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Mac's market share growth is 'nothing short of spectacular'

Apple is on a tear, with stunning growth by any measure, data from Web research firm Net Applications indicates. Microsoft is the loser, Matt Asay says.

Apple has been on a tear of late, but it's not just a story of iPods.

Web analyst Net Applications now puts the Mac's market share at 8 percent, up from 5.3 percent in early 2007. That is stunning growth by any measure, especially when you consider that this is 18 percent growth in its market share...just since November 2007.

Clearly, there was much Christmas joy for the Mac maker this holiday season.

Vista? It's still languishing, though Windows XP is king of operating systems, with 76 percent of the market. Not too shabby, but not what Microsoft would wish for, either. In fact, Microsoft got coal all year, as its crushing market share continued to crush...but a little less forcibly every day, as the data shows:

Net Applications

And look at those iPhone numbers. It's shocking, really. Apple is redefining the Web experience...right under our noses. The question may well be, however, whether at some point Apple becomes so vanilla that it's not cool anymore. Will the faithful still show up?

I will, as I love the elegance and ease of use that my Mac affords me. But I still wonder if the allure of a Mac will fade when its market share is at 20 percent.