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Apple gets selective on Lion vs. Windows 7 adoption numbers

updated 06:20 pm EDT, Tue October 4, 2011

Apple uses relative growth vs Microsoft

Apple during its Let's Talk iPhone event claimed to have outpaced Microsoft in terms of practical OS adoption. In contextualizing six million downloads of Mac OS X Lion, CEO Tim Cook claimed that the Mac's relative adoption rate was much faster, taking two weeks to reach 10 percent of the user base where Microsoft took 20. Downloads helped lead to the faster growth, he said.

The adoption rate is somewhat misleading as it masks absolute volume. Apple's existing, total Mac user base isn't clear, but it's known to still be well below that of Windows. While approaching the Windows 7 two-year anniversary, Microsoft noted that it had shipped 400 million copies of Windows 7. To get to 10 percent for Microsoft would require tens of millions of sales that were considered unlikely to happen in just two weeks.

Analysts at Gartner still expect 94 percent of new PCs this year to use Microsoft's current OS.

The differences nonetheless underscore differences in philosophy between the companies for audience. Although Apple has little traction in corporations with Macs, this also lets it upgrade the OS faster, as it can expect that more of its user base is able and willing. Microsoft's corporate base gives it much larger share but also holds it back, as many companies are afraid to use new operating systems; some companies still refuse to upgrade past Windows XP more than a decade after its release. Most Windows owners tend to upgrade only when they get a new PC, years later, where Mac users are more likely to upgrade mid-cycle.

Technology price have their own influences. Microsoft has Windows 7 as a downloadable option, but has buried it in its pages and requires a relatively experienced user to install. Apple makes it available directly from the Mac App Store and for awhile only allowed downloads, pushing many to try who might have opted for the more expensive but conventional USB stick. Apple as a hardware-driven company can also afford to sell Lion for $30 where Microsoft, for whom Windows is still its single-most important business, is forced to charge multiple times more.

Apple also continues to have better performance than the industry and is still expected to grow 15 percent or more in the near future where the general PC field may grow just 3.8 percent this year, according to Gartner. It claimed rare absolute model leads at the October 4 keynote, pointing out that the iMac and MacBook Pro were the top-selling individual computer models in the US.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. prl99

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Mar 2009

    +2

    enterprise licenses?

    How many of those 400 million copies are simply enterprise licenses people automatically get when they renew their grossly expensive annual enterprise support package? How many of those 400M have actually been installed?

  1. TigerN28763

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    get real

    I do IT for the dental industry. For 3 years all PCs from Dell and HP, and another smaller manufacturer came in with "DOWN GRADES" to XP. The small IT company I worked for deployed 100% of it's PCs with WinXP. I KNOW we were in the vast majority. MS did the "right thing" (are we getting tired of that old saying) and said, OK we will sell you XP that works, but only if you downgrade from Win7. I personally installed between 5,000 and 10,000 PCs that were "down graded". Every hospital, and other institution I went to for at least 2 years did the same. MS is full of s........

  1. TigerN28763

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -2

    get real

    I do IT for the dental industry. For 3 years all PCs from Dell and HP, and another smaller manufacturer came in with "DOWN GRADES" to XP. The small IT company I worked for deployed 100% of it's PCs with WinXP. I KNOW we were in the vast majority. MS did the "right thing" (are we getting tired of that old saying) and said, OK we will sell you XP that works, but only if you downgrade from Win7. I personally installed between 5,000 and 10,000 PCs that were "down graded". Every hospital, and other institution I went to for at least 2 years did the same. MS is full of s........

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    -9

    Heck, I am downgrading from 10.7 to 10.6.8

    For those units other than Mac mini and MacBook Air released on 7/20, I am downgrading people to 10.6.8 with the old installer DVDs that came with the computers.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -5

    Re: get real

    Wow, so you worked and they downgraded their OSes. That must be proof then. Why did they downgrade? Was it because they just didn't want to go to vista/7? Did they have custom software that wouldn't work? Did the IT people just say "Hey, we're going to downgrade because we know XP and it's easier for us so that's what we're going to do!"? Just saying they all downgraded means nothing except people are either cheap or lazy.

    And at least you had the option. If you were running Macs, you'd have to use the OS that apple foisted upon you, regardless of whether it was compatible with all the hardware/software that you needed to run. But we'd just hear how those who want to run Snow Leopard on a new MBA are being cheap or stupid for not upgrading their critical PPC software years ago because we all knew it was going to stop working sooner or later, and it isn't Apple's problem that the user won't do that, regardless of the cost involved.

  1. Geordiekeith

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2003

    +1

    Why hide comment?

    Why is Paul Huang's comment hidden?
    I am also downgrading from 10.7 to 10.6.8 on my 2010 Mac Mini as I find the older system is much more preferable for a desktop machine, rather than an enlarged iPhone. Having said that, I am keeping 10.7 on my MacBook Air, though using it in in the "unnatural" way.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +1

    Apple made some grave mistakes

    Just try to manage more than 5 printers, let alone 50 printers from a workstation/server and you will realize why 10.3/10.4 had it right while the mistake started in 10.5 and continues through 10.7.

    When there are many negative votes, the comments are hidden (which, like a wet-paint sign, causes more people to pry and see).

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