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Steve Jobs' wealth shrinks; Mac online share grows

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is revealed to be the No. 43 wealthiest American with a net worth of $5.1 billion; and since the launch of Snow Leopard, the share of Mac OS X machines online has grown 5 percent.

Jobs in top 50 on Forbes list

Forbes this week released its annual list of the 400 wealthiest people in America. Coming in at No. 43 was Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who lost an estimated $600 million from last year's worth. Still, it's been a good year for Jobs, as his company's stock value has more than doubled since its low in January of this year.

Calling him the "cultish king of the iGeeks," the report noted that Jobs took a leave of absence early this year for health reasons, but made a triumphant return to his company this summer.

The 54-year-old famously takes a salary of only $1 for his work at Apple, but receives millions in compensation in the form of stock options.

The report said that the CEO's best investment was purchasing Pixar from George Lucas in 1986 for $10 million. He sold the company to Disney in 2006 for $7.4 billion in stock.

Snow Leopard launch sees Mac adoption

Since its debut one month ago, Snow Leopard has seen adoption by nearly one in five Mac users on the Web, data from Net Applications released Thursday shows. The survey is compiled from browser data of about 160 million visits to Web sites from all over the globe.

But as noted by Fortune Brainstorm Tech, during the same frame, total Mac share online grew 5 percent in September to 5.12 percent, up from 4.87 percent worldwide in August.

Whether Snow Leopard is specifically driving Mac adoption is not known but, given the timing, is likely a major factor. The study found that 18.45 percent of Mac users have upgraded to Snow Leopard since its Aug. 28 release.

Last month, NPD Market Research revealed that Mac OS X 10.6 sold twice as well as Leopard and four times better than Tiger, Snow Leopard's two predecessors. Specific sales figures were not released in the study. However, analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray predicted that Apple would sell 5 million copies of the operating system during the September launch window.