Mac News Review

Low Cost Doesn't Equal Value, OS X Market Share Over 10%, 2009 Mac Pro 'Insanely Fast', and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2009.04.03

MacBook, PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion

Reviews

Products

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Mac vs. Windows: Does Low Cost = Value?

Mac Revu says:

"...Microsoft found itself a big gun and for the first time in along time put Apple in the crosshairs. Their new pitch is stunningly simple.

"'Buy us . . . because we're cheaper.'

"It's hard to miss the irony here. Microsoft spent the better part of last year and God-only-knows how much money trying to convince XP users that Windows Vista was a better computing experience. In the end, people not only disagreed but actually spent more money to keep Vista off their brand new computers....

"My fellow Mac brethren might howl at this admission but Windows PC's are indeed less expensive than Macs . . . Focusing on cost makes Microsoft look like a leader. Focusing on the product . . . well, let's just say that this hasn't been a position of strength for them lately.

"Mac users, on the other hand, tend to have a much different definition of value . . . Most Mac users accept the fact that they'll pay more on the front end but we ultimately believe that we'll save time, money and aggravation in the long run. For us, that's where the value lies....

"The best argument that Apple can make is that quality is its own reward and that true value has less to do with how a product begins its lifecycle and more about how it ends it. There is an old expression that really applies here, 'the consequence of poor quality lingers long after the thrill of a bargain is forgotten'...."

OS X: Over 10% Market Share in March

OS X (including the iPhone version) took more than of 10% of the OS market for the fourth straight month at 10.26%, with desktop OS X gaining again as well.

NetApplications HitsLink have posted Operating System Market Share stats for March 2009, showing OS X gaining market share again after a hiccup in February. Windows dropped below 90% in November 2008 and has stayed there, losing about a third of a point over the month of March, while Linux's share gained very slightly - and remains below 1% while the iPhone version of OS X was up a tenth of a point.

Operating System Market Share, March 2009Here's the Operating System Total Market Share rundown of the significant players for March (February figures in parentheses):

  • Windows 88.14% (88.42%)
  • Mac 9.77% (9.61%)
  • Linux 0.90% (0.88%)
  • iPhone 0.49% (0.48%)

Comparing longer term, at 88.14% Windows is down more than five percentage points since May 2006 (95.09%), while the Mac OS at 9.77% has more than doubled its share over the same interval from 4.43% in May 2006. Linux has also more then doubled its May 2006 numbers from 0.40% to 0.90%..

In terms of versions:

  • Windows:
    • Windows XP 62.85% (63.67%)
    • Windows Vista 23.42% (22.79%)
    • Windows 2000 1.24% (1.33% )
    • Windows NT 0.12% (0.10%)
    • Windows 98 0.19% (0.21%)
    • Windows ME 0.12% (0.13%)
    • Windows CE 0.05% (0.05%)
  • Macintosh:
    • Mac OS X 10.5 6.00% (5.64%)
    • Mac OS X 10.4 2.66% (2.75%)
    • Mac OS X (no version reported) 0.86% (0.95%)
    • iPhone 0.49% (0.48%
    • iPod (0.11% ) (Not reported last month)
    • Mac OS X Mach-O 0.25% (0.27%)
  • Linux 0.90% (0.88%)
Link: Operating System Market Share
Link: Operating System Market Share by OS Version

Safari and Firefox Gain Browser Share in March

Turning to browsers, the Firefox browser exceeded 20% share in November 2008 and has gained more ground every month since, while Safari dropped nearly a quarter of a point in March. Internet Explorer continues to slowly fade, down 0.69% from February and down 8% from a year ago. Google's newcomer (and so far Windows-only) Chrome continues to nail down more than 1% of the browser market. Fifth-place Opera has remained static at within a tenth of a point of 0.70% for the past three months, and long discontinued Netscape interestingly gained 0.03% over the month of March.

Browser Market Share, March 2009Browser Total Market Share

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - 66.82% (67.51% )
  • Firefox - 22.05% (21.73%)
  • Safari 8.23% (8.00%)
  • Chrome - 1.23% (1.15%)
  • Opera - 0.70% (0.71%)
  • Netscape - 0.69% (0.66%)
  • Mozilla - 0.10% (0.07%)
  • Opera Mini - 0.07% (0.07%)

5 Reasons You Should Buy the 2.26 GHz 8-core Mac Pro Instead of the 2.66 GHz 4-Core One

IT Enquirer's Erik Vlietinck says:

"When Macworld recently published its benchmarks for the Mac Pro Early 2009 I won't have been the only one to be surprised by the conclusion that eight-core machines are in many tests slower than the single processor quad-core Mac Pro. You might therefore be tempted to go with the faster, cheaper quad-core Mac Pro. But there are at least five reasons not to. Here they are...."

