updated 02:55 pm EST, Mon December 2, 2013
Free upgrade spurs quick adoption
Mavericks is already the predominant version of OS X in use by the public, according to November tracking data from Net Applications. During that month, Mavericks' share rose from 0.84 percent to 2.42 percent of the Mac's total global share of 7.55 percent. Mountain Lion's share, meanwhile, plummeted from 3.31 percent to 1.85, while Lion dipped from 1.56 percent to 1.34. Leopard and Snow Leopard, already marginal platforms, dropped only slightly, slipping from 0.33 and 1.6 percent to 0.32 and 1.53 percent, respectively.
Mavericks was only released on October 22, making its adoption extremely rapid. The shift is presumably due to Mavericks being free or charge, unlike all of its predecessors. Apple had made releases from Snow Leopard on up very inexpensive, somewhere between $20 and $30 dollars, but with the latest release it changed the price to free.
The Mac user base's overall share, as measured by active Internet usage, crept just over 7.5 percent -- with the Intel-only releases of OS X accounting for all but 0.09 percent of that. Windows, though, remains in firm control of the overall desktop OS landscape, holding a 90.88 percent share. Linux systems account for just 1.56 percent.
OS X by OS version