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Noise Over Mac OS Market Share "Slip" 481

Posted by kdawson
from the i'll-show-you-flatline dept.
OakDragon writes, "Mac OS market share actually slipped since last September. This reverses a trend in the winter and spring months that showed some slight growth. The actual percentage loss is small: 0.02%. But it may be significant since it follows a solid growth trend. It must be disappointing to Apple and Mac fans to see what is basically a flat line in desktop market share." Mac-oriented sites are pointing out the unreliability of the metrics from Net Applications, which are based on users of the HitsLink service.
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Noise Over Mac OS Market Share "Slip"

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  • by camperslo (704715) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @07:07PM (#16142018)
    IIRC even Steve Jobs said something early this year about being surprised at sales being stronger than expected. The PPC to Intel transition is a major one and is an excellent long term move. But it did cause some people to hold off on buying waiting for more native software, and allowing time for the shaking out of any minor glitches in the first products. A few probably also held off on buying when they heard that the Core 2 chips were coming.

    It is pretty obvious that the move was a wise choice and that both Macintosh users and Apple will be better off long term. The appeal of the new generation of machines can be expected to increase over time. In addition to new features in the OS, it is reasonable to expect that 10.5 will bring even better performance. It'll likely make better use of multiple CPU cores, use the GPU horsepower for other tasks, use the Core 2 supplemental SSE3 instructions (I've heard them called both SSSE3 and SSE4), and use of the 64-bit capabilities. The software for Windows support will also be more mature (Apple's utility is currently beta).

    The release of Vista will likely bring an increase in the number of people pondering new machines instead of just an OS upgrade. With Apple being more visible than in the past some of those people will opt for getting Macs instead (either solely for the Apple experience, or to run Windows too). Some may also be playing wait and see with Vista. If it isn't really, really, wonderful, it'll help Apple.
  • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @07:14PM (#16142060)
    Free MacOS from its dependance on Apple hardware.

    Home users are not desktop system builders in the numbers that matter. Fewer still even want to think about customizing a laptop.

    Dual boot and virtualization are not (yet) mass market. They are for the enthusiasts who simply must be able to work in both the PC and the Mac environments.

    OSX for the generic PC would require drivers for every random combination of PC hardware.

  • Personal experience (Score:3, Interesting)

    by codemachine (245871) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @07:31PM (#16142181)
    In my personal experience, I know more and more people buying Apple who never have in the past. Especially in the notebook computer market.

    I wouldn't be surprised if that is what most everyone else here is seeing as well.

    Sometimes these studies aren't an exercise in what the truth is in the real world, especially if they are funded by those who don't like what is happening in the real world.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @07:33PM (#16142200) Homepage Journal
    I'll tell you what the post means. It means that somebody has paid a press agent to put stories in the media pushing an anti-Apple agenda.

    Let me explain a bit about HitsLink. Their reason for existence is to be a paid "hit"-man for publicity pros. Are you CBS-Viacom or the Radio Industry? Do you need to make it seem to the business community that Howard Stern is tanking on Sirius Satellite Radio? Have Hitslink provide a story saying that the number of Lycos searches for "Howard Stern" are down by X %. Forget the fact that everybody knows that you'd go to Sirius.com if you want to read about Stern. Forget that nobody uses Lycos any more.

    Let's say you are Salem Radio Network and you want it to seem like conservative commentator, former Sec'y of Education and degenerate gambler Bill Bennett's morning show is really happening. Get HitsLink to create a story saying that he's "Number 9 in the nation". Forget that he's just been dumped from the third biggest market in America (Chicago). Forget that the actual listings show that there are 24 talk shows ahead of Bennett's. Let's just round the figures out so that there are 2 or 3 talk shows tied for Number 1, Number 2, etc. So you can say that Bennett is in the Number 9 slot when in reality he is number 24 out of 30.

    It pays to know that nearly every story that you see or hear in the media has been placed there by a press agent or public relations department in the form of a press release, which gets reworked (sometimes) by a "reporter" (really a stenographer) into a "story" which is presented as "news". It pays to know that outfits like HitsLink exist just to spread manure.

    You have to ask yourself if a story like this passes your own "smell test".
  • WORK OUT OF BOX? LOL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@kei[ ]ead.org ['rst' in gap]> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @08:00PM (#16142392) Homepage

    I want my computers to work when I pull them out of the box.

    Having just bought my first "pre-made" computer in years (a new laptop from Compaq), I find this statement *hilarious*.

    After taking this thing "out of the box", I spent no less than 30 minutes weaving my way through pre-setup wizards and registration dialogs. I then spent no less than *two hours* uninstyalling tosns of pre-loaded crap software I did not wan ton this machine - stupid toy games, trial versions of anti virus, trial versions of DVD burning software, trial this and trial that, all cluttering up my tray with 15+ icons.

    In comparison, last time I built a computer, it took me about 30 minutes to put the pieces together, and 30 minutes to install the OS. Net savings of 1.5 hours and god knows how many hundred dollars.

    Of course building your own laptop is not really an option, hence why I bought this one. But god, I buy pre-made PC's as little as humanly possible.

    Macs on the other hand - I have not had any real experience with yet. From what I hear they funciton much better "out of box" - no pre-configuring, no trial craptastic software pre-installed.

  • That's definitely the case. I just bought a MacBook to replace my ti powerbook g4 800, which I wouldn't have done had one of the hinges not finally given out. I had budgeted this purchase for next year, to wait out a bugfix in the next generation MacBook. But -- oh, well! Shit happens. Fortunately, the MacBook is good. Performace is excellent for the price, and all the software (except classic) still works like a champ! What more could I ask?
  • Re:My Mac Sucks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kabz (770151) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @09:01PM (#16142787) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, some real-life figures on a 1.83 Cure Duo Mini, from the Activity Monitor:

    1. Copying around the internal drive, about 12 MBytes/sec
    2. Copying between firewire externals, about 17-20 MBytes/sec
    3. Copying to a scavenged Compaq 60 Gig laptop drive over USB, 9 - 10 MBytes/sec

    Note that CPU usage is usually minimal even when moving this quantity of data around in a sustained manner.

