Apple’s Latest Blunder During WWDC Keynote, Comparing Windows 8 Adoption With OS X Mavericks

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Apple does this again and again. They present you with some stupid stats to make you believe their message. At this year’s WWDC keynote, Tim Cook compared user adoption rate of OS X Mavericks and Windows 8. The comparison itself doesn’t make much sense as OS X Mavericks is a minor free update while Windows 8 is a major update that will require users to purchase new license.

Also, Tim pointed out that over 51% of the Mac user base has adopted Mavericks which means over 40 million users upgraded. In the same slide, he pointed out that only 14% of the Windows user base upgraded to Windows 8, which means over 140 millions users have upgraded. He made this point to developers to highlight the fact that OS X has more users on the latest version, but as per his stats developers should target over 140 million Windows 8 users instead of much less in number OS X users.

Image Credit: Engadget

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  • GG002

    I’m sure that was no blunder.. it’s a blunt twist of reality through meaningless numbers. Statistics have never been so pointless as they are nowadays, with everyone throwing around percentages without any frame of reference.

    Sure, coming in second in a marathon is awesome, unless there are only two runners.

    • SocalBrian

      How are the numbers meaningless though? It was a comparison of adoption rates – a reasonable way to look at two populations of different size. To be fair to Windows I do think they have a lot more “stranded” systems (e.g. this 8 year old computer is never going to get an update) and that at least partially explains the difference in adoption rates.

      • jbrinkman

        The numbers are meaningless because there is a much greater difference between Mac users and Windows users than just the population size. They are meaningless in that the demographics of the two communities have a lot to do with why people do or do not upgrade. They are meaningless because they are designed to lead you to a false conclusion.

        Similar to how Tim Cook said that you want to upgrade to the latest OS so you can get all the security fixes. If you are running Windows 7, you are still getting security fixes and will for several more years. You don’t need to upgrade OS just to be secure.

        To be fair, even MS engages in these meaningless comparisons, like how they talk about Windows Phone being the fastest growing mobile OS (as a percentage yes – in raw numbers no).

        • Terry

          They are not meaningless, they are meaningless *to you*. But this conference wasn’t meant for you.

          Remember that this is a conference for developers, not for consumers. For developers, such stats are quite important, because it means that when they develop for OS X, they have to take much less versions of OS X into account than if they develop for Windows.

          That has meaning, because that’s the kind of stuff developers deal with *every single day*: testing, testing and testing. And testing for OS X is easier than for Windows because of these stats. Stats about your daily operational processes are not meaningless. How can you even think that?

          • SocalBrian

            Exactly – I was just coming here to say the same thing. This is a very valuable message to the audience of this conference and Apple has a very good story to tell “Go ahead, use all the cool new stuff because you can count on rapid user adoption.”

          • LexicoRed

            @SocialBrian +1

          • Terry

            Yep. I don’t understand why people fail to understand this. It’s a completely relevant and just message. No lying or misleading or whatsoever.

          • Eolirin

            The only thing that should matter to a developer is how big their target market is. Upgrade adoption as a percentage is irrelevant, only the absolute size matters, because only the absolute number tells you anything at all about your potential sales. You still only have a potential target market of 40 million with Mavericks. Versus a potential target market of over 140 million with Windows 8. How is this a selling point?
            It’s one thing to say you’re safe using Mavericks only features because half the install base is on it. That’s a fine thing to bring up to developers. But when you bring in the Windows 8 comparison, you instead say, but really, you’d probably be better off making software for Windows 8, where you’ll be in front of an extra 100 million+ users. In fact, despite only being 14% of the Windows pie, there are close to twice as many more Windows 8 users than there are OSX users across all versions. That’s a statement that makes no sense to make to your own developers, but the only way that that statistic doesn’t say that is if you’re being deliberately misleading.

          • Terry

            You are wrong. Surely the addressable market is important, but that is not the ONLY thing that matters.

