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Most Mac Owners Also Own a Windows PC, But Not Vice Versa 814

Barence writes "More than eight out of ten Mac owners also own a PC, according to a new piece of research. The NPD survey found that 12% of US computer-owning households have a Mac. However, 85% of those also own a Windows PC, suggesting that the Mac/PC divide is nowhere near as clear cut as both Apple and Microsoft suggest. Mac owners are also far more likely to have multiple computers in the house. Two thirds of Mac owners have three or more computers in the home, while only 29% of PC owners have two or more PCs."
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Most Mac Owners Also Own a Windows PC, But Not Vice Versa

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:45PM (#29658693) Homepage Journal

    Gee, I could have deduced that most PC users DON'T also have a Mac. How? Maybe the bloody marketshare? Appologies for the US-centric market data [], but I'm sure Apple is less than double-digit in the ROTW.

    This is really a story in search of a topic, isn't it? :-)

    • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:50PM (#29658799) Journal

      No kidding... even from the fanboy front, supporters can easily call out that this is just a natural progression of all the "switchers" out there.

      After all, just because you buy a new computer (in this case a Mac), doesn't mean you simply toss out the old one. You give it to the kids, leave it loafing around the house for specific tasks you hadn't transferred to the Mac yet, keep it around for the occasional PC game you don;t want to get rid of, use it for backing up your Mac (e.g. you copy stuff from new laptop to the old desktop), etc., I sincerely doubt that Apple gives a damn if users keep their old PC's around so long as they're buying new Macs.

    • by Draek ( 916851 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:19PM (#29659351)

      I believe TFA's point, which the headline fucked over, is that most primary Mac owners also own a secondary Windows machine but most primary Windows users don't own *any* kind of secondary computer, even a Windows one.

      In fact, if one were a bit fanboyish about it one could say that it's proof Windows is a more complete OS than OSX, as the owners of the latter still need a Windows machine by their side, whereas Windows users have their needs satisfied by it alone. Though of course that's ignoring the myriad of other factors affecting it, such as household income as noted by TFA, but it should serve to illustrate why is it Slashdot-worthy news.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JasonBee ( 622390 )

        Another perspective might be that Mac users are connoisseurs of the the OS, preferring to taste multiple experiences, and are far more proficient at the tools unique to each platform, whereas pure windows users are, well unilingual.

  • by znu ( 31198 ) <> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:45PM (#29658697)

    This is a survey about households, not individual owners, so the fact that most Macs exist in households that also have Windows machines is largely just an expected result of Microsoft's high market share. Even if one person in a household has a Mac, others are statistically like to have Windows machines because, statistically, most people have Windows machines.

    • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:53PM (#29658841) Journal

      While that is true, there's certainly people who like to have a second pc for other purposes too. If you have a mac, you probably get Windows for its apps and especially games. Most people who have Linux PC (either as a server or a desktop) probably have a Windows PC too because you can't really do everything with Linux. I have a Windows pc and a linux server. I would probably have a Windows pc too if I had only a mac.

      You have a point with the household's share, but it certainly counts for individuals too, only a bit less.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rm999 ( 775449 )

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

      If we assume that 15% of people have a mac and the other 85% have a windows (I know, a terribly insulting assumption on Slashdot!), and that everyone's computer choice is independent of the other computers in their household, then statistically a 2 computer household with 1 mac will have an 85% chance of having at least one windows computer. A 3 computer household - almost 98%. Likewise, a 2 computer household with 1 windows computer is only 15% likely to have at least on

    • What, exactly, is misleading about that?

      Do you think your statistical hand-waving means anything? You don't even know how many people are in the typical household, much less how many are financially independent. But never let reality get in the way of a good fanboy rationalization. (Mac owners tainted with sin! No! It can't be! That's impossible!)

  • Statistic (Score:5, Funny)

    by Narpak ( 961733 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:45PM (#29658709)
    86% of Slashdot readers shown to not care about random statistics. 14% of those said to absolutely not give a shit, with 25% just shrugging and moving on to other topics.
  • by neko the frog ( 94213 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:46PM (#29658725)

    Just sayin'

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:46PM (#29658729)
    I prefer to use a Mac, but I make lots of $$$ with Windows based software (which is s staple of my industry)
  • I would guess that most people who own a Mac just got tired of dealing with all the issues of the WinTel dynasty.

