Apple has been getting mostly positive feedback on its just-released OS X Mountain Lion desktop operating system — and Mac users seem to be embracing the new release. According to digital ad network Chitika, OS X Mountain Lion accounted for 3.2 percent of the entire Mac OS X market within just 48 hours of its launch. Mountain Lion’s adoption rate puts it well ahead of its predecessor, Mac OS X Lion: it took three months to achieve a 14 percent share, and peaked below 35 percent.
In addition to positive reviews, Apple’s decision to offer Mountain Lion for just $19.99 is a likely factor in Mac users’ willingness to adopt the operating system. Although Mountain Lion is only available as a digital download from the Mac App Store — customers can’t get Mountain Lion from a retailer or an Apple Store — digital availability may also be encouraging early adoption, since the new OS can theoretically be installed anywhere their Mac has a decent Internet connection. Customers with high-speed Internet connections can start their download and installation process, then largely walk away and let it proceed unattended. So far, there have been remarkably few reports of failed installations of systems being rendered inoperable by installing Mountain Lion — although that’s no excuse for not making a full bootable backup before installing the new system.
Chitika’s numbers are based on connections to sites with advertisements served by the company: when a device (like a computer) connects, it reports information about its browser and operating system. According to the firm, the most-common version of Mac OS X on the market remains Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” with a 45.5 percent share. That’s followed by Lion with a nearly 35 percent share, then Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (the last version that supported PowerPC Macs) with a 13.56 percent share. Mountain Lion’s 3.2 percent share already eclipses Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which is poking along with almost a 2.8 percent share: Tiger was the last version of Mac OS X to support the pre-Mac OS X “Classic” environment. Other analytics and monitoring firms have not corroborated Chitika’s data, and Apple hasn’t yet released any information on Mountain Lion sales.
Adoption of Mountain Lion will only accelerate: new Macs are now sold with Mountain Lion as the pre-installed operating system, and Apple has worked hard to scrub Lion from the universe: Mac OS X 10.7 is no longer available from the Mac App Store, and although there are a few reports to the contrary, Apple seems to have pulled Mac OS X 10.7 USB sticks from its retail locations.