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.

Trackbacks Comments
  • That would be 23% of Mac users needing to upgrade to run Snow Leopard, as I make it: 100 – 77 = 23.

  • The Macalope:

    You’re right, of course. Good grief. Somehow the Macalope still got three-quarters right.

  • Karen:

    In Europe, every install of Windows 7 will be from scratch rather than an upgrade. The European Union has forced Microsoft to offer a choice of browsers as part of the install process. Microsoft has decided this means that they can’t test the resulting variants of Windows 7 “E” for upgrades and will therefore force users to do fresh installs, even from Vista. While the prices are lowered slightly on the normal full version ones, it is likely to act as a dis-incentive to upgraders.

  • dogfriend:

    The last sentence really makes the whole article. Well done.

  • Java Man:

    What about the 32 bit vs. 64 bit thing? Does Snow Leopard require a 64 bit Mac? If so, then that would change a lot of the numbers in this post.

  • The Macalope:

    Snow Leopard will run on a 32-bit processor.

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