            If you want to make an app, you have to calculate how many hours it will require. The less fragmentation, the less hours you put in. Consequently, the fragmentation of the OS has a *direct correlation* with the ROI. For develoeprs, this is extremely important!

            I agree that Windows is bigger and that’s very important, but you’re extremely foolish if you think that’s the only thing that matters. Do you really think investing, whether it is in an app or something else, involves considering only parameter? Ofcourse not! If people would think that way, people would not make apps for OS X at all. Clearly, people DO make apps for OS X, which proves developers take other things into account as well.

            The world is not binary. There are lots of greys inbetween.

          • Alfred Soyemi

            As a developer why would I care about the development hours (And Please stop these fragmentation made up story, windows is not android) when that is the primary reason you will opt to choose to develop for the total addressable market. There is absolutely no greys between 40million and 140million that is a humongous 100million delta.
            Even horrible people (Virus developers) maximize their efforts by targeting windows versus OSX for higher impact (You know tons of people to make miserable which is the reward they are looking for), and writing virus is no trivial trick to do.
            So, in same token, developers in order to maximize ROI in which the end result is the larger the sample size of the potential market to increase their probability of sales.

          • VHMP01

            140 million W8 users, 100 million more than OSX… But wait, the real deal is 1.5 Billion Windows users; all 1.36 Billion more could become W8 users. 40 Million is a joke full of BS from Crooked.

          • Terry

            The world is not as simple as you depict it to be.

            Again, you’re thinking black or white while in fact there are a million shades of grey.

          • VHMP01

            You insist on fragmentation! That’s and old crappy excuse, there is much more fragmentation between iOS and OSX than any between actual versions of Windows, the whole eco is much more consistent. You could also crap on and on about fragmentation, but guess what, costumers want choice, you know, Android has given that choice of hardware, and guess what, iOS is to Android what OSX is to Windows! There, your fragmentation crap is killed by Marketshare not once, but twice.

            It also does not matter how many hours a developer spents; it could be minutes and get a bloody worldwide hit App, and it could spend weeks and none other than his relative downloads it!

            Simply put, you are full as much as Tim Crooked!

          • Terry

            You’re being willfully being ignorant when you say developers don’t care how many hours they put in. Fragmentation matters, regardless of what you say. Developers care about fragmentation. Go ahead, just ask any of them.

          • VHMP01

            Take WhatsApp for example, they developed for any device, any size screen, any whatever you want fragmented devices; guess what, they were bought at some 19 Billion! Who is ignorant, the rant about how much fragmentation disrupts developer hours, our how much users download it? Which obviously translates in $$$ for the developer! Keep trying Terry!

          • Terry

            What’s your point? I never said fragmentation is the devil. I just said developers in general favor less fragmentation (again, just ask one). Doesn’t mean that a platform is doomed when it has more fragmentation than any other. There are many more data points to consider than fragmentation alone. Or market size alone.

          • VHMP01

            “fragmentation” or “market size”, both your points back claims about Crooked missleading quotes, thanks!

          • Terry

            You have no clue what he said. Even if you did, you would turn it into something else. Your blind hatred against Apples prevents you from engaging in a discussion properly. You should go see someone, it’s not healthy.

          • VHMP01

            “hatred”? I don’t hate Apple, I just don’t fall for all their marketing crapp! For example, all things that Apple has copied backing up Jobs own words; “We have been ‘ShameLESS’ about stealing great ideas”, may he have meant:

