If these are the winners, I’m sure glad we don’t have pictures of the losers!

The Inquirer – Tuesday 19 September 2006:

The limited interest in Apple’s operating systems is starting to dwindle.

According to Techweb, data gathered by Net Applications shows that the Mac OS had 4.35 per cent of the world’s operating system share last December. Now it only has 4.33 per cent.

While this is not much of a dip, it reverses a trend that saw interest in Apple’s operating system actually growing a few years back.

What is worse, from Apple’s perspective, is that its operating system is losing ground in favour of Windows XP, which even Microsoft admits is a bit out of date. XP has 84.18 per cent of the operating systems used by machines accessing the Web sites measured by Net Applications during August.

One has to wonder why Apple can’t compete when the opposition has been blasted for its security holes and has a product that is years out of date. Apple executives might be wondering what will happen to its operating system if Vista takes off, or Linux ever turns itself into a proper desktop.

  1. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    The photo was ‘borrowed’ from this site:

    I trust you asked for permission???

  2. KBallweg says:

    Site hit rate down. Troll the OS wars and watch the number of comments exceed even the religious trolls.

    Never fails does it? Even when John and posse admit they do it.

  3. Todd says:

    Apple is a lot like Sun. Both developed tightly integrated Hardware/Software packages. Both charge a primium for that tech.

    I do not belive that the average consumer is ready to A) Move away from the devil they know, or B) part with the cash required to switch to Mac.

    Yes I own a Mac.

  4. Pfkad says:

    I own a Mac and I own some PCs. What the Mac does better than my PCs is not worth the premium price I paid. As one of the earlier posters said, I could build at least two kick-ass PCs for the price of a Mac Pro.

  5. rjg says:

    Interesting take.

    I was a mac user for years and years going back to the mac plus days up until the powerPC switch over and nightmare of os7 (you remember how ‘fun’ and ‘stable’ that os was, don’t you?). Around that time I switched to the PC since I had finally entered the workworld and no longer lived in fantasyland (aka college). At first it sucked, but Windows, like all MS products (xbox360 is prime example) kept getting better incrementally until I really didn’t think twice about it (XP, bugs and all, is a-ok for me and most of my developer friends).

    About 8 months ago I got the itch to try the mac again. At first it was pretty good times, the new OS is so much better than anything Apple had to offer before. I took the plunge back in June and bought a Mac Book Pro, stuffed 2gigs of ram in it and bought Parallels. I then proceeded to run XP and all my dev tools (visualStudio.Net & 2005 + sql 2005). It ran really well for about a month. Then the machine started to have serious issues and died rather suddenly. I lost about a months worth of work, and since it was all on my Parallels drive image, I couldn’t get to it easily. Then I had to deal with Apple’s repair policy of forcing you to work with an Apple ‘Genius’ (yeah, it’s really taht silly). I was ‘forbidden’ from opening my macbook and taking the drive out to do my own work on it (very very annoying – can you imagine dell pulling that crap?). I finally just had them replace the drive and forgot about my lost code. I also came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter at all to me what OS I run as long as it isn’t a pain in the ass. Apple makes nice products, and for people like my parents, I would say yes, go for it, it’s an easier machine to deal with for non-developer/non-it pro’s.

    In any event, my nostgia ended and I sold the machine on ebay for close to what I paid for it (thank god). I am nwt back on a killer dell that cost me half as much as the MacBook Pro (I bought 2 – one for me and my wife). I doubt I will ever switch back again, just not any compelling reason for me too.

    I suspect a lot of others that thought it would be cute to be back on mac woke up and realized what a huge waste of time and money it is. That’s not to say the mac isn’t a capable machine, but if your aim is to run windows most of the time like I was, don’t waste your energy, it’s not worth it unless it’s something you do once in a while.

  6. James Hill says:

    I’d guess a lot of people found a machine that’s easier to use and more reliable. To think the majority had a hardware failure like yours, then got all pissy like you did, is stupid.

    Yes, I own a Mac. Same scenario you were in.

  7. BillBC says:

    I’ve been using computers for twenty years, and have never used an Apple. The PC used to be a horror…Windows ME was particularly awful…but XP is pretty good. I can’t imagine changing to a system if the computers cost twice as much. I’d rather spend my money on a super high-res monitor than on an operating system. XP never crashes…what else do you need?

  8. JimR says:

    Windoze users are IN DENIAL. Hehe

    All these machines have the same specs.

    Apple Mac Pro: $2499

    Dell precision Workststion 490: $3110

    Do-it-yourself configuration: $2390

  9. rjg says:

    Yes, I am stupid. Thank you.

  10. Rocco says:

    Sounds like SSDD to me.
    Apple has been dying for as long as I can remember.
    Sheesh! If they haven’t died yet, CAN they die?

