac hardware sales are still consistently increasing YOY. So revenue from Mac hardware sales is consistently growing, even if it is a smaller piece of the pie.

      If Mac hardware is growing, what is the point of growing OS marketshare outside that? iOS devices no longer need to be tethered to a computer, but most people still rely on the cross platform iTunes for syncing their Apple mobile devices and also for access to iTunes Store. In the era of the original OS war, businesses essentially had to choose one or the other and windows won there. That seeped into the consumer market because you probably would get a computer with the same OS. Now, there is very little barrier between OSes with regard to filetype or networking and for the cases where software is Windows only, Macs can run Windows.

      There seem to me to be a lot of problems and not much benefit for Apple in licensing OS X.

    8. There would then be the question of who’s to blame when problems arise. Apple shouldn’t offer support for someone else’s hardware……and other manufacturers would blame the OS the first chance they get. Let Apple gain market share in the most controlled manner possible. They don’t need to kill windows (it’s good to have competition), just continue to make M$ look bad.

    9. It’s not about killing Microsoft, it’s about making the best products possible. You idea would only provide half the solution and it would mimic Microsoft’s business model. It’s about the whole widget, not just half. Once you get this, you get Apple.

    1. And the reason is:
      At the end of the day, Apple is a HARDWARE company. It happens to write fabulous software [and we love them for that], but only as an adjunct to its core hardware sales business.

      1. Actually Steve Jobs himself called Apple a software company. They might make their money from the hardware, but their main differentiator is the software (and that’s what gives the hardware its value).

        1. And the software sells the hardware, which is where they make their money. So what would be the motivation to allow it in non-Apple software?

          There is a reason Apple will sell us Mountain Lion at the prices they do – they’re not in this to make money on the software. They would have to charge MIcrosoftian prices for their software if they no longer tied it to their high margin hardware. And they would fail.

  2. Gosh, the thought of Mountain Lion running on a generic pc box or even a plastic Dell or HP is kind of depressing. It would take away significantly from the overall user experience and would leave those folks less than delighted with the experience. Not Apple’s style.

    1. how?
      you can build a hackintosh with superior specs than even a Mac Pro, using OS X… how would it “take away” the user experience?

      I’m not telling people to go out and create a hackintosh.. but i’ll bet you ANY amount of money you can hook up an external monitor to ANY mac you choose… and set it side by side with a hackintosh, with ONLY the monitors displayed.. you could NOT figure out which is the true mac, and which is the hackintosh.
      (No going to “about this mac” though, just use random mac apps etc.)

      the OS is 100% the same as on a “true” mac. the ONLY difference between a real mac and a hackintosh, price and the specs.
      It’s not like you are installing windows, and using a OS X theme… it’s OS X with the Apple hardware check removed. (you use the Apple OS Disk…)

      I had a hackintosh a few years back, running Tiger I had a higher benchmark than the current PowerMac at the time. And I built it for under $700. Still have the case and MB/CPU/RAM rest has been cannibalized for other stuff.
      ran flawlessly for years.

      it’s the same as Linux. you make sure the hardware is compatible, drivers etc, and build it.
      Off the shelf Dell/HP i never tried.. those probably would have issues.

  3. Maybe if Apple lagged a generation or two, this wouldn’t be such a problem of shooting itself in the foot. They could always release Snow Leopard for PCs. Computers must meet all the same specs as a Mac, or no go. Cheap way to get people to renew their hardware, which is probably broken by now from accumulated Windows junk, and dip their feet into the OS X universe.

    1. > … and dip their feet into the OS X universe.

      Microsoft has already done that work for Apple. Windows 8 is so foreign that Mac OS X Mountain Lion will be more familiar and comfortable for them (as a transition to a new OS), especially for users who are still using Windows XP on ancient hardware. That’s the audience Apple should target, in a new “Get a Mac” marketing campaign. “Welcome HOME, to Macintosh…”

      Apple makes it profit on hardware, not software. The price tag for a Mac OS X upgrade these days is almost FREE. Soon, I think it will be free (like iOS upgrades are free), for the supported lifetime of the Mac. Other consumer-level Mac software, such as the iLife and iWork apps are also very low cost. Apple is not interested in making a big profit by selling software. The software is offered to enhance the experience of using Apple hardware, as a “value-added” service for hardware customers. They will NOT start selling software that will encourage customers to get the Mac experience without actually buying a Mac. That would be suicide.

