Even as a beta Microsoft’s newly RTM’d operating system is being used more widely than Apple’s latest OS. In a post today Microsoft noted that the Windows 8 previews have been run on over 16 million PCs.  That’s pretty impressive for a beta operating system. Meanwhile Mountain Lion (which was only $20) set its own record with Apple boasting 3million downloads in 4 days since it was released on July  25, “making it [their] most successful release ever” . Let’s just do the math though and assume that Mountain Lion continued that record setting trend – it would be at around 6 million downloads as of today, best case scenario. That doesn’t even best the number of users of the current Release Preview of Windows 8 which Microsoft states is over 7 million computers.

When you consider that a beta is besting Apple’s best and already being more widely used it really makes you think about the user base of OS X and how it compares to Windows.


  1. Even though I personally think this is a horrible article, it brings up a really interesting thought for me. If Apple is the worlds best selling computer company (they are), how much money does Apple make on each computer (be it a mac or an iPad) vs Microsoft selling a windows license to an OEM or an upgrade to a consumer? I’m willing to bet it’s quite a bit more. Raw numbers aren’t everything, and Apple’s market share is ever increasing. I’m pretty sure that Microsoft’s entire business model makes less money than Apple’s phone, I imagine their computers and OS are a bit more profitable as well. Just to what degree?

    Makes sense to me that MSFT is trying out some AAPL approaches these days.

    • Maybe I should elaborate on what I meant by thinking this is a ‘horrible’ article. Saying that more people have downloaded a free beta OS over the last 8 weeks vs paying $20 for a new OS that’s about a week old and only compatible with a subset of existing or new hardware is silly. It’s Apples and oranges.

  2. Chris, I appreciate there’s a spread between $20 and free but there’s also a spread between beta and final release. As for the business model, Apple shows why MS needs to get into hardware. A $40-$100 license can’t compete with all of the upside of hardware. Thus Surface, Kinect, Xbox and more peripherals coming to play. But end users don’t care who makes more money. Ultimately Windows 8 will likely always have a larger user base than Mountain Lion. This matters to developers and to users alike.
    Let’s not forget that Apple only sold 4m Macs last quarter. That’s not a lot. Surface will not outsell that in its first quarter (which won’t actually be until Q1 2013) but the Mac user base isn’t there. Apple has mobile but that hasn’t led to them taking over the desktop. The question is if Microsoft can use the desktop to overtake mobile now…

  3. Chris, thanks for again pointing out that Apple has incredibly high profit margins on all their products. At least when Walmart goes to China and has 10-20 million of something made they pass a little of the savings on to the consumer. Apple spends the savings on clever marketing and then doubles the price for the consumer. If you are a stock holder, good for Apple. If you are a consumer, well… I like to get kissed before I……..oh nevermind.

    And not to change the subject, but what’s that Windows 7 logo next to your Avatar? Is that Simmons playing games, or are you at the Library.

    • Work PC.
      Mac sales are up, PC OEM sales are down… Last time I checked at least ;)
      Yes, MS has a bigger user base, but it’s not doing as well as they once did.

  4. Smh, they are out numbered because of the amount of people that have pc…. Does not mean its better or people want it more. Its free and that can get snow lion… ha

  5. A friend of me used to say:
    There are more of cockroach on earth, nevertheless human being are still considered as superior ;-)

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