            Panorama + Folders = Android
            Notification Bar = Maemo
            The name “Apple” = The Beatles
            Slide to Unlock = Neonode N1m
            Mouse GUI = Xerox
            Reject calls with SMS = Symbian
            iMaps = Google Maps (Opps)
            Fingerprint sensor (Cracked) = PCs (Safe)
            Multitasking = webOS
            Copy/paste = WinMobile
            Ping = Facebook, Twitter
            iPad = Samsung´s Photoframe
            iPad Mini = Dell Streak
            iPod = Creative Technology and Walkman
            ‘iPhone’ name = Linksys’ iPhone®
            Original iPhone = Samsung’s S700 Mp3 Player
            iPhone 4 & 4S = LG’s Prada
            iPhone 5c = Lumia 620
            Pinch to zoom = Samsung
            iMessage = BlackBerry Messenger
            iCloud = Dropbox + Onedrive
            iOS 7 = Windows Phone.
            Smartphone Optical Stabilization = Nokia
            Siri (Clippy) = Xiaoi Bot + Nuance
            App Store = Ubuntu Software Center
            Multitouch Smartphone = Bought another company
            Bigger Screen smartphone = Everybody else
            MacBook Air = HP’s Sojourn
            Macsafe = Asian Crockery
            Thunderbolt = Intel
            OSX, iOS = Unix
            Newton = Psion Series 3, HP 95LX
            Apple Logo = Genesis 1:6, 3:6
            Aluminum = Cheapest Metal
            Plastic = ($$$ Reinforced Polymers)
            Security = Buy a new one…

          • elderjlward

            Hi Terry, heres a point that has been made but I think I will revist it.
            Fisrt a question. What is the goal of a develooper when he or she develops an app?
            Answer: At least in part, exposure and profit. Some sort of ROI.
            Let’s look at the numbers.
            There are 1.5 Billion PC in home and businesses arouind the world.
            In contrast there are 80 million Macs. A mere fraction of the global install base of Windows based PCs.
            At 14% of the 1.5 Billion install base of all Windows PC’s the growing install base of Windows 8/8.1 is currently at 210million.
            OSX is, Apples latest OS, is at 40million, 50% of their 80 million install base globally.
            Microsofts growing 14% which was reached in under 2years at 210miillion is more than 250% great than the entire install base of MAcs which has been acheived 80 million after over 30 years in the industry.
            Now lets go back to what motivates a developer. Exposure of thier apps and profit among other things.
            If 14% of the Windows install base at 210Million is 250% greater than the ENTIRE MAc install base and over 500% greater than the 50% on OSX EVEN if the growing Windows 8 based stopped at 14% my opportunitities for exposure and profit far exceed what I would get developing for OSX EVEN if the OSX install based reached 100% (80 Million)
            Now in all reality the 14% growth of Windows 8 wont stay stagnant. Every developer, analyst, market watcher, casual observer KNOWS it will grow. This reality only furthers the rational that ROI for developing for the Windows 8 environment will have a higher retun thatn for developing for OSX.
            Now lets take it a step further. Windows 8/8.1 growth is driven by both upgrades and sale of new devices. Here’s where Microsofts stratgy really shines. Where OSX is strictly a PC/laptop based OS Windows 8/8.1 trancends form factor and can be found on PCs, laptops, hybrids/convertibles and tablets. With Microsofts dropping of the liscencing fee for windows on devices less than 9″ and thier offering of the Windows 8 with Bing, an affordable SKU of the OS, OEMs can and HAVE (do a search on devices announced at Computex and/or just search various OEM names and see thier new products) taken advantage of producing more Windows 8 devices, of varying for factors, that will be/are flooding the market.
            OEMs have now embraced the post PC form factor of hybrids/convertibles and tablets, a forma factor on which Windows 8 shines.
            With the move of the industry to mobile computing and more users sitting on couches or laying in beds or just relaxing in a park consuming data, affordable sub $100 and sub $200 to $300 Windows tablets and hybrids which will appeal to users (as Android tablets in this price range lent o their growth in this space) and will be hitting the market this year, will put Windows 8 in the faces of millions of consumers. The additional benefit of being in the hands of these consumers in mobile form, most of them already have a PC (1.5 Billion on the globe), which if they haven’t aleady upgraded to Windows 8.1 they may be more inclined to do so after interacting with that OS on their affordable mobile device.
            The addition integration of and affordable mobile device with their established PC is more incentive to upgrade.
            Finally remember that Windows 8.1 takes NOTHING away from the power nor access to the millions of full-fledged PC programs that that have been being developed for the over the past several decades. So a developer can still develop with great familiarity for the desktop side of the OS. He can also take avantage of developing for the Modern side of the OS that is now in front of a growing 14%, 210,000,000 Windows users, a number 250% larger than 100% of all Mac users. All said , What platform has the greatest ROI? Clearly, the numbers matter. The answer: Windows

