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Apple Regularly Convinces Customers to Upgrade OS X, Microsoft Not so Lucky

Apple Regularly Convinces Customers to Upgrade OS X, Microsoft Not so Lucky

Apple consistently convinces a significant portion of its customer base to quickly upgrade to the newest version of its operating system. Microsoft… Not so much.


The last three versions of Apple’s desktop operating system have been adopted at a rate almost three times that of the best-performing edition of Windows, 2009’s Windows 7.

During the first five months of availability for OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion, respectively, almost a third of all Mac owners upgraded to the latest edition. The information comes from a report by California-based Internet metrics firm Net Applications.

Just five months after its launch, Snow Leopard was running on 32% of all Macs, while Lion and Mountain Lion each had made their way onto 29% of all Macs by the end of their fifth month.

Microsoft’s Windows OS had varied success in the same span of time. Windows 7 accounted for only 11% of all Windows PCs, more than doubling Vista’s share of 5% two years earlier.

Windows 8, released in October 2012, is currently on the same acceptance rate as Vista. That could change in upcoming months.

One contributing factor to the consistent upgrade rate for OS X could be related to price. All three of the most recent editions of OS X have cost less than $30. The latest, Mountain Lion, is priced even lower, at $20.

Comparatively, the best Windows 7 deal came during a short $50-per-license deal in the summer of 2009. Windows 8 is currently available at a discounted price of $40, (direct download), which expires at the end of January 2013.

Another factor that could work in OS X’s favor is its small market share. With a 7.3% global usage share, Apple’s OS is still used mostly by consumers who can upgrade whenever they want.

Windows dominates enterprise installations, controlling hundreds of millions of PCs worldwide. Enterprises are historically conservative, and slow to adopt new OS versions.

Net Applications’ latest statistics also showed Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion in a dead heat for OS X usage control. Snow Leopard lead with 30% of all Macs, with Lion and Mountain Lion in second and third place, with 29.9% and 29.3%.

Net Applications measures operating system usage by tracking unique visitors to approximately 40,000 Web sites. More information about its November stats can be found on the company’s website.


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