Originally Posted by Quadra 610
The real story is more complex than vocal Windows users (well, those who aren't complaining) would like to admit. Windows 7's biggest competitor is not OS X. It's Windows XP.
Yes, Microsoft doesn't care because every Win XP sale . . . is a sale, and is $$ in MS' pocket. Well, MS should
care. XP was never a very good OS (aesthetics, UI, security, everything), though it was better than what came before. By the time Vista was released it was already an aging dinosaur. By now, it's just a horrible bunch of code. By sometime next year XP will be a decade old. Yuck.
Windows XP constitutes between 60 to 70 percent of the world's computer user base. About two-thirds of XP users do not have hardware new enough to take advantage of Windows 7. Nor is this necessary.
These computers are doing useful functions which wouldn't really benefit by an upgrade. They are old computers running old software which works well enough for occasional business use/running displays/cash registers/light duty use as front ends to mainframes or the web. As such, they are unlikely to be upgraded soon until the hardware breaks. It is not automatic that the owners will buy a new Wintel machine; Apple and Chrome may offer other advantages.
What is most troubling about this story is that 18% of the world's computers were on Vista at Windows 7's release. About half of those had been downgraded to Windows XP. All of those computers should have been upgraded, because Windows Seven offers better security than XP or Vista. But, WIndows Seven's Usage has only moved from 2% to 9% in four months.
This is less than half as fast as Mac users are upgrading to Snow Leopard. Most Mac users tend to upgrade; 93% of Mac Users had upgraded to Leopard in 19 months. Snow Leopard, at current rates, will be at 90% in 12 to 14 months.
This is important because Apple won't move to the 64 bit kernel by default until enough apps have been upgraded to 64 bit code and enough people are already booting into the 64 bit kernel. The main advantage for booting into the 64 bit kernel is enhanced speed, followed by improved security.
The important thing, though, is that the 32 bit Carbon APIs will be rendered legacy, and thus apps in it will be sidelined. The 64 bit Cocoa apps will be much faster and more flexible, so there is little reason for newer machines to use Carbon. The Mac will become fully Object Oriented in five years, when Carbon is gone.
Apple hasn't upgraded all of its own apps to Cocoa yet, but it will before Mac OSX 10.7 is released in 12 to 18 months.