Although Apple, like most software developers, is keen to have everyone update their systems to the latest version all of the time, that’s rarely the case for a user base of millions. One way to encourage people to fall in line is to produce updates to the latest versions, but not every developer does that frequently. Apple has just recently released an update for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the first one it has made available since 2013.
In this case, however, the patch isn’t designed to encourage continued usage of the outdated OS version, but to make sure it’s possible for those running it to still upgrade. The update refreshes the digital certificate for 10.6, which may otherwise expire, leaving users unable to access the mac app distribution system. Without that, accessing the upgrade to 10.11 El Capitan would not be possible.
This update also lets users continue to buy and run applications from the store, which keeps those older OS users earning money for Apple and the app makers, even if they don’t choose to update.
There are quite a few users running older versions of OSX, according to Net Applications (via PCWorld), which suggests that just under five percent of all Mac users are still running Snow Leopard. However, that is far behind the nearly 12 percent who are using the 10.9 Mavericks release and the 42.6 percent running the latest El Capitan version.
Apple hasn’t released much of an official statement on the debut of the 10.6 update, and some have speculated that this could be because previous updates have caused issues with digital certificates, preventing users from using their applications. That left Apple with some real egg on its face, so it may be hoping to avoid a repeat of that experience with pre-emptive certificate refreshes.
One reason users give for running the older OS version is because it was the last to be compatible with older 32bit processors and the PowerPC CPUs used in early ’00s Macs. If you’re running 10.6 or another older version of the OS X operating system, what’s your reasoning?