Some stats on upgrading to Windows 7 and Snow Leopard

There were some complaints in the piece below (the nerve!) that the Macalope wasn’t taking everything into account when comparing upgrading to Windows 7 and upgrading to Snow Leopard, so let’s take another look at this.

A quick back-of-the-envelope analysis says about 77% of the OS X installed base is on Intel machines. The Macalope figures this by taking the figure of “OS X” installs given on Apple’s most recent quarterly conference call — 75 million — to mean Macs, iPhones and iPods Touch (sic). Subtract the number given for iPhone and iPod Touch sales to date — 40 million — and you have 35 million. (Note that this also means that the Mac is now a minority platform for OS X which is interesting.) Then add up all the Mac sales since roughly early 2006 – which is about 27 million. Apple started selling Intel machines in January of 2006, but doesn’t break out Intel vs. PowerPC sales so the Macalope chose to simply add up sales from the second quarter on, splitting the difference. (By the third quarter of 2006, all Macs were Intel-based.) It’s not exact, but it’s probably pretty close.

What’s the damage look like on the Windows side? Based on Internet usage statistics (the Macalope doesn’t like using these, but you can’t use sales statistics because Microsoft muddied the waters by counting XP sales as Vista sales) Vista’s share of the Windows market is somewhere between 28% and 40%. So, let’s say 35% to be generous.

(The numbers linked to are for overall market share. The Macalope calculated “percentage of Windows market share” by adding the Vista and XP numbers for a total and then figuring the relative percentages. Again, not precise, but close enough for the purposes of this discussion. Interestingly, the 40% number calculated from numbers on Wikipedia says it’s “as of the end of May” and the reference is a link to Net Applications data that doesn’t work. Which is a little odd because the other number is also supposedly from Net Applications data from the end of May, but it has actual charts from Net Applications. Hmm. Clearly, either the reference is wrong in Wikipedia or the number is. 35% is generous.)

So, what does this all mean? Well, 77% of Mac users will have no trouble upgrading to Snow Leopard. The Internet usage stats also show that 65% of Mac users are running Leopard, meaning the majority of Mac users will pay the minumum fee to upgrade (yes, some PowerPC users are running Leopard — the Macalope even has an iBook in the house running Leopard — but you’ve got to figure that the vast majority of the Leopard users are on Intel machines). 33% 23% (Gah! Math!), however, need a new machine.

Meanwhile, roughly 35% of Windows users will have no trouble upgrading to Windows 7 (other than navigating the overly-complicated decision tree to figure out which version to get). About 65% will have to do a clean install or buy a new machine with Windows 7 pre-installed.

It’s pretty much impossible to tell what percentage of Windows users will have to buy new machines, but the Macalope will admit he was ill-informed about the minimum system requirements for Windows 7. It’s only a 1 Ghz processor with 1 GB of RAM. It’s more likely the graphics requirements that will rule out older machines and once you start saying “Oh, but you don’t have to run Aero!” then you’re making excuses. Still, the horny one readily admits he underestimated the number of systems Windows 7 would run on.

Is it 33% 23% or more of the installed base? Who knows? But roughly two-thirds of Windows users are going to have a harder upgrade path later this year than three quarters of Mac users. Are all Mac users going to be happy? No! Of course not! Have you met these people? Bitch, bitch, bitch. All the Macalope’s saying is that 65% of Windows users have to move their files off their machines. The Macalope keeps hearing that Windows 7 is perfectly lovely and is every bit the husband and father that Vista should have been to your family but wasn’t with the drinking and the whoring and the lying. OK. That’s just a lot of people who’ll have one foot out the door after years of mistreatment.


Gosh, it seems like just yesterday the Macalope was questioning Apple’s commitment to security. Oh, wait, it was!

Well, this is a nice sign. Well done, Apple.

And, hey how about those comments by the Inquirer’s Nick Farrell the Macalope linked to:

Another problem is that Apple has learned nothing from Microsoft in dealing with exploits. Microsoft has changed its attitude to start fixing exploits quickly. However Apple still goes through a phase of denying that problems exist before it looks at them.

For example, the aforementioned bug in the Iphone [sic] operating system has been known to Apple for weeks but so far it has done nothing about it.

It has however released security patches to thwart jailbreaking software and prevent Palm from using Itunes [sic], which indicates Apple’s priorities.

Crow is a fairly dry meat, Nick, so you’ll probably want a sweeter wine to accompany it. The Macalope recommends a Riesling or maybe a Gewurztraminer.

Death by upgrade

Walt Mossberg on upgrading from XP to Windows 7 (via this piece John Gruber linked to).

In fact, the process will be so painful that, for many XP users, the easiest solution may be to buy a new PC preloaded with Windows 7, if they can afford such a purchase in these dire economic times. In fact, that’s the option Microsoft recommends for XP users. (Conveniently, this option also helps Microsoft’s partners that make PCs.)

But Windows XP users, including the millions who have recently snapped up cheap, XP-powered netbooks, will first have to wipe out everything on their hard disks in order to install Windows 7. on their current machines. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t even call migrating to Windows 7 from XP an “upgrade.” It refers to it as a “clean install,” or a “custom installation.”

This is nuts. The Macalope is simply flabbergasted that Microsoft could have screwed this up so badly. No amount of begging and clinging to the legs of those unfortunate enough to wander into a Microsoft store at the mall is going to make people not realize they are basically starting all over again. And when you’re starting all over again, why not consider a Mac? Which you can buy two doors down?

And that’s not ever getting to the complex decision tree you have to navigate to figure out which version of the OS you need. Good lord.

Apple doesn’t do everything right (see: App Store), but they’ve sure got this process down in a way Microsoft simply seems either unable to do because of the complex installed base or unwilling to do because the company is a lumbering ape. With Apple, there’s one version of the OS which upgrades versions going back several years.

And Apple certainly nailed the timing on releasing a cheap OS upgrade during an economic slump. Microsoft, meanwhile, is telling most of its users they should probably go ahead and buy a new machine.

Maybe Windows 7 is just so super-cool and Microsoft will spend so much money on marketing that everyone will rush out and spend up to $220 on a freakin’ upgrade, but right now this looks like insanity.

R.I.P. Apple Tablet

This week’s piece at Macworld looks at PC World’s pre-birth tablet obituary, rumors of Apple at CES and the iPhone bug.

Magnificent desolation

This week’s piece at Macworld looks at Microsoft’s retail strategy, some silliness about Apple and Windows 7 (featuring Rob Enderle!) and the bestest Apple lawsuit ever!


This site had another spam hacking which the Macalope believes he’s fixed now. Sorry for any inconvenience.

I love my Mac-usin' son!

This week’s piece on Macworld looks at jackassery by Dvorak and Coursey as well as Microsoft retail.