Will the release of Windows 7 actually help increase Mac sales?

Tue, Oct 13, 2009


Computerworld cites analyst Brian Marshall of Broadpoint Am Tech who submits that Mac sales actually increase in the aftermath of a large WIndows OS release.

I analyzed the impact of the last four Windows launches and found no negative correlation between them and Mac sales. In fact, [Microsoft’s launches] almost act like a delayed accelerant on Mac sales.

ComputerWorld writes:

After comparing Mac sales with the launches of Windows 98 in June 1998, Windows 2000 (February 2000), Windows XP (October 2001) and Vista (January 2007), Marshall found that in all but the case of Windows 2000, Mac sales either increased or stayed steady.

Mac sales jumped the most after Vista’s introduction, according to Marshall’s analysis, which many experts attributed to some Windows users’ switching to Macs after they were disappointed by Vista’s poor performance or put off by its lackluster reviews.

While Vista’s poor reception may have indeed led many frustrated PC users to hop on over to the Mac, we have a tough time deducing any sort of concrete conclusion from Marshall’s data.  There are simply too many variables that aren’t taken into consideration, and ultimately, there’s no way for Marshall to accurately gauge why exactly Mac sales have been increasing, let alone measuring that improvement as a function of Windows OS releases.  For starters, Windows and Mac OS releases aren’t introduced at the same time, and the fact that Mac sales, at the very least, remain steady after a major Windows release really tells us nothing.  But hey, what good are analysts for if not to fill up a room with hot air?

Still, there’s no denying that Apple used the Vista fiasco as a starting point from which to advertise the ease of use and hassle free ownership typically associated with Macs, and some Mac fans actually argue that Apple should have done a lot more to highlight the differences between OS X and the problems associated with Vista.

In any event, with the Windows 7 launch just around the corner (October 22), it’ll be interesting to see if initial user reviews match up with many of the early critical reviews which have largely praised the latest OS coming out of Redmond as being the best Windows release ever.


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Louis Wheeler Says:

    One thing that is not considered here is that a Windows upgrade forces the user or administrator to a decision point. This is no stress free moment for them. They need to analyze if the upgrade is appropriate. Their smooth workflows will be disturbed even when there are no reported problems such as happened with Vista. There will be a learning curve in either a Windows upgrade or a move to another system.

    Once someone starts the analysis process then he is likely to ask what the alternatives are. One of those alternatives is Apple. If the user or administrator is open minded then Apple can win out and its sales can rise as a result.

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