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Is Apple about to end its support of OS X Snow Leopard?

On Monday, Apple sent out updates for Safari 6 and Safari 7. Those updates applied to OS X Lion, which was released in 2011, OS X Mountain Lion, which hit the light of day in 2012, and OS X Mavericks, which was released less than two months ago this year.

Interestingly though, the updates did not apply to OS X Snow Leopard, which was released in 2009. The update snub is a likely indication that Apple is about to cease its support for the operating system, which is roughly four years old at this point. The most current version of Safari for Snow Leopard is 5.1.10, which was last updated back in September.

However, as is the case with PC users and past versions of Windows including 7 and XP, a significant amount of Mac users are clinging to OS X Mountain Lion as well. As of last month, over 20 percent of all Macs were running Mountain Lion. Meanwhile, Mavericks was found on 32 percent of all machines running any versions of OS X.

Though Microsoft has an entire page dedicated to operating system support policies, Apple is on the other end of the spectrum on this issue, making it impossible to determine when Apple will drop support for a particular version of OS X, leaving users guessing. What certainly helps those running a version of OS X prior to Mavericks is the fact that Mavericks, unlike past versions of OS X, is free of charge. As long as you meet the system requirements, that is.

In case you’re wondering, Mavericks is free for Mac users running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and up. At least it won’t cost anyone who meets this criteria to move up to Mavericks once Apple decides to halt support for Lion and Mountain Lion as well.