    Doesn't make sense to just throw them out though.... yet
  • People who have both a mac and a windows PC are more likely to have more then one PC?

    Gosh, the shock! Can society survive this revelation? The pope is calling for calm, islamic jihadist are calling it a crime of the west. More at eleven, stay tuned!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jhfry ( 829244 )

      Most research isn't done to discover something shocking... its so that someone can say with some certainty that X is true.

      Sure this research tells us what we already knew... sure it's stupid that someone was paid to do the research... but even if you "knew" it before, assuming this study was done properly, you can now say you KNOW it for certain.

      What this does though is throw the numbers out of wack. If Apple claims ~10% marketshare, and Windows claims ~90%, but there is overlap in most Apple households, y

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      That's not what they said. They said people who have a mac are likely to have multiple computers. In fact, 85% of them also have a Windows PC.

  • Yeah, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:48PM (#29658771) Homepage

    How many Linux households have a token Windows box? There are good reasons to keep a Winders box around for the occasional piece of Windows only software (I use mine for video editing) but there isn't as much compelling Mac software. And you might buy a PC that already has Windows on it and it's a pretty popular gaming platform. So there are several paths to a token PC.

    In video editing, the Mac app would probably be FCP. But a full price copy of FCP is over $1,000, plus you have pay through the wazzoo for the hardware. There are several Windows NLE's that rival FCP in features and undercut it in price. And, if you have a PC for any of the other reasons outlined above, that makes the Apple investment that much less attractive.

    • Re:Yeah, but... (Score:4, Informative)

      by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:58PM (#29658935) Homepage Journal
      Apple sells something called Final Cut Express, which has most of the features of FCP but at a fraction of the price($200), it does non-linear editing, custom transitions etc.
    • by jhfry ( 829244 )

      Any true followers of Linus would consider it a sin to allow such an evil as Microsoft Windows into their home, how dare you speak such filth... your Windows machine must be exercised immediately, let me if you need a High Priest of Linux to assist or some information about a 12 step program that can help.

      Honestly though, I don't run a single Windows machine in my home... unless you count my work laptop that I only use to VPN into work. I made it a point to remove all Windows machines in an effort to force

  • I have both... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:49PM (#29658793) Journal

    ...unfortunately. One of them has proven itself to be much cheaper to maintain (basically zero dollars), and with the ability to continue using it even after 10 years of age. I won't say which one, because I don't want to get flamed, but I bet you can guess.

    • The Amiga?

    • by dword ( 735428 )

      Is it a Commodore 64?

  • Two thirds of Mac owners have three or more computers in the home, while only 29% of PC owners have two or more PCs.
  • So mac owners own more computers and computers of various platforms? Logically this leads one to believe that Mac owners are more computer literate and proficient than the average Windows user. Of course i expect some to mark this as a troll.
    • No all it implies is that Mac owners have more *money* than the average Windows user. Which we already know, because they own a Mac.

    • Your logic fails. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:03PM (#29659023) Journal

      So mac owners own more computers and computers of various platforms? Logically this leads one to believe that Mac owners are more computer literate and proficient than the average Windows user.

      Actually, no, it doesn't. There is not enough information to come to that conclusion.
      One could also conclude that Mac owners need Windows based PCs because the Macs don't do everything the owner needs.
      Or, one could conclude that Mac owners own more computers because are more affluent and they can.
      Or, one could conclude that Mac owners own Macs because they are more affluent and can.

      Also, there is no indication of the number of PCs versus the number of Macs in multi-computer house-holds nor the age of the respective computers. If someone owns two new PCs and one only Mac, what does that say about the owner? What if one has one Mac for one of one's children, but everyone else uses Windows PCs?

      There is not enough information provided to come to any conclusion other than what is stated in the write-up.

