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Snow Leopard Remains the Most Popular Version of OS X

1. Cover, Snow Leopard Still King
A new study of Mac OS X web traffic shows that Snow Leopard is still the leading version of OS X as of March fourteenth 2013. The stats breakdown to Mountain Lion sitting at 28%, Lion at 27% and Snow leopard as the leader at 35%.


The Chitika study also states that the fragmentation of Mac OS X into three camps makes it difficult for developers that need to create software for three different OS versions. This will get more complicated with the release of Mac OS X 10.9 due to arrive this fall.


Snow Leopard was publicly unveiled on June 8, 2009 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. On August 28, 2009, it was released worldwide.


While it's difficult to believe that Macites are still on an OS version that's three and half years old, the stats could very well be representative of the numbers of Macs in the workplace. It's a common IT department practice to not adopt the latest and greatest version of an OS until the bugs are worked out. Microsoft had a similar problem with their workplace base not wanting to move from Windows XP years ago.


With that understanding, the fragmentation of Mac OS X isn't all that dramatic. 


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Jack Purcher

I appreciate all of the great feedback.



I've worked in corporate IT and all the reasons above are valid.

I have a different reason. I have a late 2006 iMac - Core 2 Duo. The motherboard is limited to 3GB. Lion runs on it but not quickly. Snow Leopard runs like a rocket on it. There are no special advantages to Lion (full screen is nice and it can do iCloud). But that's about it. The iMac is 7 years old but it's big, fast and the hard disk drive is only half-full. No need to replace it yet. I can afford to replace it and I can afford the cost of Lion. But I see no need.

There are many reasons to keep Snow Leopard.

Peggy O

I'm with you Scott. I panic at the thought of when I will need to replace my computer because I know it won't come with the choice of using the 10.6 version.


Actually, the lack of boxed software is a real problem for me at my workplace. Before I could get a purchase order, go to the university bookstore, buy the software and install it on all 30 of my machines. Now, the accounting department does not want to give me the credit card information to buy and download apps. I have paid it out of my own pocket and upgraded the one on my desk. All other machines have been left with Snow Leopord and other legacy software.

Our university does not have any licensing deal like they have with Microsoft. But, then again, I don't know anyone who has a site license from Apple.


"While it's difficult to believe that Macites are still on an OS version that's three and half years old, the stats could very well be representative of the numbers of Macs in the workplace"

I noticed this with my friends also. Many of them stayed in Snow Leopard, they don't feel like the newest OS would bring much to what they already do on a computer.

These friends are not much interested in tech, they just own an Apple computer, are really happy about it and don't necessarily want anything to change on their computer.

Mission Control and Full Screen are what scare these people most in my opinion.


Nope, but I think that it would push most of people from Lion to Mountain Lion


Is $20 really too much to pay for a new OS?


Or just feel free to upgrade to an SSD drive. This has been a sizable performance upgrade for me even more than the processor change.


I love Snow Leopard and don't like any of the new features in Lion or Mountain Lion.

Basically you'll have to pry 10.6.8 out of my cold stiff fingers. It's the OS X version which just works. 10.5 was pretty good too. As Apple doesn't release computers with 10.6.8 anymore, I've stopped buying their computers (was at about six/year for myself/company). A very expensive decision to deny backwards compatibility.

Constable Odo

I set up a Mountain Lion external drive to see how well it would work with my 24" iMac 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo and I absolutely could not tolerate the slowdown. I tried and I didn't like it. So, as long as I have this particular iMac, Snow Leopard is here to stay. I have a late 2012 Mac Mini 2.3 GHz i7 quad-core and it runs very nicely with Mountain Lion, however, I would downgrade it to Snow Leopard, if it were at all possible, just to get that more oomph out of it. For me, there really isn't reason to upgrade to Mountain Lion unless I bought the fastest iMac available which is the 3.4 GHz i7 CTO machine. That's the only way I'd upgrade to Mountain Lion willingly.


in a word!..... Rosetta!

It would cost me thousands of dollars, to upgrade all the software I use that's PowerPC, that all work just fine, and don't want to upgrade them, even if they were free! because I would have to relearn the new versions, for example I have Photoshop from the original creative suite, I don't use it professionally it works just fine for my purposes, and have no desire to get
or learn all of its new bells and whistles, programmers can't seem to leave good enough alone, a lot of times when you get your new version of whatever software you're using it is so different, it's hardly recognizable as the same program, version, to version.


I hope they make OS upgrades for free via Mac App Store just like it is for iOS. That would make most of people to get on the latest version, since Mac App Store is available for Snow Leopard users too ( OS X 10.6.6 and later).

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