Mac vs Vista

As Apple Gains PC Market Share, Jobs Talks of a Decade of Upgrades

As Apple Gains PC Market Share, Jobs Talks of a Decade of Upgrades
Published: October 22, 2007
Apple’s share of the personal computer market is surging, driven in part by what analysts call a halo effect from the iPod and the iPhone.


“The Macintosh has a lot of momentum now,” said Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, in a telephone interview last week. “It is outpacing the industry.”

On Friday, Apple will start selling the new Leopard version of its OS X operating system, which has a range of features that in some cases match those in Windows Vista and in others surpass them.

Mr. Jobs said that Leopard would anchor a schedule of product upgrades that could continue for as long as a decade.

“I’m quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We’ve put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it’s given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve.”

That pace suggests that Apple will continue to move more quickly than Microsoft, which took almost seven years between the release of its Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.

Vista has had mixed reviews, and corporate sales have been slow so far. Mr. Jobs declined to comment on Microsoft’s troubles with Vista, beyond noting that he thought Leopard was a better value. While there are multiple editions of Vista with different features at different prices, the top being the Ultimate edition, Apple has set a single price of $129 for Leopard.

With Leopard, Mr. Jobs joked, “everybody gets the Ultimate edition and it sells for 129 bucks, and if you go on Amazon and look at the Ultimate edition of Vista, it sells for 250 bucks.”

Microsoft has said that it will release an update, or service pack, for Vista in the first quarter of 2008. But it has also said that it intends to offer a service pack for Windows XP in the first half of the year. That, analysts said, could further delay adoption of Vista as computer users wait to see how XP will be improved.

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