      • you have no logic (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Foofoobar ( 318279 )
        Your logic makes no sense. Even if they do need a Windows machine, learning about a second machine will still make you more computer literate than someone who just knows one platform. Learning about Mac and Windows makes one proficient on two platforms. By your logic, they might need a Linux box too because Windows doesn't do everything either. This forces them to learn about Linux as well. Now they know three platforms.

        The point was that owning two platform increases computer literacy because they have
  • My setup (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tylersoze ( 789256 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:51PM (#29658825)

    I wonder if my setup is typical as a long time Mac user? Primary machine is a Macbook Pro that I only boot into Windows whenever I want to play games. An old PPC G5 that still soldiers on connected to the TV in the bedroom, and then a couple of super cheap Hackintoshs for family use: a Dell Mini 9 and dual bootPC desktop, and then a bunch of old Mac laptops and desktops that have been given out to family members.

    Going forward, it looks like that will be the template. One "real" Macintosh, a Macbook, for primary use and Hackintoshs and hand me down Macs for the rest of the family.

  • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:51PM (#29658829)

    I never got people who were talking about using a Mac as "switching". Like you would suddenly not use the operating system you have been using for the past 20 years by buying a computer that runs something different.

    I don't know a lot of people who are devoted to a single platform. Most people I know use one OS on their desktop, something else on their notebook, something else on their phone etc. So when someone buys a Mac, they just add that platform to the list of systems they were already using. There's no reason to stop using all of your other stuff because a Mac got into the house.

  • by nortcele ( 186941 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:51PM (#29658833) Homepage
    Just like with firearms and a Polygamy Porter [] beer... Why would you want only one computer?
    When it breaks, how would you google how to fix it?
  • Can somebody remind what the difference in hardware there is between a Mac and a PC these days. Shiny white plastic boxes don't count. ;)

    • Open Firmware.

      As I understand it, It's the bit that means Windows doesn't run without help.

      • It's the bit that means Windows doesn't run without help.

        I'm sorry, but that doesn't help. We're asking for a difference between a Mac and a PC and you just told us how they're alike! ;)

        I kid, I kid. :)

    • They make low-end PCs with all sorts of crappy hardware. They do not make low-end Macs.

    • Re:"Mac/PC divide"? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:59PM (#29658955)
      None. It's just by controlling the hardware to a limited set of hardware, they can control the errors that they will have and build their SDK for a specific set of instructions. Windows on the other hand has to support a million different varieties of hardware setups with software and as a result can have stability issues across different setups. Windows could have the same stability of Mac if they built their own boxes too and geared the OS toward that specific hardware configuration.
  • So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @12:54PM (#29658861) Homepage

    These findings are pretty un-surprizing. Did anyone really think that computer owners could only own one computer at a time, or would typically own only one platform?

    Mac owners tend to have a lot of money. They probably have an older PC or two laying, because they still work. Or, perhaps the Mac is older, and they bought a cheap new PC to run games and Windows applications. Newer Mac owners likely run OS X and Windows on the same hardware, if they run Windows at all. But if they have an older PC sitting around, they probably still have it and use it occasionally, or let other family members use it, etc.

    The whole "fanboi only uses $platform" thing is probably overblown, with highly visible zealots who only use one platform being much more vocal and visible than those who work on both platforms.

  • by pizzach ( 1011925 ) <> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:01PM (#29658995) Homepage
    that 85% of Mac owners "swing both ways." *runs and hides*
  • Does VMWare count? (Score:4, Informative)

    by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:05PM (#29659069)

    I have only Mac hardware at home, but I do have VMWare Fusion for the extremely rare occasion I need a Windows machine.

    I bootcamp'ed my Intel-based Macs on the thought that I would perhaps need to use the machine as a pure Windows box once in awhile, but that hasn't happened; I've been surprised to find that between what I can do on a website, or what Java can provide, or what developers have been good to provide both a Mac as well as Windows version, there's nothing so exclusive to Windows that I've needed to run Boot Camp. If anything, there's just a couple of programs I use for development written in Delphi of all things that are exclusive to Windows.

