ChangeWave Research sees Mac OS X Leopard driving Mac sales in the first quarter of 2008.

In its latest report exploring PC market trends, the analysts conclude that Leopard is giving Apple an edge in sales for the coming quarter - in fact, Mac sales are set to hit new all-time highs.

"Not only is Apple maintaining the highest satisfaction levels among all manufacturers, but consumer purchases over the next 90 days look exceptionally robust," the researchers note.

ChangeWave also points out that 24 per cent of those surveyed for the purposes of the research said the release of Leopard would make them more likely to buy a Mac in future. These observations were also seen in research into corporate buying habits.

The conclusion? "Over the next 90 days, Mac laptop and desktop sales to consumers will remain the biggest growth story in the PC industry – driven in part by the new Leopard operating system. Moreover, Apple’s corporate market share is increasing as well," said ChangeWave.

Statistically, interest in purchasing Mac desktops across the next ninety days climbed 6 points to 29 per cent; laptops climbed one percentage point to 29 per cent. There were even signs of renewed Mac interest in the corporate markets, the researchers said.

Word of mouth counts, too: Apple achieved an 80 per cent 'very satisfied' level among its existing customers.