Apple Mac OS X Mountain Lion Reportedly on 3.2 Percent of Macs

Ad and analytics firm Chitikas says that after only two days on the market, the new Mountain Lion OS is being adopted faster than its predecessor.

Apple€™s new Mac OS X Mountain Lion is being embraced by users more quickly that past versions of the operating system, according to one report.

Chitika, an advertising and analytics firm, said in a blog post July 27 that 3.2 percent of Macs are running the highly praised version 10.8 of the OS, just two days after it was released. That compares with its predecessor, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which took three months to reach 14 percent share, according to Chitika.

Pricing and the high number of new features are helping drive the adoption, Chitika officials said.

€œIt is rather impressive for an operating system to capture 3.2% of market Web usage after just 48 hours on the market,€ they said in the blog post. €œSuch figures are likely supported by a relatively low price point for the operating system as well as an expansive list of desired feature improvements.€

In all, Mountain Lion boasts some 200 new features, from replacing iChat with iMessage€”also found in the iOS mobile operating system€”to adding Gatekeeper, which Apple officials have said will protect users from downloading and installing malicious applications. The new Mac OS X also improves users€™ abilities to easily export such files as images and documents to social media and email, lets users share their screens on a big-screen Apple TV-enabled television with AirPlay Mirroring, and enables full integration with iCloud, allowing users to do everything from synchronize content across devices to ensure that a document€™s latest version is up-to-date across all products.

As for pricing, Mountain Lion can be downloaded through the Apple App Store for $19.99, down from the typical $29.99 Apple has charged for new versions in recent years.

Mountain Lion has been getting solid reviews. At USA Today, Edward Baig noted in a July 25 column the myriad new features coming to the operating system, adding that the €œcollective changes in Mountain Lion are worth the relatively modest $19.99 price to upgrade, though you'll have to wait for some features. For example, the ability to display and keep your Facebook friends data fresh in the newly renamed Contacts app€”it had been called the Address Book€”comes as part of another software update this fall.€

Baig and other reviewers also pointed out that Apple, through the additional features, is moving Mac OS X closer to iOS, saying that €œApple takes the Mac on a path that will look awfully familiar to users of the iPad and iPhone. But the added features should please the Mac faithful just the same.€

However, in a July 25 review, Brian Heater at Engadget said that while Mountain Lion justifies its $19.99 price and that many of the new features will be welcomed by Mac users, Apple needs to make a €œbold new pronouncement on the desktop front.€

€œThe company appears to have most of its resources invested in the mobile side€”and there's no question as to why: the iPhone and iPad have reinvigorated the company, making it a computing player on a scale that no one (save, perhaps, for Jobs himself) could have predicted a decade ago,€ Heater wrote. €œStill, it might be hard for OS X users not to feel neglected€”many of the latest new features feel a bit like iOS hand-me-downs. When and if Apple rolls out a new operating system this time next year, hopefully we'll be seeing a very different side of Mac OS.€

Mountain Lion also will probably get a boost from not being Lion, the Mac OS X 10.7 predecessor that was not warmly embraced by Mac users. According to Chitika€™s numbers, Snow Leopard€”version 10.6€”is found in 45.51 percent of Macs. By contrast, Lion is found in 34.97 percent. Chitika analysts said Apple could see a significant bump to Mountain Lion as Snow Leopard users opt to jump over Lion rather than upgrade to that OS first.

€œWhile over 45% of users still operate on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, anybody using 10.6.6 or higher is eligible for the upgrade to 10.8,€ they said. €œThose who skipped the upgrade to Lion, which had mixed reviews, may be more inclined to make the jump to Mountain Lion.€