  • Math (Score:5, Informative)

    by njfuzzy ( 734116 ) <.moc.x-nai. .ta. .nai.> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:14PM (#29659229) Homepage
    This sounds like it could be explained by some fairly simple logic and math. If (numbers pulled out of my ass for sake of argument) 10% of people own a Mac, and 95% of people own a PC, and each household has more than one person in it... You'd get something like this kind of distribution.
  • by kemapa ( 733992 ) * on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @01:24PM (#29659449) Journal

    I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a Mac Pro with two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processors and 6GB of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Pentium Pro 200 running NT 4, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Mac, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

    In addition, during this file transfer, Warcraft will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Safari is straining to keep up as I type this.

    I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Macs, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Mac that has run faster than its Wintel counterpart, despite the Macs' faster chip architecture. My 486/66 with 8 megs of ram runs faster than this 2x 2.26Ghz 8-core machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Macintosh is a superior machine.

    Mac addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Mac over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.

  • Hey, that's us! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:45PM (#29660887) Homepage Journal

    Our house has had Windows, Mac, and linux (ubuntu, knoppix and OLPC right now) systems for a long time now. The interesting case is my wife's machines. She has long worked for several local medical organizations (HMOs), and at work everything is Microsoft (with IBM mainframes). She has also worked part-time from home for several years now, because she gets so much more done there where the schmoozers can't reach her). So she has always had to have a Windows machine at home. She hates it, and loves her Mac(s).

    But for the past year, she has no longer had a "Windows machine" at home; she just has "Windows". The reason is that she replaced her creaky old Mac Powerbook with a new iMac (with a huge screen). While talking to the folks at the Apple Store, she learned about that new "virtual" stuff, and along with the iMac, she took home disks for the software that would install a virtual XP. After it had been working for a couple of weeks, fully networked via VPN with her office network, she donated her old Windows box to me, and I reformatted it as a linux machine that's our firewall/gateway/etc.

    So, while she has a Mac and a Windows machine, they're the same machine, her iMac. A couple of months ago, she decided that another laptop would be really useful, so she got a Mac Powerbook - and installed a virtual XP on it. A month ago, we were on vacation a couple thousand miles away, and she impressed the folks at work by connecting to the office network from her Mac/XP via VPN, and helped them out with some problems they were having. Actually, it didn't impress everyone, because most of the employees are Mac users at home, and several of them had already followed her lead when they got their new Macs.

    There are a couple of interesting possibilities implied by this. One is that, if you like Macs but "need Windows for work", there's no need to pay for any hardware for your Windows machine. You might want to get an extra GB or two of memory, since Windows is a bit of a hog. And you'll have to learn how to get one of the Mac's several virtualization schemes to work. You will have to pay (somebody ;-) for a release of Windows. But you can run it on your Mac., and you're free of the hassle of dealing with the Microsoft-based hardware market. She has also found that the Apple Store people and online Mac forums can answer questions much better than, say, Dell Customer Support can. In a few years this might have an, uh, "interesting" effect on the PC market.

    Another thing to think about is the problem of crappy security on Windows. It's hard to get a straight story on this, but there are hints that the "jail" (or "sandbox" if you prefer) that Windows runs in under OS X is significantly more secure than Windows on a bare machine. We'd like to learn more about this, because as I mentioned, my wife does computing work for medical organizations. Here in the US, people are waking up to the serious problems with the (overly slow) computerization and networkization of medical data. Some fairly stringent security requirements are being written into law for medical data. And the medical industry almost everywhere runs on MS Windows, the most insecure system on the market. It doesn't take a genius to see the problem here.

    Virtualization has the potential of at least limiting the damage from the latest exploits, since Windows is run under the control of another system that has better security. We know from the history of IBM's VM system that this can be effective, assuming that the low-level system is accessible to knowledgeable developers (which isn't always true in the small-computer market). But imposing security on an insecure system that has "no user serviceable parts inside" isn't easy, so we can't really say how effective this will be.

    Her management never allowed upgrading to Vista, in part because they learned about the network-update (discussed here on /. several times) that can't be disabled for some portions of the system software. They und

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!