Most Mac owners getting Windows on the side
The Moulin Redmond
The stereotype goes that Mac fans are markedly loyal to their platform. And while a new study by the NPD Group shows Apple adoption is on the rise, the vast majority of Jobs-fearing homes also keep a Windows PC running under their roof.
More than 12 per cent of US homes have at least one Mac, according to NPD's latest Household Penetration study - a rise from nine per cent the research company polled in 2008. But of those Mac owners, nearly 85 per cent have at least one Windows-based PC.
Mac owners not only swing both ways when it comes to operating systems, they're also more likely to own multiple computers than Windows-only households. NPD's poll showed 66 per cent of homes with an Apple computer owned three or more computers, compared to just 29 per cent of Windows households.
Houses with Macs also tend to have a mobile slant as well. Approximately 72 per cent of Apple households own a notebook, as opposed to 50 per cent of homes with a Windows PC.
The trend also follows ownership of consumer electronics devices in general, as you can see from NPD's chart below. For example, while 36 per cent of total computer owning households have an iPod, about 63 per cent of Mac-owning households have the device. Only five per cent of total computer owning households have a digital SLR camera while 32 per cent of Mac-owning cameras have a digital shutterbug.
Spread the tat: NPD plots ownership of consumer electronics devices
NPD logically chalks up the differences to wealthier people being more likely to splurge on Macs in addition other kit.
"While Apple owners tend to own more computers and more electronic devices, there is also a high correlation among Apple owners and more affluent consumer households," NDP's vice-president of industry analysis Stephen Baker said.
"Thirty-six per cent of Apple computer owners reported household incomes greater than $100,000, compared to 21 per cent of all consumers. With a higher household income, though, it's not a surprise that those consumers are making more electronics purchases."
But does that explain why Mac owners feel the need for a Windows machine too? And sadly, Linux seems to be out of the picture in this study.
NPD compiled its results from 2,300 responses to an online survey of US households. ®
I walk round with a really big expensive Mac because I can't carry my big expensive PC around with me.
Wait, this isn't the who has the blingiest epeen thread is it?
Yes, you could drive to Edinburg(sic) in a Mercedes Benz SL55 rather than a Ford Ka, but you'd look like a complete tosser with more money than sense.
You could also surf the web and knock out the odd letter on a Macbook Air rather than a £300 Windows notebook, but... Oh, I think you know where this is going.
Both devices will do the job just fine, and Windows 7 really does go a long way to close the 'user experience' gap, so why is everyone getting so wound up? For most normal people budget is the most important buying criteria, however, if you absolutely must project some sort of 'image' then I'm sure your posh Merc and your fancy Mac will make you very happy.
I have no doubt about the OS X experience. However, some people may prefer a Ford Ka over a Merc as it better suits their needs and doesn't come with the same hefty price tag.
I agree that Linux has a serious amount of UI work to do before it could be a real mass market contender (and I was gutted when BEos vanished as it could have been a massive threat to Windows. I am aware of the links to Apple, but BEos ran on my computer, i didn't have to go and get specific kit for it (though a BeBox would have been nice.))
The long and short of my arguement is that Windows/Linux allows people to have kit they want/can afford doing all the things they need to do. Apple provide a similar service except they alter the user experience and add a premium price tag to that. And even at that, many Apple users run VMs of Windows/Linux.
Its one of those debates that can run and run....
Which came first?
We have a MAC & multiple PC's. Several versions of Windows & Linux. The MAC was a late addition to the collection. I didn't see any details on how NPD collected the data for this study.
Are the MAC computers the primary device? My household would seem to fit, but in reality, the MAC is a secondary device here.
" I've yet to see the Mac do something a PC hasn't/can't do"
That argument could also be applied to Windows vs Linux. I don't care that all three OSes can do the same things, to me it's important *how* they do them. A Ford Ka and a Mercedes SL55 will both get you from London to Edinburg, but we know which will be a more enjoyable driving experience. Apple's software tends to be polished and elegant with a lot of attention to detail.
I've been running Linux desktops for 13 years now. Much as I love Linux for servers I just don't think it competes with OS X as a desktop OS, and Windows feels horribly clunky and badly thought out, not to mention the hours of maintenance you have to do just to keep the thing running properly.
Give OS X a try, you may be surprised at how good the user experience is. :-)