Apple's OS X Mountain Lion is off to a solid start in its first 48 hours and now powers more than 3% of all Macs, an online advertising network said today.
Chitika, which regularly mines its ad impression data for trends in operating system and browser usage, reported Friday that two days after its introduction, OS X Mountain Lion accounted for 3.2% of all versions of Apple's operating system.
OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, retained the top spot in Chitika's ranking with a 45.5% share, while Lion, or version 10.7, accounted for 35%.
In an email touting its findings, Chitika characterized Mountain Lion's 3.2% as "rather impressive," and predicted that the new OS would "do much better" than its 2011 predecessor, Lion.
Other Web measurement firms have not corroborated Chitika's data. Irish analytics company StatCounter does not break out individual OS X versions and U.S.-based Net Applications does not automatically disclose its daily numbers to the public or the press.
Net Applications' data for OS X editions, however, shows different shares for the various versions now in use.
Earlier this month, Net Applications said Lion accounted for 46% of all copies of OS X in use during June, a significantly higher number than Chitika's, and that Snow Leopard's share stood at 38%, much lower than the ad company's figure for the 2009 operating system.
Nor has Apple revealed any information about how many copies of Mountain Lion have been downloaded since the upgrade hit the Mac App Store early Wednesday. Mountain Lion has held the No. 1 spot on the e-market's bestselling paid app list since then, however.
Apple was quick to boast of Lion's success last year. A day after Lion's launch, Apple issued a press release claiming that it had distributed more than 1 million copies of OS X 10.7 from the Mac App Store in the first 24 hours.
Last year, Net Applications reported that Lion had accumulated a 5.5% share of all copies of OS X after 12 days. Apple started selling Lion on July 20, 2011.
Chitika based its expectation of a better result by Mountain Lion on its lower price -- OS X 10.8 sells for $19.99, a third less than Lion last year -- and the upgrade's upbeat reviews.
Mountain Lion is available only through the Mac App Store, and can be installed on some, though not all, Intel-based Macs currently running either Snow Leopard or Lion.
Together, those two editions accounted for 84% of all Macs in June.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.