Mac News Review

Macs Gain Ground in August, Consumers Most Likely to Buy Macs, LaCie USB Speakers, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.09.05

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, 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

Products

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Mac OS, Safari, and iPhone Gain Ground in August

NetApplications HitsLink has posted operating system market share stats for August 2008, showing the Mac OS's market share advancing again, after dropping to 7.76% in July from its recent peak of 7.94% of the OS market in June, but the big news is a major surge in the iPhone's web browsing usage share, which increased 58% from July to August and is now and about one-third the OS usage share Linux enjoys.

Market share by platform

Here's the operating system total market share rundown of the significant players for August (July figures in parentheses):

  • Windows 90.66% (91.02%)
  • Mac 7.86% (7.76%)
  • Linux 0.93% (0.82%)
  • iPhone 0.30% (0.19%)

Comparing longer term, at 90.66% Windows is still down nearly five percentage points since May 2006 (95.09%), while the Mac OS at 7.86% has not quite doubled its share over the same interval from 4.43% in May '06. Linux has more than doubled its from 0.40% to 0.93%% - up 11-hundredths of a point from July.

Market share by OS version

In terms of versions:

  • Windows
    • Windows XP 69.49% (70.64%)
    • Windows Vista 17.85% (16.93%)
    • Windows 2000 2.02%
    • Windows NT 0.71%
    • Windows 98 0.41%
    • Windows ME 0.24%
    • Windows CE 0.06%
  • Macintosh
    • Macintel 5.44% (5.23%)
    • Mac OS (Classic) 2.42% (2.52%)
  • iPhone 0.30% (0.19%)
  • iPod 0.05% (0.04%)
  • Linux 0.93% (0.82%)

Hitslink also posted August 2008 browser market share stats, showing Internet Explorer dropping back slightly, with nearly a point drop from July, Firefox modestly up again to 19.73% from 19.22%, and Safari gaining back lost ground last month to 6.37% from 6.14%. Even Netscape, which was discontinued half a year ago, gained a bit of ground on Explorer, while Opera finally squeezed ahead of Netscape to become the number four browser.

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer - 72.15% (73.02%)
  • Firefox - 19.73% (19.22%)
  • Safari - 6.37% ( 6.14% )
  • Opera - 0.74% (0.69%)
  • Netscape - 0.72% (0.69%)
  • Mozilla - 0.10% (0.08%)
  • Opera Mini - 0.05% (0.05%)

Market share by browser

Plans to Buy Apple Products at All-time High

The National Post's Jonathan Ratner reports:

"In the weak market for consumer spending, there is a bright spot: Apple Inc. The computer and electronic device maker is attracting potential buyers like never before and is getting top marks in customer satisfaction.

"A survey of more than 4,400 people between August 4 and August 12 conducted by RBC Capital Markets and ChangeWave Research showed that 34% plan to buy a Mac laptop in the next 90 days, compared with 31% in May. Those planning to buy a Mac desktop rose to 30% from 27%. Meanwhile, 81% of those who recently bought an Apple product in the past 90 days were 'very satisfied,' while only 58% Dell Inc. buyers and 55% Hewlett-Packard Co. buyers said the same...."

Consumers Are Most Likely to Choose Mac

Computerworld's Gregg Keizer reports:

"More US consumers plan to buy a Mac in the next 90 days than any other brand, according to a ChangeWave Research survey of over 4,000 US Americans conducted earlier this month.

"Of the consumers polled by ChangeWave Research who said they expect to buy a personal computer in the next three months, 32 per cent plan to purchase a Mac. The closest rival was Dell, which accounted for 28 per cent of planned purchases.

"Apple was also the only vendor whose plan-to-buy share increased from July in both desktops and laptops...."

How to Migrate Time Machine to a New Drive

MacFixIt says:

"Users may wish to change their hard drive configurations for convenience in workflow, adding a new drive, or just for the sake of changing things up. In many cases, users may wish to migrate their Time Machine backups to a new, larger drive, but Apple does not provide a good way to do this.

