As of December, Apple's Mac OS X commanded 9.63 percent of the OS market, according to Net Applications, while Microsoft still led the way, accounting for more than 88 percent of the operating-system market.
But the real story behind those figures is Apple's meteoric rise in the market. Just one year prior, in December 2007, Apple controlled just 7.3 percent of the operating-system space--a record at the time.
There are numerous reasons why Mac OS X has become so popular over the past few years. Part of it can be attributed to Apple's success and its status in the industry as the most renowned and respected company to consumers. It can also be attributed to Mac OS X itself, which is easily one of the best operating systems ever made.
And most assuredly, part of the reason for Mac OS X's success is Windows Vista. Although it currently controls 21 percent of the market, it was a failure on many levels for Microsoft. Suffice it to say that compatibility issues, User Account Control annoyances, vendor and enterprise unrest, and poor PR contributed to the blunder that was Vista.
But now, as a new Microsoft operating system starts making its way to store shelves, it's incumbent upon us to forecast its expected impact. And after downloading the Windows 7 beta and immersing myself in its environment, I think I can say, both as a Mac user (I'm writing this on my iMac) and what some may call an Apple nut (I own just about every Apple product released over the past five years), Windows 7 will not only stymie Mac OS X's growth, it will push Apple's market share back down to pre-Vista levels.… Read more