Hey, it wouldn’t be an Apple conference without a fun jab at Microsoft to kick things off!

Apple CEO Tim Cook upheld the tradition this morning during his opening talk at the WorldWide Developers Conference in San Francisco, pointing out that Apple’s OS X Mavericks has been installed more than 40 million times since its release in October, representing more than 50 percent of Apple’s desktop customer base.

“This is the fastest adoption ever of any PC operating system in history,” Cook said, to laughter from the crowd. “I knew somebody was going ask, so I decided to make a chart. Well, it turns out, Windows 8 shipped about a year before Mavericks, and it’s at 14 percent. Need I say more?”

Well, yes: The Windows PC market is many times the size of the Mac market — with about 70 million units shipped in the first quarter, for example, compared to about 4 million Mac shipments in the same time period.

As an installed base, there are more than 1.5 billion PCs around the world, compared with 80 million Macs, extrapolating from Cook’s remarks today.

In other words, the comparison isn’t entirely fair. But it is worth a few laughs.

The live stream from the event is available here on Apple devices and the Safari browser.

Breaking from WWDCApple’s Mac OS gets a facelift with Yosemite update

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  • Randall Lewis

    I’d love to see those two pie charts sized relative to use of those OS’s. It would be something like pairing Jupiter with one of its moons.

  • Steve Ballmer

    Well, that’s why they use percentages instead of absolute numbers.

    Apparently, Windows users do not want to switch. There may be many reasons for this, even very valid and reasonable reasons. But the number of boxes sold is none of them. Why would it be? :)

  • thetruthisinevitable

    We don’t want to switch because Apple and Mavericks offer zero customization. People who know a thing or two about computers prefer Windows because paired with our own knowledge, we can make it a custom experience. Apple is one experience for everyone. Better for the layman who doesn’t know much.

    • realOS

      People who really know a thing or two about computers prefer Linux actually. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people don’t know a thing about computers, other than how to change the wallpaper or install a driver maybe. Windows is for the masses, not for the knowledgeable.

      • thetruthisinevitable

        1990 called, they want their OS comparisons back.

        If Windows is “for the masses” then what exactly would you say Apple is for? Today, and for at least the past 8 years, laymen have defaulted to purchasing Apple. Period. People who aren’t even aware of the term ‘operating system’ will opt for Apple almost every time. Apple is the new OS for the masses based on fashion and ease of use and lack of customization. 9 out of 10 people don’t even know what the hell a Linux is.

        • Randall Lewis

          If you define “masses” to mean less than 10 percent of the PC market, around 30 percent of the smartphone market and a declining share of the tablet market, I guess you’re right. The masses themselves beg to differ however.

  • Jurassic

    “The Windows PC market is many times the size of the Mac market… In other words, the comparison isn’t entirely fair. But it is worth a few laughs.”

    Todd, I think that the laugh is on you. The point of the comparison has to do with fragmentation, NOT overall numbers.

    Fragmentation is extremely important for developers on any operating system, whether it is OS X, Windows, iOS, or Android.

    Features and APIs change with each version of an operating system.

    Both Windows and Android are VERY fragmented, and it makes developing software for those platforms more difficult and less desirable!

    • guest

      If, in the case of Windows, each of the fragments is larger than the entire base of Mac PCs, why is fragmentation a big deal?

      • Jurassic

        Again, you are not thinking like a developer, just as a bean counter.

        If a developer has to create and test software on many versions of a platform, especially if the current version is a small minority of that platform (as is the case with Windows and Android), it becomes more of a headache for them to create a one-size-fits-all application.

        What may work easily on one version of the OS, might cause problems on another version, due to the many differences in features and APIs.

        And with older versions of Windows (like the 13-year old Windows XP) having a much larger share of Windows than the current version (Windows 8-8.1), a developer must cater more to the older versions than to the newer versions.

        But even that becomes difficult in choosing what limitations to enact, and the greater necessity to test new applications on older versions of the OS, than on current ones… with the onus aimed at the older operating systems due to its prevalence.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    I’m surprised this article didn’t point out the obvious comeback: that Windows 8+’s install base currently exceeds that of all versions of OS X combined in absolute terms.

    • Josh Wooler

      That was the point he just didn’t specifically state it.

      • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

        @joshwooler:disqus … if you’re correct, then not specifically stating it is ridiculous. If you’re gonna call something/someone out, go all the way, don’t half bake it.

        • Josh Wooler

          As an installed base, there are more than 1.5 billion PCs around the world, compared with 80 million Macs, extrapolating from Cook’s remarks today.

          He could have said that works out to roughly 210 million computers with windows 8 installed, but anyone with a middle school education can work out that 14% of 1.5 billion is significantly more than 40 million in a few seconds.

  • http://ratkutti.wordpress.com Karthikeyan

    Seriously how Apple is still relevant & cool, when all they’re doing is playing catch up.

  • newfguy

    The lack of fairness is your opinion. Cook’s statements are true. Also his point on low adoption of KitKat with Android phones.

    Apple make it easier and cheaper to keep software current. This is a fact.

  • MarcMS

    And Apple thinks that 51% of users upgrading to a FREE OS is a super great result? That means that 49% of Mac users don’t want Mavericks even for free! (Joking, joking! :-P)

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