    Given these figures, I'm contemplating imaging to the external, and booting off that instead, but it's hardly worth as the machine is easily the fastest and most responsive desktop I've ever used.

    For comparison, I've seen 60 MBytes/sec out of a AMD64 with a SATA Raptor.
  • by frdmfghtr (603968) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @09:35PM (#16142976)
    Warning: Rant to follow

    Unless you're Ballmer or Jobs or a Linux distro company, does it really matter? I mean, really, really matter?

    Do I, as a OS X user, see any sort of effect if OS X usage goes up or down?

    In case you're wondering...no.

    I guess I just get tired of Linux fanboys declaring that "we must get this to the desktops of the unwashed masses" or the Mac fanboys stomping around saying how much Microsoft is copying from OS X into Vista, and the Microsoft fanboys sitting around all smug with their favorite OS enjoying a practical monopoly status.

    You use what works best for what you want to do, market share be damned. I use OS X for some things and WinXP for others because they each have their strengths in different areas. If John and Jane Public can easily get their digital photos of Junior's 8th birthday party by simply plugging their camera into their Windows box and pressing a button, more power to them. If you develop the Next Great Thing in an Unbuntu environment, congratualtions.

    If a WinXP platform did what I want it to do as well as, or better than, OS X for a better value then I would have stuck with WinXP. If the engineering tools I need to use every day worked on a Linux platform as easily as on an WinXP or OS X platform, I would have stuck with Linux.

    I coouldn't care less if OS X market share changed 0.02%, up, down, or sideways.

    I'm done ranting.
  • by MojoStan (776183) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:49PM (#16143345)
    Well, I just priced out a new workstation comparing the top of the line MacPro and an equivalently configured Dell. I ended up buying the 3.0Ghz version of the MacPro for $1000 cheaper than an equivalent Dell.
    I'll be honest: I read that and I thought you were lying. So I went and looked for myself, and sure enough, I can't duplicate your results.

    I can't get the Dell price down far enough. Only $1000 more expensive than the MacPro? The best I can do is $1500 more expensive.

    I have a very hard time believing that's the "best you can do." Why not give at least a few details? I played this lame configuration game and got about the same price for an "equivalent" Dell Precision 490 and Mac Pro. Of course, there are too many unconfigurable differences to call them "equivalent," but here's the best I can do in a short time (starting from base configurations and only adding components to make "equivalent"):

    Dell Precision 490 [dell.com]

    1. Two Xeon 5160 (3.0GHz Woodcrest) processors
    2. 1GB (2x512MB) 667MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM
    3. 250GB 7200rpm SATA hard drive (RAID 0/1/5 available)
    4. NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 512MB
    5. 16X DVD+/-RW w/ Cyberlink PowerDVD and Roxio Creator Dell Ed
    6. Support: 3 year On-site Economy Plan
    7. 1394a controller card
    8. Price: $5116 ($5206 with Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic)

    Mac Pro [apple.com]

    1. Two Xeon 5160 (3.0GHz Woodcrest) processors
    2. 1GB (2x512MB) 667MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM
    3. 250GB 7200rpm SATA hard drive (RAID 5 not available)
    4. NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 512MB
    5. One 16x SuperDrive
    6. Support: AppleCare Protection Plan (3 years warranty and support)
    7. Integrated 1394a and 1394b
    8. Price: $5198
    There are several options that cannot be made "equivalent" or are difficult to do:
    • The Precision 490 has one PCIe x16 slot, two PCIe x8 slots (wired as x4), 2 PCI-X 64-bit/100MHz slots, and 1 PCI slot. The Mac Pro has four PCIe x16 slots (one wired as x16, two wired as x4, one wired as x1).
    • Although both have integrated High Definition Audio, the Precision 490 does not have digital audio I/O. If digital audio I/O is needed, the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic can be added for an addition $90 (brings total up to $5206), but this would make the Precision's audio system superior to the Mac Pro's.
    • The Mac Pro has integrated 1394a and 1394b. Dell needs an add-in card and only 1394a is available at configuration (third party 1394b cards are available elsewhere).
    • Precision 490 has RAID 0/1/5. The Mac Pro has RAID 0/1 but not RAID 5. This is probably just a software limitation (OS X RAID) and I'll assume RAID 5 will be added to the Mac Pro in the future with a firmware/OS update.
    • The Precision 490 has a wide selection of workstation graphics cards, but no consumer-level graphics cards. The Mac Pro has a "wide" selection of consumer-level graphics cards (one entry level, one high-end, no mid-range), and one high-end workstation card.
    • All that other shit that makes this a lame comparison. OS X vs Windows XP Professional, Apple apps vs Windows/Linux workstation apps, available hardware add-ons, yadda yadda yadda...
  • by LKM (227954) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @06:29AM (#16144665) Homepage
    I want my computers to work when I pull them out of the box.
    Having just bought my first "pre-made" computer in years (a new laptop from Compaq), I find this statement *hilarious*.

    Yeah. You find this hilarous because you're talking about PCs. Dells, for example, get this absolutely crappy annoying Dell application that constantly reminds you of stuff that's supposedly wrong with your computer. Windows in general is annoying, with little bubbles popping up telling you about icons on your desktops you no longer use and stuff like that.

    Well, what I actually wanted to say is: Macs are different. They actually do work out of the box, and do not contain all those crappy little vendor-specific annoying extensions.

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