Apple's Market Share

Originally posted at http://www.318.com/TechJournal

According to a report by JupiterMedia Corp, Mac OS X is becoming more and more of a standard in the small to Enterprise business categories. The report states that in organizations with 10,000 or more employees, 21% use Mac OS X on their desktops in the office. In businesses with 250 employees or more, 17% of the employees run Mac OS X on their desktop computers at work.

Mac OS X is taking market share aware from traditional Linux and Unix installations. One explanation for this is that Mac OS X is easier to use than Linux and Unix, especially for desktop computers. Another explanation is that the number of software packages available for Mac OS X is growing, with a focus on Enterprise applications such as Oracle. It has also become possible to buy corporate support packages through Apple, something that Enterprise customers typically require before allowing production deployment of software. Companies that were once considering Linux are now more likely to move forward with Mac OS X.

Although to a smaller degree, Mac OS X is taking market share away from Windows as well. Microsoft saw a slight decrease in its installation base last year. Although it is difficult to tell exactly why this shift is occurring, it is possible that in the server market this has a lot to do with software licensing costs.

Apple’s licensing scheme can, in some cases, save companies tens of thousands of dollars in licensing over traditional Windows servers. Nine percent of companies with 250 employees or more are now using Mac OS X Server. 14 percent of companies with 10,000 employees or more are now running Mac OS X Server. These are strong numbers for a relatively young Network Operating System. With the latest enhancements built into Mac OS X Server 10.4 it is likely that the numbers will grow more in Apple’s favor.

The single largest Network Operating System is still Windows NT 4.0 Server. UNIX, Linux, Windows 2003 Server and Mac OS X Server are all seeking to displace NT 4.0, which gained popularity due to its stability and scalability. A strong placement in the Network Operating System market can only help in gaining even more popularity in the desktop market.

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