85% of Mac Owners Also Have a PC: Report

npd-group-march09Mac users may be getting soft on Windows machines as time moves on, according to a recent report by consumer research firm NPD Group. It found that of those polled, a whopping 85 percent admitted to owning both Mac and Windows PC computers.

That’s a far cry from the polarized days of yore, when even joking that you had a Windows PC, even if you actually did, would get you banned from the local Mac user group. But is the reason less die-hard Mac heads, or more PC users flirting with and even giving comfort to the enemy?

The stat was one of the headliners of NPD Group’s dubiously named “2009 Household Penetration Study,” which was released yesterday. PC World lists the details of the report, which includes statistics regarding the presence of PCs and Macs in U.S. households.

Mac ownership is up to 12 percent from only 8 percent in 2008, a 4 percent increase over the course of only one year. A lot of those new Mac owners probably aren’t in the habit of throwing away perfectly good computers, even if they are Windows machines, which could account for some of that 85 percent.

The study also found that Mac owners are unusually covetous of gadgetry. Two-thirds of Mac-owning households have three or more computers, and they also generally own at least twice as many electronic devices as the average PC owner. Specifically, Apple (s aapl) fans generally own 48 gadgets vs. the average of 24. Finally, I can tell my friends and family that what they think is a tech addiction is actually par for the course among people with Mac love.

npd_studyApple owners are also much more likely to go mobile, with 72 percent going with a notebook, vs. only 60 percent in Windows households. Sort of explains why the Starbucks window always looks like a Macbook showroom.

By comparison, the number of Windows PC households that have more than three computers stands at only 36 percent, which is almost three times less than their Mac counterparts. If I was in Windows marketing, I’d probably ask why Mac users feel that they need more than three computers to do the same work as just one or two of their PC equivalents. I suspect the real reason has more to do with Mac users loving their computers as objects, independent of what they can do with them.

So I feel pretty pigeonholed following this report. I own five computers, one of which is a PC, and at least 48 gadgets are scattered around my apartment. I also own three notebooks. Anyone else feel like the nail being hit on the head after reading this?