The Mac owns the U.S. Windows owns the world. Nary the two shall meet?

The Mac is making great strides in the U.S., while Windows dominates the rest of the world. Do the two growth curves reflect different stages of global expansion?

Correction, 10:45 a.m. PDT: This blog initially misstated Apple's global market share. It was 3.3 percent in the second quarter, according to IDC, up from 2.9 percent a year ago.

Gartner and IDC both see the global computer market rising, 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively, with Hewlett-Packard (18 percent market share) and Dell (16 percent market share) winning big, as The Wall Street Journal reports.

U.S. growth, however, was somewhat tepid at 4.2 percent, according to Gartner. (IDC pegs it at 3.6 percent.) As demonstrated in the earnings calls for Sun, IBM, and others, the U.S. is no longer the place to be for growth: China, India, and other developing economies are.

Even so, one vendor continues to make huge strides regardless of the geography: Apple. As CNET News' Ina Fried reports , Apple's Mac sales grew 38 percent in Q2 2008, and that's just in the U.S. Ironically, while Windows' growth has slowed to a 4.2 percent crawl in the U.S., globally it is up 16 percent, while Apple only managed 3.2 percent growth outside of the U.S.

Globally, Apple now commands a 3.3 percent market share, up from 2.9 percent in 2007.

We seem to be in technology spending slowdown, but good products continue to make headway, albeit in different markets. Microsoft has stalled in the U.S., but is making it up elsewhere. Apple has yet to make a dent "elsewhere," but dominates the U.S. computer market. Global slowdown? Or simply a subtle shift in spending opportunities?

Does Apple reflect the U.S. consumer-spending binge? I'd hate to think my beloved Mac is making its gains at the expense of sound fiscal conservativism. On the other hand, is Windows the new cheapskate strategy? Do people only buy it if they're looking for something cheap and "good enough"?

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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