OS X Snow Leopard stubbornly rejects retirement
Extends its run of trumping newer OS X Lion in usage share to four straight months
Computerworld - Apple's OS X Snow Leopard, which shipped in August 2009, continued to resist retirement last month, new data showed.
January statistics from Web analytics vendor Net Applications pegged Snow Leopard's share of all Macs at 28.2%, half a point higher than the 27.7% recorded by OS X Lion.
It was the fourth month in a row that Snow Leopard has been in second place, behind the newest edition, OS X Mountain Lion, but ahead of 2011's Lion.
The numbers illustrate the persistence of Snow Leopard, which has gained a reputation as Apple's version of Microsoft's Windows XP, an OS that stubbornly sticks around.
Meanwhile, Mountain Lion, which Apple shipped in July 2012, again gained ground last month at the expense of its predecessors, ending January in the No. 1 position with 34.5% of all Macs.
Approximately 7% of Mac owners ran 2009's OS X Leopard in January.
Mountain Lion will not remain at the top for long. Apple has committed to an annual operating system upgrade cycle, meaning that OS X 10.9 -- which has not yet been tagged with a feline moniker -- will likely launch this summer.
Unlike Microsoft, Apple has consistently convinced a significant portion of its customers to quickly upgrade to the newest operating system. Unless that pattern changes, by this time next year OS X 10.9 will be the most-used edition.
Snow Leopard users, however, have been more reluctant to upgrade than those running Lion, and the accumulating data hints at a longer-than-usual life for OS X 10.6.
Many have declared that they would not abandon Snow Leopard because it was the last that let users run applications compiled for the PowerPC processor. Although Rosetta, the translation utility that allows PowerPC software to run on Intel-based Macs, is not installed by default on OS X 10.6, it does automatically install the first time a PowerPC program executes. Neither Lion or Mountain Lion support Rosetta, and so are unable to run PowerPC applications.
But Snow Leopard users face a new security challenge this year: Oracle has just provided the final update for Java 6, and without Oracle's help, Apple will undoubtedly also halt its Java security work.
Java 6's successor, Java 7, runs only on Lion and Mountain Lion. That, along with the end of support, means Snow Leopard and Leopard are now out in the cold.
Net Applications measures operating system usage by tracking unique visitors to approximately 40,000 websites. More information about its January stats -- including problems Microsoft's Windows 8 has had growing its share -- 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, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
- Apple signals end to OS X Snow Leopard support
- Apple sneaks Safari update into Snow Leopard
- OS X Snow Leopard stubbornly rejects retirement
- Snow Leopard users: Just try to pry this from my cold, dead hands
- Apple goes against grain, extends support for Snow Leopard
- Mac users left wondering if OS X Snow Leopard's retired
- Opinion: In depth with Apple's Snow Leopard Server
- Apple fixes data deletion bug in Snow Leopard, blocks Atom 'hackintoshes'
- Smackdown: Windows 7 takes on Apple's Snow Leopard
- Snow Leopard sales roar out the gate
Read more about Mac OS X in Computerworld's Mac OS X Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Mac OS X White Papers | Webcasts