        1. True and I don’t know many people who are aware of the hackintosh community outside of the geek world.

          My hackintosh was my gateway drug and its kind of strange to think a box that said “Dell” led me to the mac. lol.

        2. I did the same thing.

          Hackintosh->iPod touch->iPhone->MBP->iPad1->iMac

          It’s more common than you’d think.. Just some don’t want to admit it.
          Same with Jailbreaking, Many have done it. not everyone will admit to it.
          250million iOS users… last i heard Cydia had like 30-40 million Unique iOS signatures… but ask iOS users?… 99% have “never heard of JB” or “only Pirates do that, I never would”

  4. I think this author understands something that many other “experts” tend to forget (or don’t even realize). When iPad was first released in 2010, there was no “tablet market” (except for a small number of clumsy stylus-based “convertible” notebooks). iPad was released as Apple’s answer to sub-$500 netbooks, and went on to destroy that market. iPad THEN created the tablet market, as the competition copied.

    iPad is continuing to impact the PC market, and the $329 iPad will be an even bigger weapon for Apple going forward. iPad mini was NOT created and priced to match the low-end junk tablets from Amazon and Google.

  5. Serious dent is already here!

    In the LA, Orange County area in business, schools & at Starbucks, more often than not MacBooks of all types seem to predominate. None of the kids I know want a Sony or Lenovo; it is iPhone and MacBook/Air/Pro all the way.

    In my Brother’s company, all employees that go outside for sales, training, etc. all carry Mac Book Airs, running…Win7 for their engineering software & MacOS X for presentations sometimes. They claim it pays big dividends in reliability and performance.

    Mac is the ultimate stealth computer “He I’ve got my Win7 laptop right here”.

  6. the other day when I suggested that Apple should try harder pushing macs and OSX I was flamed..

    the financial report shows that I’m right, although Macs have outpaced PC GROWTH , mac sales only increased 1% from the year ago quarter.
    That in spite of the halo effect of iPhones etc, retina displays on Macbooks etc.

    Although having superior hardware and software Apple in the last few years have not pushed macs hard enough.

    the last Generic Mac ads – mac PC guys – were in 2009 until the aborted “Olympic ads”.
    I’ve NEVER seen a Mac Mini ad on TV (or even in print). Haven’t seen a Mountain Lion ad, haven’t seen an iMac ad for years…
    (yet I continously see iPhone, iPad ads)

    Apple has been so obessed with mobile that they have neglected pushing mac sales hard. (like is said they hardly advertise macs )

    Msft will spend 1 billion on launching Windows 8. How much effort has Apple spent marketing M. Lion . I suspect 90% of the populatin have no idea what M. Lion is much less how superior it is to windows. They do not even know apple sells a mac Mini (which can plug into their existing PC set up), the SALES guys in my local Best Buy probably do not know that Mac Pros exist! (won’t go into the sad neglected story of the Mac Pro… )

    Apple has the money yet seems strangely reluctant to spend on marketing macs. In the 2009 the last year I have stats Msft outspent Apple in advertising THREE times, even Dell with a fraction of apple’s revenue outspent apple.
    Msft windows LAUNCH alone is twice the size of Apple’s ENTIRE 2009 ad budget.
    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2009/10/28/apples-2009-ad-budget-half-a-billion/

    Amazon which makes much less profit than apple (8 BILLION less every quarter) advertises Kindle Fires on TV yet apple doesn’t advertise Mac Minis (perhaps with the launch with the new machines they will… )

    Hundreds of millions of PCs are sold every year (Msft sold 300 million win 7 licences in short order)
    Apple didn’t give Msft the killing blow during Vista, they should try harder with looming Win 8 mess.

    Allowing Msft to effortless generate billions every quarter is a mistake as it allows msft to keep pumping at it (it can absorb over a billion in losses on Xbox to finally make it a success). Msft (like Google) will not ‘play nice’ and stay on their own turf (PCs and Search) but will attack apple’s mobile (like iPads) lead hard, apple needs to take the gloves off and go for it.