          • Terry

            Your point is valid, but in my opinion you fail to understand the bigger picture. To summarize, you say Windows has way, way, way more users so the ROI for Windows-apps will more or less exceed OS X-apps, regardless of the fragmentation. Well, based on your logic (which is sound), that is entirely true. No argument here.

            However, the argument I am opposing is the one stated in the article, that Tim Cook is flat-out lying. That is not true! Tim Cook never said that OS X is bigger or anything. (How stupid would it be to lie about facts that can so easily be checked and have so little meaning? Surely, every influential news medium would critize the CEO of the world’s most valueable company heavily for such a stupid mistake (and rightfully so). However, except for some MS fansite run and read by MS fanboys, nobody has done that. Why is that? Go figure.)

            So why did Tim Cook present these facts? Answer: look at the bigger picture. Despite a smaller userbase, developers do make apps for OS X. For those developers, the WWDC was held. For those developers, it is relevant to know that the OS X userbase is very modern and up-to-date, because it means the ROI will be relatively low. Note I said ‘relatively’. Never did I (or Cook) say that it is lower for OS X than for Windows. I challenge you to find any OS X developer who says the adoption rate of Mavericks has 0.0% relevance. You can’t find one. Even the smallest, low-key developer would like to have some information about the target group he is developing for, and Tim Cook provided that.

            No lie. No misleading. Just relevant information for the audience.

          • Guest

            Well stated but not popular position for a group who insist Microsoft losing billions of dollars a year selling things like XBox, Zune, Surface, and the like is something good for the company.

            Studies show the more you try to challenge false beliefs the more those holding these beliefs will fight you.

          • VeetQZ

            The target market off Android is much, much bigger then Window Phone & iPhone, but the data shows WP & iPhone owner will pay for Apps and download them in greater quantity. As a developer I will choose to develop first for a smaller but much more profitable platforms first which is not the largest market in this case.

          • Alfred Soyemi

            If almost 900million idevices is ridiculously smaller versus 1billion android, then I give up.
            And these developers are not developing for windows phones, their argument is that WP have not arrived to get their attention sample size wise.

          • Terry

            According to the people here, you’re blindly believing Tim Cooks lies. The only thing that matters is the sheer size of the addressable market, everything else is crap and lies. How stupid you must you be to try to maximize the results of your efforts?

          • VeetQZ

            Posters are often more motivated by passion for the company then the desire to understand business of the company. :)

          • VHMP01

            Here are more stats for you: Vista today has more market share than all OSX and Linux together. Vista had more growth than OSX has ever had. I could be CEO at Apple!

          • Terry

            So? Did you even read what I said?

            The absolute market size is *completely* irrelevant in this case.

            Apple was saying: “Developing for OS X is way easier than for Windows because there’s less fragmentation.”

            It doesn’t matter how many market share Windows Vista has, it doesn’t make Apple’s statement more or less true.

          • VHMP01

            You said: “No lying or misleading or whatsoever”, when what Crooked said was completely “lying and misleading”…

          • Terry

            Then you must have watched someone different than I have. I have made perfectly clear why there was nothing wrong with what he said, but you have chosen to ignore what I said two times in a row now. I don’t know what else to say because you’ll ignore it anyway. I believe some people might call that trolling.

          • Alfred Soyemi

            Where on God’s green earth did you get the insinuation from that “Developing for OS X is way easier than for Windows because there’s less fragmentation.” that equates to the stats argument of 51% is larger than 14% You twisting the sales pitch for Apple as you go along?
            Where did you get fragmentation for windows, for all intensive purposes, windows have been windows on any computer since Jesus came (Okay, I stretched time some).
            If it was that easier, how come its world wide market share all combined since all these centuries is less than the worst windows (Vista) because the argument against mac is same argument against windows phone. lack of programs for Mac and lack of apps for windows phone.

