Windows 10 is 4 times more popular than Mac, Apple's own numbers show

As part of an apology to Mac Pro users who have been waiting ages for an update, Apple shared some figures on its Mac business today that give us a closer look at how it stacks up to the Windows 10 user base. Speaking with the folks at TechCrunch, Apple says that its Mac user base "is nearing 100 million users." As pointed out by The Verge, that makes Windows 10 around four times as popular, according to the latest official figures from Microsoft.

That's not entirely surprising given the nature of Apple's business. Despite the smaller user base, Apple says that its Mac business is nearing a $25 billion run rate, a size that brings it close to being a Fortune 500 company in its own right. Apple revealed some other interesting little tidbits as well, including that it now ships computers in a mix of 80% notebooks to 20% desktop.

As for Microsoft, the last time we got an official look at the Windows 10 install base was in September of 2016, when it was revealed the OS had more than 400 million active users. Growth has no doubt slowed since then, but that number is most assuredly higher at this point. While it's hard to pin down a specific figure, the user base for Windows as a whole would be much, much larger.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I'm curious why you didn't write about the Android overtake.....but Windows popularity to Mac.
  • Get your troll face on!
  • Like yours? Don't comment if you got nothing sensible to contribute.
  • I'm just calling it as it is. Your comments so far today have all been about Android overtaking Windows. And, as mentioned by many others, your comment has no relevancy to this article.
  • of course Android more as people tend to have 2-3 phone but not 2-3 notebook.
  • Nevermind. Was gonna comment. But there really is no point.
  • We are taking about PC operating systems. Not toys.
  • But Microsoft is specifically trying to merge PC and Mobile OS's, so yes, it does matter.
  • hey man...what relevance it has? it is desktop vs mobile...2 different things..and it did not take the popularity, it just took the numbers.still there are greater chances to have more computers not connected to internet than the windows cut may be larger...also a lot of businesses use only intranet meaning that those computers won't show in stats...anyway...comparing oranges to apples
  • **** off 🖕 iSheep
  • The closest thing Android has to a desktop is a Chromebook.  Should that be included?  Or should we include the numbers to GE dishwashers since it has nothing to do with Laptops and PC's?
  • It was for connecting to the Internet @kenzibit
  • OK, why didn't they talk about how Chromebook has been a complete failure, how it does not even register on the "Other" category, and even though Chromebook has Android apps now the number of apps available on the Play store has not helped Chromebook's marketshare in the slightest? Instead, you want to compare two different OSes for different uses. Can I run a development tool like Visual Studio on a phone? CAD? Photoshop (and not that scaled down, watered down crap). Can I run a full, enterprise class DBMS on Android? No, you can't. But instead you want to force your agenda to try to score points, instead you have made youself look like a fool like so many others have before you.
  • The thing is android is not competing with Windows 10. Chrome books are and they sell less than apple. Android is competing against iOS and windows mobile that's why android is not on this post.
  • Android overtake is only for the device OS that access internet.  It is not for desktop PC which Windows has 91% market share, Mac has 5% while Chromebooks has 0.3%.
  • Probably because Android is a phone OS and he's talking about desktop OS.
  • More than a few people in my office are running W10 on their macs and are looking to make the leap to full on PC. They are also very interested in my 950XL and want to know more about it.
  • Nice.
  • At this point I'd wait for a better phone to come out.  While I love my 950, the 950/XL is getting a little long in the tooth.
  • More to the point, W10 mobile.
  • Gotcha!  I really do enjoy W10 mobile, but apps are not as important to me.  Make sure your friends feel the same way.
  • this is normal....MS probably will have the toughest monopoly to beat ever....i really like MS. like their vision and products...they focused primarily on functionality and second design...this is changing fast to design first..really excited to see what are they capable of...without MS a lot of businesses would not perform as well as they do. they really changed the world in a lot of just had a better execution but the high price has an downside...i worked with both Windows and OSX and honestly...OSX is kind of rubish...does the same thing but costs a lot more and in some cases it does things worse than windows...just looks better...other than this nothing else...OSX is mainly now for tech illiterate people and final cut(useless argument in my opinion)
