By Harry McCracken | Monday, October 5, 2009 at 9:32 am
9 to 5 Mac is reporting on the NPD Group’s newest figures on Mac ownership in the U.S., which say that twelve percent of households with computers have a Mac–up from nine percent in 2008. But the really interesting factoid is that the overwhelming majority of that twelve percent of Mac-owning homes also have a Windows machine.
Makes sense to me–these days, there’s very little reason not to be biplatform. Once you get them home, they can share nearly everything you might want to share, from MP3s to Word documents to a printer. And OS X and Windows, for all their differences, are now similar enough that moving between them isn’t much more complex than owning a Mazda and a Chevy and driving both.
Apple runs ads that depict PCs (and by extension PC users) as nebbishy losers and talks about switching from Windows to the Mac. Microsoft has been mocking Macs and Mac users as effete and spendy. But if more than eight out of ten Mac households are also PC households, we’re not talking about an either/or situation, and the whole notion–leveraged by both companies–that Mac users are different kinds of people from PC users doesn’t jibe with reality.
Maybe Apple should do more to explain why a PC household should welcome a Mac or two; maybe Microsoft should stop snarking at Mac owners, since most of them are also PC owners. If they did, they’d be addressing millions of sensible consumers who find value in both companies’ wares…