          • Alfred Soyemi

            You are absolutely correct pointing out the target audience, the problem with that analyzed data for that audio is that it makes the audience seems Stupid and here is why.
            When you tell developers to develop for a given community because it increases their apps exposure due to update adoption rate of ~51% versus 14% for the competition and the developers clapped and yelled Hail OSX Maverick, then, the presenter and the audience are bunch of not so intelligent group.
            When 51% represents 40million and 14% represents 140miliion, why would any wise guy tell me to develop for that 51%?

          • Terry

            They did not tell what you suggested they told.

            So yes, they’re stupid in the situation you described. But that was not the actual situation.

          • VHMP01

            Yes they are stupid as all Apple fan tantrums defending it. Considere all the 1.5 Billion Windows users’ at 14% adoption… I’ll do the maths becuase stupids can’t… It equals 210 Million probable costumers right there alone. Plus this adoption can grow you know!

          • Terry

            Nobody cares. That was not the point.

          • VHMP01

            1.5 Billion do care! That’s the point!

    • Vương Vi-Nhuyễn – 王微軟

      This is exactly what statistics are today, they are just pure marketing tricks.

  • J88NYr

    Surely though if they are comparing OSX’s free upgrade to mavricks, they can only really compare that to Windows 8’s free upgrade to 8.1

  • jaylyric

    So that means that more and more developers should be on board with Windows Phone using Tim’s logic.. Which gladly they are…

  • hushv

    A better way to report this article.
    Headline: Tim Cook flops elementary math on stage.
    Body: Kids which is bigger 40 million or 14% of 1 billion?…
    Conclusion: Apple investors reconsider leaving a math inept person in charge of your money.

    • Don’t fear the future

      Slight correction. As of January of this year, there were 1.5 billion active Windows PC users, not 1 billion.

      • hushv

        Thanks

    • Terry

      Tim Cook never said OS X is ‘bigger’. So no flop at all.

      • VHMP01

        You just want yo defend a stupid CEO tantrum, thats all you prove!

        • Terry

          It’s hard to engage in a proper discussion when you’re purposely ignoring basically everything I say.

          The reasoning of thougth here is something like this: “It’s stupid to say the 50% of the Mac users use the latest version of OS X and Windows merely 14%, when in fact that 14% represent a bigger number of users than the 50% of Mac users”.

          Even worse, some people (including the journalist who wrote this piece) accuse Tim Cook of lying.

          First, it is clear that Tim Cook is not lying at all. He never said OS X was bigger, so how could he be lying about that? He couldn’t have.

          Second, it’s not stupid to compare adoption rates. Apple clearly is happy that 50% of their install base is up-to-date. The reason why they’re happy is because that 50% is a pretty huge fraction, they use Windows as a comparison to show that. Why can’t they be happy about this? What’s so wrong about showing that?

          • VHMP01

            Only to you, defending a tantrum, it is not obvious Crooks lies! That’s your problema, everybody else sees it mínimum as missleading! No matter how much you repeat it, it won’t turn into truth!

  • Bugbog

    The same way Tim Cook highlighted that the installed Mac base is now 80 Million!

    Reeeallly?!!

  • Joe_HTH

    Windows 8 has sold more copies than 140 million.

    • Don’t fear the future

      Agreed. As of January of this year, there were roughly 1.5 billion active Windows users. In that same month, Microsoft stated they sold over 200 million Windows 8 licenses. Now, 6 months later, Windows 8 has 14% of all Windows PC’s, at about 210 million active users.

  • Vương Vi-Nhuyễn – 王微軟

    That’s a low-trick on his part, and the Windows Store had more apps than the Mac App Store had in it in a matter of mere months, in 2012 (the year Windows 8 was launched) the Windows Store surpassed the number of apps on the Mac, Tim Cook is an idiot and any developer that falls for the schemes rather than any actual interest in the platform is also an idiot.

