Gen Zs can basically only remember time from 2000 onwards.
That was just around when Apple started releasing its colourful iMacs and launched the iPod and heavily marketed the idea that PCs aren’t cool. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped them with the majority (57%) of Gen Zs we surveyed for our What Gen Z Actually Do Online report telling us that Windows is actually their favourite computer operating system to use.
It was well clear of the 39% who chose MacOS meaning PC is more popular than Mac right now. So how did Microsoft fall back into favour with Gen Zs?
As gaming exploded in popularity, so did Windows
Microsoft hasn’t been a major fixture in young people’s lives when it comes to mobile. Instead, Apple has ruled with products such as the iPhone and iPad.
Our same research found 77% of Gen Zs said Apple iOS is their favourite mobile OS compared to just 1% for Windows Mobile, with the remaining favouring Android. Apple absolutely dominates Gen Z preferences when it comes to mobile in Australia.
But flying beneath our mobile-first reality have been the affordable Windows PCs many young people use for their school work and the high end machines they use for gaming.
As the popularity of gaming exploded during the pandemic, Microsoft moved to acquire Activision Blizzard – which owns many iconic titles such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Candy Crush – positioning Microsoft as the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue.
“With Activision Blizzard’s nearly 400 million monthly active players in 190 countries and three billion-dollar franchises, this acquisition will make Game Pass one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of gaming content in the industry,” Microsoft said in an acquisition announcement.
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.
“We’re investing deeply in world-class content, community and the cloud to usher in a new era of gaming that puts players and creators first and makes gaming safe, inclusive and accessible to all.”
So now that Microsoft is cool again, what’s next? Could MySpace make an unlikely comeback too?
Never say never.