Vista is a failure? Mac is a success?

This post was prompted by a post I saw on the WordPress “TagSurfer” about the current market share between various operating systems and OS versions. I cannot find that post again, so I looked up the stats at, and the numbers looked much the same as I recall from the post.

What jumps out at me from the stats is this: Vista is at 9.19% (after about a year in the wild), and Mac is at 6.81%. And yet, Vista is widely perceived as a failure, and Mac is perceived to be on a roll. How much of a roll can Mac be on if they still do not have the market penetration of a new OS that everyone supposedly hates?

What these numbers say to me is that marketers, fan boys, and other obsessives can spin the numbers to say whatever they want you to buy!


I have been working in the world of technology for 25-odd years. I am an entrepreneur and consultant, focused on software solutions, social networking, and innovation processes. Currently, I am a Principal Consultant with T4G Limited, specializing in Portal Technologies (including SharePoint), software/systems development, service oriented architectures, and many other things which I will probably not remember until I need to use them. Prior to that, I was VP of Technology at Whitehill Technologies, Inc., where I spent almost 9 years helping to grow the company from a start-up to one of the most successful private software companies in Canada. Prior to that I worked on internet conferencing using early VoIP, and on large military communications projects. Before even that, I worked in satellite control, and remote sensing. Going way back to university, my focus was on theoretical physics and astrophysics. Currently my interests revolve around most aspects of software development, from technologies to management, and in the area of defining sustainable, repeatable processes for innovation within technology organizations. I also have a particular interest in Tablet PC technologies – I have been using one for several years, and I love it. On the personal side, I still have a strong interest in all aspects of science, especially physical sciences, as well as philosophy and comparative religion. In addition, I am into music, playing guitar (badly, I am sorry to say), and reading almost anything I can lay my hands on. I am also a member of the IEEE/IEEE Computer Society, and of the Association for Computing Machinery.

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5 comments on “Vista is a failure? Mac is a success?
  1. Fred says:

    Vista is a marketing failure, primarily. End of story.

    Mac is a marketing success. End of story.

    >> When was the last time you ever heard of Mac users mounting a huge “keep the old O/S” campaign?

    There is not a high enough density of Mac users to have a HUGE campaign about anything.

    >> In contrast, Vista looks largely like XP, except that IT DOESN’T @(*#)(*# WORK!

    The only people who believe that Vista and XP are largely the same have no idea what they are talking about. As for the statemtn that Vista “DOESN’T @(*#)(*# WORK!” – I disagree. I have been running Vista on at least one machine since well before its “release”. I now run it on 6 different computers, ranging from low to very high-end. Almost ALL issues I have had have been related to third-party vendors who (Apple, Adobe, others) were too lazy to properly update their software to work with Vista. Microsoft could have done better evangelizing the new version of Windows with these vendors, but these companies have too much interest in seeing Vista fail to be really trusted in this respect.

    The reality is, there is absolutely nothing Microsoft could release into the market which would not be met with mistrust, whining and complaining. Tough place to be in marketing, I think.

  2. Max says:

    You are not examing the facts with a straight face.

    1. Microsoft shoved Vista down the throats of PC users. Once they introduced it, they made it “standard” on ever PC sold. If you, as an unsuspecting ordinary user, walked into a store and bought a PC, Vista is what you got. Only somebody with tech saavy or brains would seek out a company like
    Dell and explicitly ask to get XP instead.
    This alone accounted for most of Vista’s sales. It has
    nothing to do with it being successful.

    2. The Macintosh market share has swelled from about 3% to over 6% in the past 18 months. This is the largest surge for them since their hayday of the mid-1980s, and in fact, it’s probably the first time I can even remember them growing market share at all since the 1990s!

    There was an ENORMOUS “Save XP” campaign at CNET.COM, among other places. When was the last time you ever heard of Mac users mounting a huge “keep the old O/S” campaign?
    Even the grumbling when they switched from OS9 to OSX was minor and was mostly due to the fact that people had to let go of a tried and true interface they had become used to for over 15 years. In contrast, Vista looks largely like XP, except that IT DOESN’T @(*#)(*# WORK!

    I got a Dell ad in the mail yesterday that loudly proclaimed on the front page, “Yes, you can still order a PC with XP.”
    Does that sound like a computer maker that has any confidence in Vista’s appeal?

    Vista is an abject failure. Anybody who can’t see that is a fool.

  3. Hiran says:

    The share of Vista in the market is not by choice/preferance of buyers. For most of it – because it’s coupled with laptop/PC as a default option. The winer is Windows as a whole – not Windows Vista as a product.

  4. Fred says:

    I am really hoping that by that point, I will no longer care about computers!


  5. it’s said that tat vista is not doing so hot and os x is, vista still has much more market share, but that is changing, at this rate, everyone will have a mac by 2099.

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Please keep in mind that any opinions, points-of-view, comments, or other content which I post to this site are mine and mine alone. They in no way reflect the views of my employer, my country, my dog, my cat, or anyone else you can think of. To paraphrase Monty Python, "That is the theory that I have and which is mine, and what it is, too."

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