"In order to change the Time Machine database over to a new drive, users cannot just copy the files manually, but instead must use a cloning software package to mirror the current TM drive over to the new one. The procedure is very straightforward...."

Products

Logitech Illuminated Keyboard and Cordless Desktop S520 Combo

Logitech Illuminated KeyboardPR: To help you find the keyboard that best matches your needs - and style - Logitech has introduced new keyboards, including the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard, which offers an optimized backlight experience, Logitech PerfectStroke key system and Logitech's thinnest design ever. Also unveiled today,the Logitech Cordless Desktop S520 offers a keyboard-and-mouse combination that matches a wide variety of computer setups.

"Style - specifically the ability to choose the style that fits one's tastes - is increasingly driving purchase decisions," said Denis Pavillard, vice president of product marketing for Logitech keyboards and desktops. "Our three newest keyboards address this trend, as well as various usage scenarios, from working in low light to being more comfortable when working on a laptop."

detail of Logitech illuminated keyboardLogitech Illuminated Keyboard

The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard makes typing easy - even in the dark. To optimize existing backlight technology, Logitech combined microlens reflectors, a multilayer painting process and laser etching - creating a backlight experience that is brighter, sharper and easier to read. Whether you're typing an e-mail or chatting with a friend, the adjustable backlight gives you just the right amount of light.

With its transparent frame, the ultra-thin Illuminated Keyboard (.37 inches or 9.3 mm from base to frame) adds an elegant touch to any desk. Balancing form and function, the keyboard offers a full-size key layout (including a number pad), soft-touch palm rest and a full row of F-keys, as well as media- and volume-control keys for instant command of your entertainment.

The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard features the Logitech PerfectStroke key system, which provides a typing experience that's comfortable, fluid and silent. PerfectStroke is designed to create longer key travel - 3.2 mm compared to 2.2 mm - than that of typical notebook keyboards; as a result, the distance your fingers have to travel to activate a key is optimized for your comfort. Micro-scissors distribute force evenly across key surfaces - even if you strike the edge of a key, the key stroke still feels the same.

Logitech Cordless Desktop S520

With its matte-black and grey palette, its rounded edges and gently curved palm rest, and the straight lines of its full-size layout - the contemporary, yet compact, S520 keyboard complements a wide range of computers. Plus, the high-performance cordless laser mouse delivers exceptional precision and smoother tracking, compared to optical mice.

Logitech Cordless Desktop S520

The new Logitech keyboard-and-mouse combination provides the convenience of up to eight months of battery life for the mouse and 15 months for the keyboard. With one-touch access to Word, Excel and your Internet browser - you can instantly get to your favorite applications. Four additional programmable F-keys let you customize your keyboard the way you want it and a full set of media and volume controls make managing your media, photos and music easy (after installing software available at no additional charge from www.logitech.com/downloads).

The Logitech Illuminated Keyboard is expected to be available in the US and Europe in October for a suggested retail price of $79.99. The Logitech Cordless Desktop S520 is expected to be available worldwide in September for a suggested retail price of $59.99.

LaCie USB Speakers Bus-Powered Audio System

LaCie USB SpeakersPR: The LaCie USB Speakers provide excellent digital audio for your laptop or desktop PC or Mac computer. With a frequency response of 90 Hz to 20 kHz, they deliver clear, vibrant sound for enhancing your music, movies and games.

Created exclusively for LaCie by Neil Poulton, their unique design combines easy usability and chic, modern style. The built-in cables discreetly and conveniently tuck under the speakers for a neat, clean look.

LaCie USB SpeakersThe widely used USB interface provides an excellent digital audio stream and bus-power so there's no need for an AC adapter or batteries. Compact and mobile, you can use them at home, at work, when visiting friends or relatives or while traveling. They can even be used with your MP3 player (additional adapter required, sold separately).

Features:

  • High quality digital audio speakers
  • Portable: bus-powered with built-in cable
  • Plug & play and driver-free (PC/Mac)
  • Low power consumption

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