OS X Yosemite adoption is breaking Windows

There's still a few million Windows PCs the Mac will replace come the next upgrade cycle

os x yosemite adoption is smashing windows

Meanwhile beyond the smoke and mirrors of mainstream Apple reporting some may want to take a look at the latest claim -- OS X Yosemite achieved the kind of adoption in four days that took Microsoft's Windows 8 two years to accomplish.

Two years

In that two years, Apple has released three operating system versions, each one widely deployed by the growing-faster-than-the-PC-industry congregation of Mac users. This, at least, is the claim coming from Backblaze, as reported on the company blog:

"I was amazed at what I found with Backblaze’s aggregate user statistics," writes Backblaze support engineer Adam Nelson. "On October 20, 2014 -- just four days after release -- the percentage of Backblaze’s Mac user base who were now running OS X “Yosemite” surpassed the percentage of Backblaze’s Windows user base who were running Windows 8 (including 8.1), which has been available to the general public for nearly two years."

Nelson shares two statistics:

It took almost two years for Windows 8 adoption to reach 21 percent of all Backblaze Windows users.

It took just four days for Mac OS X Yosemite adoption to reach 21 percent of all Backblaze Mac users.

The age of free

Now, there's a difference of scale, of course -- there's a lot more PC users, but the fact that the majority of these have not yet upgraded indicates either that many of the PCs in the wild are not being used or that Microsoft's years of being able to charge for software upgrades are numbered.

This means Microsoft will in the future be unable to charge for OS upgrades, which will put its entire PC operating system business in peril. The thing is, so much of what the company does is based on the wide deployment of its operating system it will have no choice but to continue to develop it, while making diminishing returns on that investment. This is yet another symptom of Microsoft's broken business model and the need for that company to migrate to new systems. Hence its move into platform-agnostic enterprise services.

Apple takes the prize

Apple is clearly winning hearts and minds in the consumer markets, which is itself prompting improvement in its position in the enterprise, as its users lobby for the right to use Macs at work as well as at home. Enterprise CIOs, already happy with their experience using iPhones, seem only too willing to agree as their own systems introduce OS X support. The only people moaning in this migration are a minority of diehards who still inhabit some tech support departments.

Yosemite is already being adopted at a slightly faster rate than was Mavericks, according to Chitika Insights. Yosemite drove 12.8 percent of North America's Mac OS X Web traffic six days after release; Mavericks held 12.4 percent, while Mountain Lion (Apple's last fee-based upgrade) delivered 5.6 percent.

Apple's other platform, iOS 8, is also doing rather well. It already accounts for over 50 percent of iOS devices. In both cases, adoption of the new OS is not stagnant and continues to grow.

This is symptomatic of Apple's position in the PC market -- not only does its hardware account for a growing share in both mobile and PC sectors, but its operating systems see rapid adoption.

Much of the company's success is due to its devotion to the design commandments of Jony Ive, and its focus on putting customers first.

It is disappointing that Apple's biggest competitor in the PC OS space, Microsoft, is once again betting its hopes on a future Windows 10 promise it must be praying will give life support to its beleaguered business.

Good luck with that.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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