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Mac OS X Lion growth slows, hits 16% of Mac share

updated 09:05 pm EST, Sat November 12, 2011

Chitika has Lion adoption levelling off

Adoption of Mac OS X Lion has slowed significantly in the past month, Chitika found in its latest web traffic results. While it was up to 14 percent in September after being available for two months, it had moved just two percent more by late October to hit 16 percent of the Mac user base. Snow Leopard still had a clear majority at 55 percent, while even the four years old Leopard was at 22 percent.

Researchers speculated that the slowed rate may have come from trepidation based on early feedback. The issues have usulaly been temporary, but have included Wi-Fi reliability and short battery life on MacBook Pros. Other complaints, such as the at times counter-intuitive default scrolling, might have also played a part, Chitika said.

Not mentioned, but possibly playing a role, are the added performance overhead for some and for the discoverability. Apple sells Lion on USB drives at its stores, but the OS' primary download mechanism is through the Mac App Store. This not only discourages casual upgrades from those who don't know Lion is available but rules it out altogether for those on Leopard and Tiger, who can't see the download option.

The adoption rate is still faster than for Microsoft. Windows 7, now two years into its lifespan, has only just overtaken XP, becoming the first OS to overtake XP since it launched a decade ago. Vista was eclipsed quickly, but primarily because it was unpopular enough both at home and with corporate buyers that Microsoft didn't see as many software upgrades and, in some situations, saw buyers skip buying their usual software upgrades or even skip new PCs to avoid using the 2007-era software.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    XP Effect

    I've not upgraded for the same reason my last employer is still on XP: Snow Leopard is a known quantity, it has no surprises, it works with all of my equipment, simply put it's 'good enough'

    I'll go to Lion with my next MacBook Pro. Until then, there's no reason for me to upgrade.

  1. DoctorGonzo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I love new and shiny things but...

    Lion buggy, and tries to force patterns inherited from a handheld UI onto a desktop UI.

    It also killed Rosetta outright, even though it's something that quite honestly should be a separate purchase from the Mac App store.

  1. chas_m



    Next generation

    To some extent I agree that the non-availability of Lion in stores is hurting adoption, but I think what's really keeping those other numbers up is equipment: there's a HUGE number of last-generation G5 owners and first-gen Intel buyers (even early Core2Duo Intel buyers who incorrectly think Lion is too advanced for their circa 2007-2008 machines) that will be replacing their machines over the next year or two. I'll bet that number jumps up significantly after xmas, and grows steadily in 2012, which would be the four-to-five year mark for 2007-2008 era machines.

  1. facebook_Terri

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    No Rosetta

    The removal of Rosetta is a deal killer for us.

    Not even sure abut the other issues as removing Rosetta means we can't even try Lion.

  1. jfgilbert

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too much of a change in direction

    Apple is oversimplifying its desktop OS, trying to make it easier to use. This does not work well for those who are using it in a professional environment, whether as a development platform, a graphic design workstation or an administrative workhorse. Unnecessary restrictions like the inability to access hidden files, or the removal of "Save as..." in many built-in programs, make it annoying. If I wanted annoying, I would be using Windows, so I will stay with Snow Leopard as long as I can.

  1. graxspoo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not much there for me

    I don't like the gesture business: it's a stretched metaphor. The launch-pad thing is like 'whatever.' 'Mission control?' I don't like spaces widgets or exposé, so that's useless to me. The lack of scroll-bars is weird. Full screen mode: I know how to maximize windows, but thanks. In short, the entire development effort behind Lion was directed at a demographic that doesn't include me. It was aimed at trying to make OS X more of an easy sell to new iOS users. I understand why Apple would want to do that, but for me it isn't worth the upgrade cost, or possible destabilization. I'm also not a big fan of the App Store or the new 'download only' distribution model. Snow Leopard is a great OS. I'm very happy with it. So, I'll wait and see what 10.8 looks like.

  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Lion is not overly simple. In many ways it performs exactly like Snow Leopard. It's not any buggier than Snow Leopard, in fact I find it much more stable. Auto-save can be disabled. And really? Rosetta? PPC has been obsolete since 2006. That's over five years for developers to rewrite their apps. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE.

  1. BlueGonzo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think for most users it's the absence of Rosetta from the OS. It took me about a month to find a replacement for my dear old Freehand. Lion itself is IMHO one of the most stable releases of OS X. If it's not possible for Apple to continue supporting Rosetta as a add on it would be great if Apple allows us to virtualize Snow Leopard (not only the server) with Parallels.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Rosetta here too... a busy business a forced app migration has halted further hardware upgrades. Like dropping QTVR lack of legacy OS support is a gimme that Apple needs to get if they want business adoption/penetration.

    Even a sales rep I spoke to at the Apple store couldn't confirm which OS was on the refurbished systems ? Can you imagine that from a Windoze dealer?

  1. sibeale1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Rosetta, Fuggitaboutit

    People who think Rosetta isn't needed are mostly newbies who don't have 10,000 pre-2005 documents that are valuable and can't be accessed without Rosetta. Apple burned us old-timers once before when they killed ClarisDraw without leaving us any way to access our archival files. Fortunately, third-parties like Intaglio helped out, eventually. We won't get burned again. No lion until Apple gives us a way to access files that depend on Rosetta.

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