    Besides, all this ‘Apple is dead’ propaganda comes from someone tied in one way, shape or form with Microsloth.. I mean Microsoft.

  11. rjg says:

    ‘To think the majority had a hardware failure like yours, then got all pissy like you did, is stupid.’

    Oh really? Well I guess there are a lot of ‘stupid’ people out there with dead MacBook Pro’s. When I brought mine in there was a stack of 7 macbook pro’s sitting behind the ‘Genius’ bar waiting to be sent back to apple. So much more reliable than my Dell laptop that’s run flawlessly for 2 years now.

    I’m sure you enjoy driving around town with your Apple sticker on your Prius. Good for you!

  12. rjg says:

    Geez you mac folk are have such an nepoleon complex it’s amazing.

    Apple won’t die anytime soon just as Nintendo won’t die anytime soon. See both companies have little cash cows that generate ungodly amounts of cash for them (iPod for apple, DS and Pokemon for big N).

    If apple is smar they will leverage there great brand identity with more mainstream consumer electronics products like HD TV’s and the new iTV devices. That’s where their strenghth is. But of course Steve Jobs’ ego won’t let him forget the PC biz because he’s just gotta try one more time to beat M$.

    It’s silly because Apple could take over the electronics world if they just stopped wasting time on computers. Serously.

  13. James Hill says:

    Rig, thanks for proving you’re a hack.

    For those 7 that came back there are 100+ that were sold. I’m not saying that’s a great ratio, but Apple has historically had a better track record with support when compared to the Dells of the world.

    And for the record, I drive a Mustang… sans Apple sticker. I’ll take that over the backseat of your mom’s stationwagon anyday.

    Why should Apple stop wasting their time when they make the best hardware and software around?

  14. JimR says:

    Macintosh sales were UP 12% for the first 6 months of 2006. (SEC) 7% were from laptops. OS sales are mixed in with other apple branded software and service sales, bur was up 36%.

    Yesterday I wanted to remove a complex software program from my Mac. I simply did a search on the name and trashed the results (63 parts, none were saved files). The OSX system still runs flawlessly and doesn’t care if a piece was left here or there. I do that all the time wih no resulting problems at all.

    Try that on a windoze PC and you’ll be reformatting your drive after pulling out all your hair and wasting a week trying to fix it.

  15. GregA says:


    I uninstalled some software the other day also… I just clicked the uninstall icon next to the launch icon and it was gone. What you did sounds to hard for my grandma to do.

    Also other quips…

    Also on the laptop thing, with running xp under parallels and what not… It is my experience with laptops that if you run them full tilt they burn up regardless of the maker. The expection was a 486 IBM laptop that I had years ago, man that thing lasted forever, they dont make em like that anymore. So while running XP and development software over a virtulization layer on OSX is possible, perhaps that is why the computer burnt up?

    Also on the marketshare thing… Apple and Dells computer sales are comparable dollar wise, however Dell sells very many more computers than apple does because Dell’s typical sale is $500 systems, while Apple’s typical computer sale is probably closer to $1500-2000. So dollar wise, yes apple and dell have the same market share, but unit sales apple only has 1/5th the market share of Dell. So while it is true that Apple has a ~4% market share of total dollars, on installed units they hover around ~1% market share.

    Finally, on cost of those Mac Pro’s, I looked around, and Apple must have worked out a really amazing deal with Intel or Apple IS trying to build market share (units installed) by selling at or below cost, figuring they really make their money in computers with the apple software. Dell doesn’t have that option, they don’t control the software portion of the channel, so they have to make money on those high end computers. I suspect the whole Apple computer line is a loss leader for Apple, and they make it up in aftermarket sales with that fantastically loyal customer base. Note the apple Ram which sells for roughly 2x market value.

    Finally… Apple marketing appears to be what they have to do to keep the apple computer from slipping into oblivion. If it wasn’t for the over the top hyperbole about apple computers, they are just another OS, thus no business.

  16. 0113addiv says:

    67. Microsoft’s best OS was Windows 2000 Professional with a close tie with Windows 98 SE (actually first if it were a bit more stable). Though stability could be an issue, when they worked they worked well and FAST. Even with the recent hardware upgrades, there still a latency factor about XP that is more pronounced than the other two I mentioned. That brings it down to 3rd place for me in the pantheon of Windows OSs. (Never really got my hands dirty with Macs).

  17. TPS says:

    Mr. Dvorak

    Ridiculing teenage girls for the way they look is not what we have come to expect from a professional writer with international reach and 20/30+ years of experience.

    You should really have this picture taken down.

    The beauty pagent picture you have posted has NOTHING to do with technology, Apple or Microsoft. You should be ashamed. Even it one of your contributing editors put it up, this is YOUR blog. Correct the problem please.


