Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are Mac users quicker to upgrade to InDesign CS5 than Windows users?

I recently saw some Facebook 'polls' that looked like an attempt to probe who is using what version of InDesign. Oftentimes, these polls fall flat because the sample size is too small.

But if you want to know how the InDesign user base divvies up, at Rorohiko we have fairly significant, up to date information - further down, I'll share with you some usable percentages and graphs for the month of March 2011.

The clue is in our web server logs. We watch downloads of our APID ToolAssistant for InDesign plug-in, and that tells us a lot (

Here's how it works. APID ToolAssistant in itself does not do anything obvious for the end-user, but in order to use one or more of our extensive range of plug-ins, users need to install APID ToolAssistant on their computer. Each user needs to install APID ToolAssistant only once per installed version of InDesign. Every month we get a few hundreds of downloads of APID ToolAssistant.

What makes APID ToolAssistant unique as a market probing mechanism is that we still support versions of InDesign as far back as InDesign CS - we cover the whole range of CS, CS2, CS3, CS4 and CS5.

On top of that, our downloads are separated - instead of one single download, we provide separate downloads for each platform and each version - 10 downloads in total - so we can monitor each platform/version combination separately.

In March 2011, we had 1548 downloads - and these were separated up as shown below.

To paraphrase the graphs below in words: Mac and Windows are about even, about 10% of all users are still using CS and CS2 and about 30% of all users is still on CS3 or below. Finally, CS5 is slightly ahead of CS4.

P.S. If this info is interesting to you, contact - there's more where that came from!

Downloads of APID ToolAssistant in March 2011
Mac, CS413%
Mac, CS2463%
Mac, CS31308%
Mac, CS423615%
Mac, CS536323%
Win, CS423%
Win, CS2513%
Win, CS31359%
Win, CS425717%
Win, CS524716%

Downloads of Mac APID ToolAssistant in March 2011

Downloads of Windows APID ToolAssistant in March 2011

Downloads of APID ToolAssistant in March 2011


Harbs said...

That's cool data!

Interesting to note that although platforms are pretty evenly split, there's more users of older versions on Windows, and more users of newer versions on Mac. I'm not sure what that means... ;-)

Robert said...

Isn't the %-column for the Windows downloads wrong? The sum should be 100.

Kris Coppieters said...

Oops. Copy-paste error: I had a duplicate of the percentages of the first graph there. Corrected now - the difference is less marked.

David Creamer said...

Using Rorohiko software denotes a more sophisticated user by default, so I would think these results are slightly skewed too.

I believe that there are a lot of "hidden" corporate users out there that never look (or are not allowed to look) beyond the basic software install.

Kris Coppieters said...

Hi David,

I agree - the statistics are what I'd call 'interesting' but they're pretty much 'back of the envelope' stuff - but as you say, there's all kinds of influences that skew them this way or that. Thinking about how relevant or how irrelevant my data is kind of makes my head hurt!

Any which way, I'll probably do another one for the month of April - see if there are any consistent patterns. For all I know, any of the perceived patterns in the previous month might be just coincidences.