Working with Windows and Linux, playing with the Mac

Google Insights data suggests that we enjoy our Macs for more than we enjoy Windows and Linux.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay

I've noted before that we use the Mac because we want to, but are resigned to using Windows because we have to. Well, now there's some data to back up that assertion.

The Facesærch blog did a quick review of when people search for the terms "Microsoft" (Blue), "Linux" (Red), and "Apple" (Orange), and found two interesting trends in the data, more easily viewed over the last 90 days:

Search Volume: Microsoft vs. Linux vs. Apple (Last 90 days)

First, Linux and Windows have declined as a trend since 2004, while Apple has boomed. Second, and more interestingly, Windows and Linux see greater search traffic during the workweek, while Apple's search traffic goes up on the weekends. See those valleys? Those are weekends for Windows and Linux. Those same periods show up as peaks for Apple.

No, the data aren't perfect, but they are instructive. Apple is increasingly winning because it has figured out how to make us want to use our computers. It has taken the drudgery out of computing. If Linux wants to boom on the desktop, it needs to be a bit less utilitarian and a bit more fun. A bit more like the Mac, in other words.

Windows? Well, with such a massive share of the market, I doubt Microsoft feels it needs to do much of anything, which is precisely what I want it to do while Apple and Linux outflank it.