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The One that Bugs Me Most

This one bugs me most: The % of computers sold per year does not equal the market share for use of that computer. If Macs last twice as long, on average, as PCs, the numbers are off by a factor of 2. This Robert Scoble guy is supposed to be smart in some way? Today I lumped his blog into my "Humor" category in NetNewsWire. He is the ho and MS is his pimp.

My comment (left on his blog, slightly edited):

Silly comment, the market share one. Why don't you "baaaaaa" a little louder. Or do you believe (and misunderstand) every statistic that's thrown at you? It's quite easy to understand that Mac users may be a larger % of the market than they were five years ago while still having a lower % of computers sold. The two are not the same.

A woman recently bought a Mac to replace her 10-year old Mac. She'd been using it nearly every day for all 10 years, but she hadn't been counted in the "market share" game for 9 years.

I just sold my PowerBook to a Windows/Unix consultant. Will that count as a sale? Nope. Have I personally added 1 to the number of Mac users? Yep. Another example of a Mac being used by another person but not being "counted."

I really don't like sheep. Or sluts. Robert: do yourself a favor and do a little thinking for yourself, wouldja? Baaaaa.

8 Responses to "The One that Bugs Me Most"

  1. Your premise makes sense, but that computer that's served that woman well for 10 years hasn't made Apple any money during that time, too. This is why the sales numbers are the ones you usually see when you talk about a company's financials, even if dubbing this market share is a misnomer.

    --Nick

  2. She bought various versions of the OS. She stayed mostly current with AppleWorks/ClarisWorks. She told her friends about her Mac. To say she didn't make Apple "any" money is a bit of a stretch.

    But yeah, it's mostly the "market share" title that irks me. Heck, I think there may be more Mac users than Windows XP users.

  3. Nick's right. It's sad that there's such a strong disincentive toward building computers that last far longer than those of your competitors.

    For what it's worth, it's also true that folks with older computers buy far less software. While Apple may have millions of customers with older Macs, it makes very little money off of them.

  4. You're right of course, except you're not. No, "hidden" sales don't count. No, she's not in the "market share" game during those nine years. Quite right.

    But.

    "Hidden" sales of PC's don't count either and those of us who don't buy PC's every year don't count in the "market share" game during those years, either.

    All of your argument regarding the Mac owners is applicable on the PC owners as well. Finally, your assertion that Macs lasts longer than PCs is *not* an undisputable fact. In fact, many old Windows PCs gets recycled into Linux boxes and servers, hidden away from the "market share" statistics often for more than a decade.

  5. Uh, except that Macs do last longer, and PCs are replaced far more readily. Undisputable? Go ahead and dispute it - you'll come out on the raw end of that stick every time.

  6. You know, you really got under Robert Scoble's skin with the "Microsoft Ho" comment.

    He can't stop talking about it...

  7. Hey, you should have seen the day that Don Box called me the ".NET whore." I'm going for the full set of sex-worker cards.

    🙂

    By the way, it's very easy to prove that there are many times more Windows XP users than there are OSX users. The only measure that matters in this industry +is+ sales. Trying to pretend otherwise is to totally miss the point.

    If Apple doesn't sell new computers, they have to lay people off which means you get fewer cool new toys on the next round.

    You'll see this effect over the next three years. Measure which company releases more cool new stuff. Let's meet back in 2005 and see how the Apple vs. Microsoft thing is going.

    Personally, the far more interesting fight is Microsoft vs. Open Source stuff.

  8. When in history has Microsoft ever released more cool stuff than Apple? C'mon Robert, you're being ridiculous. You're ignoring history, and you're spouting drivel without any facts or examples.

    You're wrong about "knowing" about XP vs. OS X, because I know many people who buy a PC and then install Windows 2000 on it, not quite trusting - or wanting - XP. Sales there don't count either. Furthermore, as Apple doesn't have a real licensing structure set up for Mac OS X (with registration codes and all that crap) tracking down those users is tougher still. Rightly or wrongly, Leo on Screen Savers said it may be the most pirated OS ever. Maybe it is.

    "Sales" is a bad number, but unfortunately, often the only number we have to go on.

    I'm not really very worried about any computer company with $4.3B - Apple - in the bank, Robert. Nor am I worried about a company too busy following - Microsoft - instead of leading. The only time Microsoft "leads" anything is when they get so far behind in following they've lost sight of what they were following and instead begin heading in a different direction. Witness: the XP interface. 🙂

    Anyway, Robert, this is fun and all, and I assure you I mean absolutely no disrespect (well, maybe just a teensy teensy bit for your inability to grok the larger picture), but at the same time, we've both got jobs to do, so let's get back to them and leave this for another time.


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