Leaving Computers on Overnight Costs US Companies $2.8 Billion a Year

USA Today's Jon Swartz reports:

"Even during an economic meltdown, when companies are scrambling to cut costs, businesses are wasting billions of dollars by leaving their PCs on at night.

"US organizations squander $2.8 billion a year to power unused machines, emitting about 20 million tons of carbon dioxide roughly the equivalent of 4 million cars according to a report to be released Wednesday.

"About half of 108 million office PCs in the USA are not properly shut down at night, says the 2009 PC Energy Report, produced by 1E, an energy-management software company, and the non-profit Alliance to Save Energy....

"Wastefulness does not just affect a company's bottom line, it creates environmental concerns, the report says. If the world's 1 billion PCs were powered down just one night, it would save enough energy to light the Empire State Building inside and out for over 30 years, it says...."

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2009 Dates Announced

PR: The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) provides developers and IT professionals with in-depth technical information and hands-on learning about the powerful technologies in iPhone OS and Mac OS X from the Apple engineers who created them.

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is the premier technical event for developers and IT professionals innovating with Apple platforms. Over 1,000 Apple engineers will be at Moscone West to present the latest Apple technologies and provide you with code-level guidance. You'll learn how to harness the power of iPhone OS, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard in the most efficient and sophisticated way possible - saving you time and accelerating your development. Bring your MacBook and your imagination, and prepare to make your ideas happen.

Technical Sessions

At the heart of the WWDC experience are the technical sessions presented by Apple engineers. Choose from a wide range of topics on developing, deploying, and integrating iPhone OS and Mac OS X technologies. Sessions cover introductory and advanced concepts so you can gain a solid foundation if you are new to iPhone and Mac development, or dive deep if you are already familiar with Apple technologies.

Hands-on Labs

Work side-by-side with the Apple engineers at the hands-on labs. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to solve code-level issues that will fast track your development. Apple's Human Interface designers are available for one-to-one consultations on the visual design and usability of your iPhone or Mac OS X application. The labs are also a great place to talk through your concepts and get answers to the topics important to you.

Connect with Your Peers

WWDC brings together the best and the brightest developers and IT professionals in the Apple community. Take advantage of this unique setting to meet your peers using iPhone OS and Mac OS X. Strike up a conversation and get inspired by how they are developing with, deploying, and integrating Apple technologies. You're sure to hear about new ideas and methods that you can incorporate into your own environment.

Special Events

Special evening events at WWDC offer you time to unwind, relax, and mingle with other attendees. You also find special lunchtime sessions throughout the week where guest speakers present real-world examples of how they use Apple technologies in their industries.

iPhone OS

Leverage the innovative technologies and capabilities in iPhone OS to design the next generation of iPhone apps.

Mac OS X

Dive deep into the powerful new technologies available in Mac OS X that will help you develop fully optimized, world-class applications

Don't Lose Your Spot

Tickets to last year's WWDC sold out. Don't miss your opportunity, purchase your ticket by April 24 and save $300.

Reviews

Early 2009 Mac Pro 'Insanely Fast'

Primate Labs Blog says:

"Apple released a lot of new hardware this month, and while I was able to post Geekbench results for the new iMac and Mac mini fairly quickly, it took a little while longer to get Geekbench results for the new Mac Pro.

Mac Pro benchmarks, 2006 through 2009 models.
Mac Pro benchmarks, 2006 through 2009 models.

"I've gathered Geekbench scores for the all of the Mac Pros that Apple has released. Scores were collected from the Geekbench Result Browser for Mac Pros with standard processors (i.e., no processor upgrades, overclocked processors, or Hackintoshes)....

"What's interesting is the performance of the 2008 and 2009 entry-level Mac Pro; both Macs have roughly the same performance, but the newer Mac Pro has a lower processor frequency and fewer cores....

"The new mid- and high-end Mac Pros, on the other hand, are insanely fast (and insanely expensive)...."

