Even though Apple is lagging far behind Microsoft in operating system market share, Mac sales are on the rise with more people satisfied with Mac OS X Leopard than any other operating system. That's according to a recent survey from research firm ChangeWave Alliance.

The survey of 4,604 ChangeWave Alliance members, conducted 2-8 January, found that 17 per cent of respondents purchased an Apple notebook over the last quarter, representing a three point increase from the firm's previous survey in November. Apple desktop purchases came in at 16 per cent over the same time period, representing a six-percentage point bump over the earlier quarter.

Leopard reigns supreme

And while ChangeWave Alliance was quick to cite a number of factors that may have contributed to Apple's success over the past quarter, the research firm indicated that a major reason could be Mac OS X Leopard.

According to the study, an amazing 81 per cent of respondents said they were 'very satisfied' with Leopard, compared to XP Home Edition's 53 per cent and Vista Home Premium's abysmal 27 per cent satisfaction rates.

The research revealed that due to their contentment with Leopard OS, more than one-in-four consumers (26 per cent) would be more likely to buy a Mac in the future.