SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21 - It may have dropped the word "computer" from
its name, but Apple is certainly selling plenty of Macs....the market
share of the company's personal computers is surging.

[Apple now 3rd place, after Dell and HP, analysts say...]

"The Macintosh has a lot of momentum now," said Steven P. Jobs,
Apple's chief executive, in a telephone interview last week. "It is
outpacing the industry."

On Friday, Apple will start selling the new Leopard version of its OS
X operating system, which has a range of features that in some cases
match those in Windows Vista and in others surpass them.

[Apple plans major releases every 12 to 18 months...]

That pace suggests that Apple will continue to move more quickly than
Microsoft, which took almost seven years between the release of its
Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems.

[Vista disappointing...Jobs says Leopard better value, one prcie $129,
vs Vista prices all over map...]

With Leopard, Mr. Jobs joked, "everybody gets the Ultimate edition and
it sells for 129 bucks, and if you go on Amazon and look at the
Ultimate edition of Vista, it sells for 250 bucks."

[MS talks of service packs, including one for XP, may keep users on
XP...Windows 7 in 2010...Apple moving faster...but Apple had delays

As for Vista, it has clearly not pushed up demand for new PCs as much
as computer makers hoped. Last week, the research firm Gartner said PC
shipments in the United States grew only 4.7 percent in the third
quarter, below its projection of 6.7 percent.

That contrasted sharply with Apple's projected results for the
quarter. Gartner forecast that Apple would grow more than 37 percent
based on expected shipments of 1.3 million computers, for an 8.1
percent share of the domestic market.

[Apple big on laptops...2/3 of Apple sales are laptops, vs 50%

Apple has also outperformed rivals in terms of market share by
revenue, because its machines are generally more expensive.

[Apple has 16% of PC revenue, vs 8% of units sold...100 million
visitors to Apple stores/yr, 60-70 million of them XP users coming to
look at iPods or iPhones, some will switch to Macs...some problems in
common to Windows, Macs, mature market, new features
incremental...Jobs talks of touch interface...]