The best holiday gift was Mac losing out to Windows, at least according to these stats

A happy Windows user and a sad Mac user
(Image credit: Windows Central / ChatGPT)

What you need to know

  • Statcounter's December update for market share figures shows an increase for Windows, while Mac's share of the pie has gone down. 
  • Windows now sits at almost 73% of the desktop OS market share. 
  • Linux and ChromeOS also showed mild increases in their own respective share. 

2023 is now in the rearview mirror, but not without one little treat sure to put a smile on the face of Windows fans. 

It's hard to gain more market share when Windows is already the dominant platform in the desktop OS space, but, at least according to Statcounter, that has happened to close out the year. And it's happened at the expense of Mac, it seems. 

In December, Windows market share increase is almost the same as the decrease shown by Mac, leaving Microsoft's OS sitting pretty at just shy of 73%. As ever, treat all such figures with a pinch of salt. 

Windows is up, Mac is down.  (Image credit: Statcounter)

Admittedly, it isn't all rosy, if you consider 2023 as a whole. As the chart above demonstrates, Windows is still a little down overall for the 12 months to December 2023, while Mac ended slightly up. But after a dip and some flat months, it's great to see Windows ending the year on the rise. 

You can't glean actual true numbers from this, but the suggestion could certainly be that a chunk of Mac users finally got fed up and went back to Windows. From November to December, Windows market share went up almost 4%, while Mac's went down about the same. 

There are also mild increases for both Linux and ChromeOS, though even combined both are still a long way shy of Mac in second place. 

A bubble starting to burst? 

Apple MacBook Air M2

(Image credit: iMore)

It's interesting to see the changes in numbers so suddenly and around the all important Black Friday into the holidays season. It's been one of the best times to buy a new PC or laptop in recent weeks, with some truly epic deals, whether buying for yourself or as a gift. 

You could form any number of opinions around these figures, but even after Apple pushed out its first M3-powered Macs, Windows it seems is on the up. Let's also not forget that 2024 will finally be the year that ARM-powered laptops can go toe-to-toe with Apple Silicon MacBooks when Qualcomm pushes out the Snapdragon X Elite

So is the bubble starting to burst? Apple talks a good game, so does its fan base, but I still maintain that for most normal people, a Windows PC or laptop is a far better investment. 

I used to be a Mac lover, I've been there, done that. In 2022, I went back after a hiatus to see both what Apple Silicon was actually like (and by the way, it really is exceptional) and to see what macOS had matured into. I hated every second of it. Obviously there are those who genuinely love using it, and I can appreciate why they might, but it's just so frustrating to live with day to day. Far too many "security" popups, for one, and it just feels like an OS that's built entirely for style over substance. 

Windows, on the other hand, might be a boring choice, but it's a choice that gets stuff done. All without requiring an extortionate outlay for a machine that can't even use multiple monitors properly (in almost every case right now). Apple has brand appeal, nobody can deny that. But would you go to work every day in shoes that didn't fit properly just because they looked flashy? 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at

  • timwhite
    Those Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite X machines really can’t come soon enough! I can can hardly wait for the new Surface Pro tablets. I just hope that MS takes Windows on ARM as seriously as it needs to be and that developers see the potential.