2009 Mac Pro Works Harder, Costs Less

PC Advisor's Jim Dalrymple says:

"Apple's new tower PC, the Apple Mac Pro, has just received a major overhaul.

"The two tower Apple Mac Pro models pack a brand-new processor and video system, and feature a reorganised internal design. However, they have lower clock speeds than their predecessors....

"...With its improved graphics, memory bandwidth, and reduced memory latency, the 2.66 GHz quad-core Mac Pro was faster than the 2.8 GHz eight-core Mac Pro, and at £1,899 costs £600 less. It would be a fine purchase for anyone replacing an older Mac or buying a new one for the first time. That is especially true for people who work with processor intensive apps such as video or graphics. It's harder to recommend that people spend £600 more for the new £2,499 2.26 GHz eight-core Mac Pro if they don't run software written for the top-of-the-line Mac Pro's eight processor cores...."

Products

Western Digital Releases My Book Mac Edition 2 TB External Hard Drive

My Book hard drivePR: Formatted for Mac, this simple, elegant drive offers up to 2 TB Of instant storage for your Mac and is very easy to use. Just plug it into a USB 2.0 port, and you've got plenty of room to back up and save your valuable data, music, photos, and movies.

Are you running out of hard drive capacity? Do you need to archive some important digital documents, photos, videos or music? This elegant external hard drive, reminiscent of a book, is the perfect solution.

  • Fits right in - Takes no more space than a paperback book. Collect two or more and they nest neatly together like volumes on a shelf.
  • Smart, eco-friendly design
    • Built with an energy-efficient WD hard drive inside.
    • Preserves power by turning itself on and off with your computer.
    • Fanless for cool, quiet operation.
    • Shipped in fully recyclable packaging.
  • Shock-resistant enclosure - The case is designed to provide maximum shock protection to guard your valuable data from bumps and jars of everyday life.
  • Compatible with Apple's Time Machine- Use with Apple's Time Machine, or your favorite back up software.
  • Easy to set up - Installation is a snap because you don't really install this drive, you just plug it in and it's ready to use.
  • USB 2.0 interface - A simple connection that offers convenience and compatibility among multiple computers.

Ideal for

  • Adding additional storage to your Mac computer.
  • Use with Apple Time Machine or your favorite backup software.

Capacities available: 2 TB, 1.5 TB, 1 TB.*

Total accessible capacity varies depending on operating environment.

The 2 TB model can hold:

  • Up to 571,000 digital photos
  • Up to 500,000 songs (MP3)
  • Up to 50,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
  • Up to 150 hours of Digital Video (DV)
  • Up to 880 hours of DVD quality video
  • Up to 240 hours of HD video

System Requirements:

  • Mac
  • Available USB port
  • Mac OS X Tiger or Leopard

Package Contents

  • External hard drive
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • AC adapter
  • Quick Install Guide

* One gigabyte (GB) = one billion bytes. One terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes.

6 GB Memory Kits for Mac Pro

PR: The RAMSeeker blog says:

I've seen a few vendors this past month, with what I think is an odd size for memory upgrades: 6 GB. In all the time I've been tracking memory prices the sizes has always increased x 2 as the technology and the memory sizes improve: 1 GB - 2 GB - 4 GB, etc. Always doubling in size.

So as vendors come online with Memory Upgrade KITS For the Mac Pro, I've seen more than one vendor carry this size so it's not just some oddball listing that one memory vendor has dreamed up. It seems to be a standard configuration.

So, that's one project for today - Add/track 6 GB Memory Kits for Apple Mac Pro. Stay Tuned,,,,,

Software

Free Car Art Calendar Updated

PR: Download this beautifully produced desktopADvantage drop down software calendar and planner produced for Car Art Inc. Car Art Inc. represents the best car art artists from all over the world . . . this calendar features just a few of them. Use the calendar's built-in weblinks to view more of their works as well as view the works of other great artists. It's an amazing site with an amazing collection of Car Art.

Car Art DesktopFeatures

  • Stunning Graphics (Really)
  • 3-Year Annual View
  • Week-At-A-Glance Scheduler
  • To Do List
  • One Click Viewing Technology
  • Manages Daily Appointments
  • Mouseover Event Viewing
  • Customizable Event Countdown

New in version Version 1.3.12.526:

  • Minor fixes and enhancements

System Requirements: Mac OS X

Platform Support: PPC/Intel

Freeware

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