OS X Lion sells 6 million copies, grabs 22% share of Mac market

Apple's new operating system beat Windows 7 to the 10 percent penetration mark, boasts CEO Tim Cook

Apple has sold more than six million copies of Mac OS X 10.7, better known as Lion, since its debut in late July, CEO Tim Cook said today.

That number is 80 percent higher than sales of the previous operating system, Snow Leopard, during a similar stretch in 2009, Cook added during the early minutes of a presentation at the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus to unveil the new iPhone 4S smartphone .

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Cook also took a shot at rival Microsoft and its Windows 7 operating system, saying that Lion was powering 10 percent of all Macs within two weeks of release, compared to Windows 7's taking 20 weeks to match that same level of penetration.

What Cook omitted was Microsoft's much larger share of the operating system market, and thus the need for Windows 7 to sell a much larger quantity of copies to reach a 10 percent share of all Windows machines.

In September, Microsoft boasted that it had sold more than 450 million copies of Windows 7 since that edition's 2009 debut.

According to Web metrics company Net Applications, Lion was running about 22 percent of all Macs that went online last month, while its immediate predecessor, Snow Leopard, accounted for 55 percent of Macs and 2007's Leopard powered about 18 percent.

Windows 7, meanwhile, finished August with a 35 percent share of all Windows PCs.

During August, the first full month of its availability, Lion's share of the total Mac OS X market was approximately 17 percent.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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This story, "OS X Lion sells 6 million copies, grabs 22% share of Mac market" was originally published by Computerworld.

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