Windows Is Caught Between Mac and Linux

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2008-03-21 Print this article Print

Opinion: On the high end, people are buying Macs instead of Windows PCs. On the low end, Linux is eating Windows alive.

For the first time in ages, the sale of new PCs with Windows as a percentage of the PC market is declining sharply. The new winner is the Mac, but, while no one does a good job of tracking the still-new, pre-installed Linux desktop market, it's also clear that Linux is finally making impressive inroads into Windows' once unchallenged market share.

The Mac numbers are especially revealing. NPD, a global market research company, has revealed that Apple's share of the U.S. computer market jumped to 14 percent in February 2008. This was up from 9 percent in February 2007.

In comparison to the overall market, U.S. PC retail shipments only grew 9 percent in units shipped and a mere 5 percent in revenue in the last year. Macs, in the meantime, saw a 60 percent growth in unit sales with an even more impressive 67 percent gain in revenue growth over the same period.

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I'm editor-at-large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. That's a fancy title that means I write about whatever topic strikes my fancy or needs written about across the Ziff Davis Enterprise family of publications. You'll find most of my stories in Linux-Watch, DesktopLinux and eWEEK. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, I worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects.

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