    Cooks promotion of Federighi head of OSX to SVP might be an attempt to balance out apple by putting a mac person up. Apple is lead by the small group of SVPs, Forstall head of iOS has been SVP for years.

    I’ve followed apple for a long time: iPods game and grew like fire, then a few years later it started to slow and decline , it was Mac sales which were consistent that buffered Apple’s finances (until the rise of iPhone).

    depending on MORE products is safer. We’ve seen how rumors of iPhone issues (supply constraints, maps etc) knock the price of aapl from 700 to 600. Apple needs mac growth (and with 5% worldwide market share it has plenty of room), push it hard… (they should run OSX and Macs are better than Win 8 mess NOW)

    1. That’s because Apple is using the iPhone and iPad as the marketing arm for the Mac. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law both recently switched to Macs after YEARS of me telling them they needed to switch. Why? Because they both loved their iPhones and iPads. So moving to a Mac made much more sense (to their thinking) than it did before.

      More Mac ads won’t really sell many more Macs. More iPhone and iPad users will sell more Macs, although the sales may be delayed from the iPad/iPhone purchase.

      1. @ bizlaw

        I like some of you posts and I agree about the ‘halo effect’

        but..
        how do you KNOW that “More Mac ads won’t really sell many more Macs.”
        if they don’t try it?

        like I long windedly pointed out they have lots of money and spend so little on ads . Also the 1% sales increase from last year plus the still 5% worldwide marketshare after decades of superior hardware software shows that they can do more.

        Your in laws might have you or somebody else to tell them about macs but I swear the vast majority of people (who don’t have someone to tell them do NOT know that Apple even SELLS headless macs like mac minis, or macpros. Most casual PC users I know think they have to ‘waste’ their monitors etc to buy an iMac if they switch …

        Haven’t seen mac mini ad to show that it exists, haven’t seen an ad telling people that OsX is better etc.

        Also there are hundreds of millions of PC users who do NOT use an iPhone or iPad , so they do NOT get the halo.

        I was working in advertising, it’s much much easier to sell people stuff if you prime them with marketing…

        so do you think with Win 8 out now and with 50% of the review negative Apple should not advertise macs and OSX heavily? they should let the OPPORTUNITY PASS and just depend on ‘halo’?

        with 10% U.S and 5% worldwide macs have big room to grow (note 58% smartphone sales in U.S last quarter was iPhone. Even if pie size increases sales growth will eventually slow down).

    2. The Apple Macintosh is doing fine. However, it could be doing so much better.

      I have noticed a dramatic slowdown in the growth of Mac’s in the last year. In fact, I have seen several clients abandon the Mac while keeping their iPhones & iPads.

      Why? Several reasons:

      1. New Mac’s no longer have the same value proposition.
      – No longer include iWork, iWeb, iDvd in the price.
      – Loss of the very popular email greeting cards.
      – Inability of iMovie to create AVCHD disks.
      – Higher price, required to purchased external dvd.

      2. iMac is no longer the only all in one design. Clients hate cables. iMac now requires a cable for dvd drive.

      Apple needs to do the following:

      1. Make the Mac a turn key solution – clients want this!

      – Include a new version of iWeb (small businesses loved
      having an easy web publisher included). Include a
      shopping cart through Apple to encourage e-commerce.

      – Give all Mac users a .mac account for building web
      pages. This was great advertising!

      – Include enhanced iWork with every new mac. iWork
      needs:

      1. Index generation in Pages.

      2. Cover pages with ability to center vertically.

      3. Pages needs to offer academic & professional formatting.

      4. Mail merge improvements, include an enhanced
      flat file database similar to MS Works 4.5
      This program is still huge in small business, 15
      years later! Currently, there is no acceptable
      alternative.

      5. Allow screen to be centered in Pages. Offset page
      drives MS Word users crazy.

      – Create or purchase an alternative to Quicken.

      – Enhance iMovie so it can create AVCHD DVDs. I have
      already had several clients ignore the Mac or leave because
      they need to distribute HD DVDs. DVDs are cheap
      and users of all ages understand how to use them.

      – Restore the very popular email greeting cards. PC
      users really loved this feature. It was inexpensive
      advertising! Build this into iPhoto.

