The Mac is on a roll. Apple Inc.'s perennially praised but slow-selling Macintosh computers have surged in popularity in the past few years, with sales growing much faster than the overall PC market, especially in the U.S. By some measures, Mac laptops are now approaching a 20% share of U.S. noncorporate sales, up from the low single digits where they once seemed stuck.
There are several reasons for this, including the security problems in the dominant Windows platform from Microsoft; spillover from Apple's blistering success with its iPod music players; the fact that Macs can now run Windows programs; and Apple's highly successful chain of company-owned retail stores.
But another key factor has been the Mac operating system, called OS X, which came out in 2001. It has proved to be as powerful and versatile for mainstream consumers as Windows, yet easier to use and more secure. And Apple has upgraded OS X far more rapidly than Microsoft Inc. has upgraded Windows, bringing out major new releases roughly every 18 months, while Microsoft struggled for more than five years to produce the latest Windows iteration, Vista, which came out in January.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Apple, Mac OS X, Leopard, OS X 10.5x, Article