    • Alfred Soyemi

      Thank you very much, I was afraid that I might be the only one that calls any developer that falls for that crap a big IDIOT

  • tomakali

    Mac is a lolipop
    Windows is a heavy buffet
    lick it or eat it out

    • Guest

      So what are you saying…One is sweet, the other is a whole lot of fat?

      • tomakali

        when you are hungry you cant eat a lollipop which is insufficient

        • Guest

          But if it’s not in need of a full meal a lollipop is perfect.

          You just pointed out to me why Microsoft tablet strategy is a flop, they keep trying get us to eat a big heavy meal when people just want simplicity. :(

          • tomakali

            How simple was it for people when they upgraded from DOS to Windows [they had to forget a lot of commands and start clicking]
            how simple was it for people when they upgraded from phone with keypad to iphone
            OS as a product is different from Device as a product
            In OS adaptation is an evolution – it is slow
            In Device adaptation is about options and usage pattern – its like reaction/reponse of your mind to do things your way

          • Guest

            iOS & Android addiction been pretty darn fast…

          • VHMP01

            The thing is there are a lot more people getting fat eating Candy than proper meals! So people that cannot think this out cover themselves saying “I don’t need a proper meal, some Candy will do!”

  • Camil.jr

    Mavericks isn’t a “minor” free update, and the number behind the statistics aren’t the point here, mac’s softare updated have always been cheaper whether it be a major change or a minor one, and by a big difference at that, also the point is in fact inside the percentages and not the number behind them, which is to show how reluctant people who use windows are to upgrade into the new system when so many bugs are being found. If you seriously missed that point then i have no words for you. Now i’m not saying that Mac os x is better because of this or that this approach to market their product is right, i’m just saying some people should learn to see the point of certain things instead of starting to be defensive over shit that doesn’t concern them.

    • CompTech

      Because Apple until recently was driven by profit in the hardware space! Microsoft’s primary form of revenue comes from Software. Does it make sense for Microsoft to give Windows 8 away NO. Just because apple gave Mavericks to customers for free means little since that isn’t their cash cow. The Phones, iPads and computers are their bread and butter as well as iTunes and their new online services. Two different business strategies that serve very different customers in very different ways.

      Sorry I own, use and repair Macs and PCs professionally and in my opinion Mavericks was a minor upgrade. The enhanced responsiveness, notification center and much improved memory management/activity monitor were great additions, but Windows 7 to Windows 8 is a much more drastic change and much of the NT code was re-written again and further optimized. There is a lot more going on under the hood than the so firmly disliked Metro UI on the surface. Read the blogs from the devs if you don’t believe me. They stated how and why they optimized Windows 8.

      • LexicoRed

        Good point and why Microsoft needs to focus on Software and Service and stop wasting resources on hardware.

  • Maelstrom

    There are 1.2+ billions PC’s worldwide (not just one billion), so 14% translates to 168 millions of PC’s running Windows 8.x. But you got the point nonetheless. :D

  • tomakali

    Apple is a successful device company who is expecting results of an OS marketshare
    Microsoft is a successful Operating System company who is expecting results of a device marketshare

    • Alfred Soyemi

      Thanks for the free lecture for this guy(Guest), I do believe he had an idea what you were alluding to from the start, he just wanted to twist the fact just as Tim Cook did to the poor developers.

      • Guest

        No twisting just presented in a relevant manner for the developers he was speaking too.

        • VHMP01

          You are redundat and contradictory; facts and stats should not be “Presented in a relevant manner”; that is why they are facts and stats! So basically just saying it you kill your own argument!

    • Guest

      But other then the declining desktop OS marketshare, MS has no discernible marketshare in either devices nor OS
      :(

      • VHMP01

        Declining or just turning into a newer more mobile shape! The same as when laptops started!

        • Guest

          Declining.