Apple has a great consumer OS on its hands. Its sleek, it's easy to use and it will not ever make it to mainstream America. There are 6 reasons why we will never see Apple take more than a third of the market share. For the sake of this article, mainstream will be referred to as greater than 33% of all computers.
Reason #6: The corporate world won't adopt OSX. Look around your office, more than likely you're looking at a Windows based environment. While it's true that not all companies run Windows, it is safe to say that the majority do in some form. Why wont corporations switch? Its simple, companies invest millions of dollars to keep up a Windows based infrastructure. The only thing costlier than maintaining thousands of computers is to replace them all, all with OSX.
If we can't convert our companies to OSX then we stand little chance in convincing institutions of higher education to do the same. The idea is based on a waterfall principle that we need a major change on one front to affect the rest. The problem is that the world revolves around money and it costs money to replace current infrastructures with OSX. While corporations are not the only user of computers they have a massive trickle down effect. The average person can pick up and use a Windows computer without a problem no matter what version they use; it's a 'comfortable' operating system. The same can not be said about OSX, while it may be easy to use, not nearly as many people have used OSX as compared to Windows. If our corporations use Windows our schools will teach upon it, how many people have taken a Windows based course before?
Reason #5: Software. Let's take a simple look at the available software titles out there for each platform. Regardless of the topic Windows based programs dwarf the OSX competition with ease. If your looking for a program to do a certain task you will, without a doubt, have more options on Windows PC. If you're a hardcore gamer there is no option but to have a copy of Windows at your disposal if you care to keep up on the most current titles.
If you're into business software the options for OSX are dismal at best. While it's unfortunate that Microsoft commands so much power, the latest versions of Microsoft Office always come out on Windows before OSX. While not a deal breaker for the home user it can be for reason #5.
Reason #4: Apples Image. Apple has built the image that it is modern and un-Microsoft. While this is working out great for Apple in the short term it also limits its user base. Take a look at any OSX vs Vista advertisement. It's always the cool kid making fun of the suit Vista. While this is great for the college student looking to get a computer it doesn't work so well with mom and dad who very well may see themselves as a 'suit' in that picture. Look around your dinner table and more than likely your father or mother is a suit at work. Professionalism is key to many adults and Apple has steered itself away from be the professional option. Good for poor college kids not so good for the hard working suit.
Reason #3: OSX is a closed platform. Want to build a custom computer with OSX; don't even try (legally). Apple has limited the configurations that OSX can be implemented on. This works well for Apple's business model but anyone who wants to construct a custom built computer is not able to use OSX (legally). If you're trying to build the ultimate computer with bleeding edge technology for your need, OSX is not an option. Lock the platform and you lock out consumers.
Reason #2: The Apple Tax. To get a computer running OSX you must buy a computer from Apple. Apple computers have a higher cost than a traditional PC from Dell or HP. Also it has to be mentioned that there is no low-cost option. The cheapest option is the Mac-mini which starts at $599.99. For someone looking to buy a budget PC, Apple is not an option.
Reason #1: Steve Jobs. To become a major competitor you must remain strong for the foreseeable future. Many people don't like to buy into a product that doesn't have a long life ahead of it. Regardless of how well OSX runs, how cool it looks, it can all be attributed back to Steve Jobs; he is the master of sales and marketing. Much of Apple's recent success can be attributed to his skills. Steve Jobs will not live nor want to work forever. When Steve passes the buck to the next person in line will his horde of followers accept this?