1-in-6 Macs run OS X Lion

Adoption picks up in August, first full month of upgrade's availability

One-in-six Macs now runs Apple's latest operating system, a Web metrics company said Thursday.

According to California-based Net Applications, Mac OS X 10.7, aka Lion, accounted for 1% of all desktop operating systems that were used to connect to the Internet last month.

The total usage share of Mac OS X was 6%, said Net Applications.

Apple released Lion on July 20 to the Mac App Store, where the download-only upgrade was priced at $29.99. Two weeks ago, Apple also started selling Lion on a USB flash drive for $69, aiming that version at users who lack a broadband connection to the Internet.

Lion's online usage nearly matched that of Mac OS X 10.5, or Leopard, the edition Apple released in October 2007. At the end of August, Leopard's share was 1.2%.

Mac OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, remained the most widely-used version of Apple's desktop operating system, with an overall share of 3.5%, or 57% of all Macs.

Snow Leopard's share fell by half a percentage point in August as users migrated to Lion.

Mac OS X is still dwarfed by Microsoft's Windows, which powers almost 93% of all desktops and laptops, said Net Applications.

With August's data, Net Applications revamped the way it tracks operating use by separating smartphones and tablets from conventional personal computers, a change the company said was prompted by the rise in mobile browsing.

Net Applications calculates operating system usage share with data obtained from more than 160 million unique visitors who browse 40,000 Web sites that the company monitors for clients. More operating system usage data can be found on the company's site.

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 gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

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