Yesterday at WWDC, while Apple CEO, Tim Cook was unveiling the new Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, he made a point of comparing adoption rates for the penultimate Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks against Windows 8, which was released a full year ahead.

According to Cook, Windows 8 had adoption rate of 14%. OS X Mavericks on the other hand had 50% adoption rates. Considering that Apple offered the OS upgrade completely free for Apple device owners, many of which are wealthy enough to afford the 5GB download, 50% adoption rate comes at no surprise really.  But what Cook’s self-serving PR failed to point out is how Mac OS is really doing against other Windows Operating Systems. Particularly Windows 7 and Windows XP.

The chart below, adapted by TNW from data shared by Net Applications, says it all.

As at May, Windows 7 remains the world’s biggest Operating System with over 50% market share. And it continues to grow, albeit marginally. Windows XP lost about 1.02% of its market share yet, despite losing official support in April, it still manages to occupy over 25% of the market share. Interestingly, Mac market share is only about 7.39 %, only about 1% above Windows 8.1, which happens to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users.

The only reason Windows 8.1 is so low is that many new laptops still ship with the older Windows 8. Even though upgrading to 8.1 is free, most users are either not aware they can upgrade or can’t afford the over 4GB data it takes to upgrade. This is where Windows has failed. If they could work with local retailers to offer free offline Windows 8.1 upgrades to customers, maybe things might be different.

Nevertheless, Windows 8.1 is till able to hold over 6% of the market. I wouldn’t expect the new Mac OS X Yosemite market share to go anywhere over 5% in the next 6 months. The OS won’t released publicly till about September anyway. And even then, not every Mac user will jump on the upgrade immediately. Meanwhile, Windows laptops will continue selling and Windows 8 and 8.1 market share will continue growing.

I will not even bother getting into the debate of which OS is “better”. Such debates can get very subjective. All I can say is both OSes are equally capable of delivering. So while Apple continues to quote sell-serving figures on adoptions rates to woo its fanboys, Windows will continue to rule the market. For a long time.

Photo Credit: Hydrog3n via Compfight cc

Muyiwa Matuluko Author

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