Not so with Windows. Enterprises -- and they control hundreds of millions of PCs worldwide -- are conservative organizations and historically lethargic in adopting a new OS, a characteristic that inevitably lengthens uptake and turning what for OS X is a trend line that rises sharply into one for Windows that rise ever-so-slowly.
For example, it took Windows 7 more than a year-and-a-half to reach a 30 percent share of all Windows PCs. OS X 10.7, aka Lion did, that in a third the time.
Net Applications' latest statistics also showed a very close race between Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion for the OS X usage crown. At the end of November, the trio were virtually tied for share, with Snow Leopard leading at 30 percent of all Macs, and Lion and Mountain Lion in second and third place, with 29.9 percent and 29.3 percent.
Snow Leopard, a keeper for many Mac owners, may be Apple's version of Windows XP, the Microsoft OS that defies obsolescence. Last month, Snow Leopard lost 1.4 percentage points, about the same as the month before. Lion also lost 1.4 points. Mountain Lion picked up the slack from both, as well as a smaller number of defections from 2007's Leopard, to gain 3.5 points.
Net Applications measures operating system usage by tracking unique visitors to approximately 40,000 Web sites. More information about its November stats can be found on the company's website.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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