Windows 7 has been officially available for just over a month, but in that short time it has captured as much of the operating system market as all versions of Apple’s Mac OS X combined. To put that in perspective, Mac OS X has been available since 2002. So, in 4 weeks Microsoft’s Windows 7 has captured as much market share as Apple has scraped together over the course of seven years.
Publishing statements like this–no matter how true–is a sure-fire way to spark a debate of epic religious proportions between the two sides. The arguments from the Apple faithful are schizophrenic in nature though. The statistics either mean everything or nothing depending on where they fall.
A tenth of a percent increase in Mac OS X market share is proof that Windows has fallen from grace and Mac OS X is poised to conquer the world. But, Any mention of the fact that Windows dominates more than 90 percent of the desktop operating system market is met with objections from Apple fanbois that either:
A) Windows is pre-installed by default on most hardware that is sold, so customers have a gun to their heads and the operating system doesn’t dominate on its own merits.
B) Apple is not trying to compete head-to-head with Windows and is content as a luxury, high-end niche operating system.
C) all of the above.
It is hard to question Apple’s success, though–if you’re an investor. With a virtually negligible fraction of the overall market Apple has still managed to rake in half of the total revenue for the desktop market.
As an end-user though, that statistic would make me think twice (or three or four times) about my purchasing decision. The Mac OS X operating system is nice, but I am not sure its worth paying nearly three times the price on average for a comparable desktop or laptop system.