  18. JimR says:

    Not every Windoze software comes with an uninstaller and from observation of my son’s windoze puter running XP, I can tell you that uninstallers sometimes leave behing bits and pieces, especially if they are corrupt, which is often the reason for uninstalling. Those bits can wreak havoc with other software including the fragile Windoze OS.

    If you look at apple’s financials, their Software and Macintosh divisions are getting stronger every fiscal quarter. I’m betting that 100 shares of Apple will net me a Mac Pro as profit by July of next year.

    Nintendo is a good long term bet as well. (Wii) Nintendo and Apple are like two peas in an iPod.

  19. Angel H. Wong says:

    Mwahahahaha! While the MacHeads and the PCfans are tearing each other’s throat, Linux is creeping behind their noses Mwahahahaha!

  20. cheapdaddy says:

    The last three companies I have worked for all have had thin client access to the mainframe application or internet (Citrix/windows)
    The internet fad is over for me and my co-workers. It’s just another piece of office equipment like the copier or phone. When’s the last time someone made a fuss over office equipment?
    On a side note, nobody has listened to music at work for nearly two years. We got sick of a local station playing Christmas music from Halloween onward, so we all switched to news, sports or talk. if we bother at all.

  21. Mark T. says:

    TPS, look at the picture again. It is the “Apple Queen” pageant. I think the perceived beauty of the Apple as Queen of the Ball was what the poster, SN, was poking fun at. Lighten up a little.

  22. Podesta says:

    (Sigh.) I am not about to try to counter so much stupidity, but I will correct some of it. GregA does not understand what market share is. The cost of the computers sold has nothing to do with it. By reliable measures, not opinion pieces in rags like the Observer, Apple market share for computers is between four and five percent. About 12 percent of laptops sold currently are made by Apple. More than half of Apple’s gross income is from computers, software and peripherals, not iPods.


    Others have pointed out that the survey the Observer hung its nonsensical remarks on is not reliable. That needs to be reiterated. Not only is the company proprietary, it based reading of Mac presence on Safari browsers. Apple computer owners use other browsers, as well. For example, since one cannot comment at Dvorak Uncensored using Safari, I use Firefox for this site.

  23. Kieren says:

    Folks – We have all misunderstood this I think – Including the author of this article.


    On tthe sie it has divided Mac OS into two categories:
    Mac OS and Macintel

    Therefore after the intel switch the Mac OS has obviously dropped, and as you can see in the Macintel graph, it is on the rise. I imagine this will be weird for a while on this site as people are dropping the old and getting the new. However it will never really drop when you put them together.

    How many people have you heard switching from Mac to Windows?

    I have never heard of any.

    How many people from Windows to Mac? Increasing.
    Personnally I only switched last year, and I’m loving the Mac more each day – the PC is gathering dust. I have nothing against Microsoft by the way.

    Macintel is actually more than Linux at this early stage, and it is showing fast growth.

    Still not sure how acurate these results are, but its definatly not decreasing.

  24. Greg Allen says:

    68 >> Windoze users are IN DENIAL. Hehe
    >> Apple Mac Pro: $2499
    >> Dell precision Workststion 490: $3110
    >> Do-it-yourself configuration: $2390

    No doubt, Mac prices are far more competitive than they used to be.

    But are you sure about ther $2390 do-it-yourself cost? That seems high.

    I own and use both platforms. For my personal home PC, I strongly prefer cobbling my own system together.

    It is SOOOO much easier to repair and upgrade a PC. I kind of groove on it, actually. If some component comes down to a reasonable price, I get one off-the-shelf (or from Amazon) and just pop it in — in a few minutes I’ve upgraded.

    Eventually I have to upgrade the mainboard but I rarely buy a whole new computer. It helps of you have one of those big clunky towers with room like an old Buick.

    Apple is such a nuisance to get repaired, let alone do a meaningful upgrade. (I live overseas but even in America.)

  25. JimR says:

    “But are you sure about ther $2390 do-it-yourself cost?”

    Click on “machines” post #68. Anandtech analysts did the research and pricing.

    Maybe I’m just lucky, but I’ve never had a mac motherboard die on me. Other parts are plug’n’play just like any other PC. CPU’s can be upgraded easily as well. So I don’t see where the difficulty lies?

    I’m in the market now for 2 low end PC’s… one for my wife who just browses the internet and does some word processing, and another for a friend who likes to play with photoshop and surf. Both would rather pay $200 for a used 533 Mac than a 2 gig used P4. Go figure? I guess virus free surfing and OS ease of use and stability is worth something.

    It’s the market that sets those prices.

  26. sniffsmith says:

    From the expressions on their faces I get the impression they have apples crammed up their asses. They look like they’re suffering from a very painful rectal problem. I bet in a more relaxed setting and without a pound of makeup and without an apple shoved up their asses, they’d actually look pretty.

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