OS X Lion sells 6M copies, grabs 22% share of Mac market

Beat Windows 7 to the 10% penetration mark, boasts CEO Tim Cook

Apple has sold more than six million copies of Mac OS X 10.7, better known as Lion, since its debut in late July, CEO Tim Cook said today.

That number is 80% higher than sales of the previous operating system, Snow Leopard, during a similar stretch in 2009, Cook added during the early minutes of a presentation at the company's Cupertino, Calif. campus to unveil the new iPhone 4S smartphone.

Cook also took a shot at rival Microsoft and its Windows 7 operating system, saying that Lion was powering 10% of all Macs within two weeks of release, compared to Windows 7's taking 20 weeks to match that same level of penetration.

What Cook omitted was Microsoft's much larger share of the operating system market, and thus the need for Windows 7 to sell a much larger quantity of copies to reach a 10% share of all Windows machines.

In September, Microsoft boasted that it had sold more than 450 million copies of Windows 7 since that edition's 2009 debut.

According to Web metrics company Net Applications, Lion was running about 22% of all Macs that went online last month, while its immediate predecessor, Snow Leopard, accounted for 55% of Macs and 2007's Leopard powered about 18%.

Windows 7, meanwhile, finished August with a 35% share of all Windows PCs.

During August, the first full month of its availability, Lion's share of the total Mac OS X market was approximately 17%.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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