  • A larger user base does not equal more popular. It could be 200 million users use Windows 10 but do not like it. You could say the same about iPhone. A billion users but only half of them like IOS. A pretty meaningless figure.
  • Many people just buy PC because Mac is just too expensive, more doesnt mean better
  • Many people just buy MAC because it has less viruses.  Doesn´t mean the MAC is better too, just mean it is not as targeted as Windows.  But for those people this is enough to consider it "better".  Price is just another feature of the device. If both OS had a close marketshare your claim could be true, but with this kind of disparity you are hardly making a point.
  • Same can be said for Android with the amount of lower priced (good for the money) handsets out there.
  • It's not meaningless.
    More purchases is more money.
    More money means more support, R&D, and improvements for those who like it.
  • It's the best metric there is. You could also do a survey on owner satisfaction, but I would say that matters a lot less than looking at what people are actually willing to purchase. At a minimum, it is the best single overall metric, factoring in utility, preference, and price.
  • What is not meaningless is how these numbers affect the bottom line.
  • So...100 million users? Isn't that how many people use Windows mobile? So if developers are building apps for MacOS why not for Windows mobile?
  • I doubt windows mobile has 100 million users;")
  • Developers are not really building apps for MacOS. Their App store is worse than it is on WM.
  • Because they don't. Regarding apples it's all about iOS.
  • Water is wet
  • I think microsoft is keeping quiet till they hit 500 million
  • It's easy to see why. Microsoft has been very innovated with Windows and the Surface Pro  They are about the released the 3rd major update to Windows 10. Meanwhile, Apple has not updated it's Macbok Pro or Mac OS in years.  You can install Windows on any device, but you cannot install MacOS on any devices as Apple limits you.
  • No it is becoming less and less relevant.
  • As of March 2017 Windows 10 500 million ( I've rounded up because they are nearly there now ). Windows 7 is at 1 billion. Windows XP at 150 million. Windows Vista 125 million. Windows 8/8.1 250 million. As you can see over 2 billion windows devices on just PCs. These figures don't include Xbox, Windows Mobile. It's also worth noting quite alot of Surface users use Virtual OS desktop technology to use Android apps right there on the Windows 10 desktop. And even go straight into the Google Play store. All from Windows 10. I Do it. I use any App I want from Android without owning an Android device.
  • I guess they sell better in the US. Over here in Europe they have a lot less sales. Which confirms worldwide sales of about 10%. For years and hardly changing. Latest Steam numbers show just 3% MacOS users and 1% Linux !
    In the mean time W10 is already > 50% and Windows in general 96%. And the PC gaming market is growing.
  • True, but a lot of people don't use their PC's or their corporate laptops for gaming, so steam numbers are hardly representative. I mean W10 is nowhere near 50% of all windows installs, so steam is hardly representative, as gamers (people who identify as such and not people who occasionally play candy crush) are just a segment of the market and by far not the majority.
  • And Apple cares about that because? Because it doesn't matter because iOS probably trumps that 400 million mark (last I checked they hit the billion mark).
  • They do. Who are you kidding haha.
  • Didn't you read the bit about Apple's computer division almost bring a Fortune 500 company on it's own? I really don't think they are crying themselves to sleep over this.
  • so basically the bottom two is Microsoft-Macintosh and Redmond is leading what if Android, the free low rent OS is on top? Not THIS guy! I got my Lumia and enjoying the Idol, x3, whatever else might be on the horizon, etc. I believe in Nadella, and WHO CARES if you don't like it, I know I don't >=p
  • 7 billion people in the world and only half a billion windows and apple installs?
  • Most people on Mac bootcamp Windows. OS X is quite annoying to use.
  • Go Windows, Go!
  • That's great news. Windows mobile needs to be the same.
  • Isaiah,  that ship has sailed LONG ago!
  • I do see Isaiah's heart as I am a die hard Windows Phone fan but I had to jump ship in 2015 when the writing was clearly on the wall. 
  • Either way taking Android out of the equation here,  Windows 10 ROCKS compared to MacOS.   Had both,  and sold the mac.
  • I had a Mac for a while and used it for 4 months. I saw zero advantage over Windows, where I am already estasblished so no reason to move or even keep it. 
  • I thought Windows (all versions) is suppose to be 20x times more than dropped to 4x times nothing worth excited about.