One of the things I’ve always appreciated about Apple is how they approach upgrades. While companies like Microsoft sell their operating systems at an exorbitant licensing cost, Apple has favored an approach in which they release their operating system upgrades either for free (as with iOS) or at a low cost that anyone can afford.
The benefits are big. Updated versions of operating systems tend to be more secure, which helps guarantee OS X’s lead over Windows when it comes to malware. Naturally, then, Mac users tend to adopt new versions of OS X faster than Windows users upgrade, but the statistical disparity might surprise you.
According to a new study by Net Applications measuring operating system and browser adoption rates amongst visitors of about 40,000 web sites, Lion and Mountain Lion were both installed on 29% of all Macs within five months of release. Snow Leopard fared slightly better and was installed on 32 percent of all Macs within five months.
How does Windows compare? Not well. The best-selling version of Windows to date is Windows 7, which was installed on only 11% of all PICs after five months. Vista fared even worse, having showed up on only 5% of all PCs after five months.
What about Windows 8? Well, it’s too early to say, but it looks like it’s more a Vista than a 7. No surprise, really, given what a huge paradigm shift it is from the standard Windows experience.