Mac Users Just Can’t Stop Themselves From Updating To The Latest Version Of OS X

Mac Users Just Can’t Stop Themselves From Updating To The Latest Version Of OS X

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.

  • jarrodbcecil

    I would venture to say that a lot of this has to do with the fact that many windows users don’t have a choice when it comes to their OS, so they’re less invested in the upkeep of their machine. Mac users, on the other hand, experience a more complete computing experience, and updating to the latest and greatest operating system goes hand in hand with the overall Apple experience that they sell.

  • CharilaosMulder

    Windows 8 needs some time to get adopted. Once enough people will have seen it, sales will probably grow. The problem however is the adoption of Windows Phone 8. I’d love to see Windows Phone 8 ruin Android sales, but I’m afraid it’s not going to happen.

  • quzle

    The only reason why Mac OS X updates are so much cheaper is that Mac users have already spent thousands of $$$ on the hardware. So stop making M$ look like the bad guy here. :)

  • shep_76
    The only reason why Mac OS X updates are so much cheaper is that Mac users have already spent thousands of $$$ on the hardware. So stop making M$ look like the bad guy here. :)

    That old chestnut. If you compare a PC with the same specs as a MacBook Pro, including software Apple give you for free, plus what you pay for a windows license, and the high cost of a PC having to run antivirus updates each year, in today’s terms, a Mac is by far a better deal. If you factor in the the high maintenance a PC requires over a lifetime, you are way behind. The only extra cost I’ve spent on my 3 year old MacBook Pro, is a bigger HD. How about you? If cost is the only thing you look at when you buy a computer, then you get what you pay for. And $20 for OS upgrades, not $300-$400, who wins? All the Macs I have had over 12 years, are still running today, while most PCs end up in the dumpster after 5 years. $999 for a MacBook Air, isn’t thousands, btw. Go fish.

    Apple sells the OS upgrade for cheaper because they can make their profits on the hardware. Microsoft does not sell hardware. They are a software company so all of there sales are on the software side. That is why Windows Operating Systems are more expensive. Apple marks up their hardware and then they can sell the software for cheaper or install it for free.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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