      – In OS X:

      1. Ability to set a program to open full window or full
      screen. Long time Windows users freak out when
      they discover they can’t set the program to open
      full window or full screen.

      2. Bring the option for aero snap to the Mac.

      None of these features would make the Mac into a Windows machine. The first several features are restoring popular features that Apple abandoned much to the distress of many of my clients.

      The last two features are only options that would make the Windows crowd give the Mac a second look.

      1. @old tech

        you raise some good points..

        but nobody (except apple fans) will know about macs or Osx if like I pointed out apple doesn’t even market them.

        haven’t seen an imac ads for a long time . Never seen a mac mini ad or a mac pro ad …

        all the greatest features in OSX will be unknown to potential PC switchers if apple doesn’t talk about them. (YOU might be explaining to your friends or clients but how do others who don’t have a mac friend know?)

        M. Lion is already superior than Windows in many ways yet very few pc users knows this : Apple practically zero Mountain Lion marketing. (my experience that practically every PC user and analyst and main stream journalist believes Win 7 is = to Mt. Lion ) Msft will spend 1 billion on Windows launch b.s.

        seriously think about it : reading forum posts from Pc users in Zdnet etc, many PC user diss apple by saying things like : “OSX sucks : YOU CAN NOT RIGHT CLICK WITH AN APPLE MOUSE”. and this are supposed to be tech savvy people reading Zdnet…

        I stand by my contention that in the last few years apple’s leadership was mobile focused. Electing a mac guy to SVP might be a sign of change to come…

      2. iWork is now on the Mac App Store. (I thought Apple did toss it in at times in bundles, maybe holiday sales etc)
        iWeb… died.
        iDVD… same. (but it’s on the iLife 11 DVD)

        #2 i Agree. death to the optical drive on a desktop… I am not for it. Laptop… sure. kill it.

        .mac is dead… been dead for years. it’s iCloud, and everyone DOES get that email address.

        iWork updates… yeah, i’m waiting. so are MANY others.

        the email stuff, meh. small % want stuff like that, most don’t even know what it is.

        Quicken/Quickbooks. here, here.
        it’s the ONLY reason my mother won’t commit 100% to mac. Quickbooks for mac blows, if Intuit would make Quickbooks for mac the exact same as for windows… many would switch with no hesitation. Many companies will not dump quickbooks for something new.. and the Mac “Version” is almost worthless.

        AVCHD, Apple should change that.

        Opening full screen is a windows legacy thing… i’d rather have preview open CENTERED on my 27″ iMac screen than Top Left…

        (Had to look up Aero snap lol)
        meh, windows gimmick. not needed in OS X, sure some may like it.. but now that I know what it is.. now I know what i’m yelling at when it happens on accident. 😉

    1. Nah. You have to give people a couple of weeks to really comprehend the horror of Windows 8, and by then the new, shiny, super thin iMacs and MBPs will be gracing shelves everywhere!

  7. I don’t think that Apple should consider licensing OS X to other desktop manufacturers. What I would like to see however is since they have practically abandoned the server market is for them to license the server version of the OS to end users and allow them to run it in VMWare ESX. That would get them back into the datacenter in a big way. Don’t have to make it cheap, just cheaper than Windoze server.

  8. Apple doesn’t have the production capacity to put a serious dent in Windows. It can barely keep up with present demand. Also, Apple doesn’t compromise on build quality. Any other company would be using cookie cutters to mass produce the simplest design computers possible. Forget that “friction welded” nonsense. Most companies use the “stamp out and spot weld” method of assembly.

    Apple better not even consider licensing OSX to some other company unless the contract says that Apple controls everything from build quality to pricing.

  9. OS X will not reach its potential growth until Apple does some serious work on its productivity apps. Keynote, Pages and Numbers are nice apps but limited. There needs to be more choices added to the templates and themes of Pages Keynote. The whole Iwork suite need to be updated, which hasn’t happened in quite a while. MS is dragging their feet in upgrading Office for Mac, Apple needs to get new Mac users to forget about Office if it is to take advantage of the Windows platform change. Mac and OS X is the “TRUCK” Apple needs to treat it like one!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.