Mavericks now runs on 40 percent of Macs five months after release

Mavericks now runs on 40 percent of Macs five months after release

Summary: Five months after Apple released OS X Mavericks, the desktop OS now runs 40 percent of Macs.


The uptake of the latest version of OS X always runs at a far slower pace than that of iOS but, according to online ad network Chikita, Mavericks has seen the fastest rate of adoption among Apple's recent desktop OSes.

"At 40 percent, the share of OS X web traffic generated by Mavericks users is approximately six percentage points higher than what OS X Mountain Lion achieved nearly 14 months following its public debut, and 13 percentage points higher what was recorded at the seven-month mark," the company says in its latest report on OS X distribution.

Chikita's analysis is based on web traffic generated from Macs in the US and Canada across 350,000 websites in its network that were catalogued between March 17 through March 23 2014.

Of course, one reason why Mavericks might have edged ahead of its predecessors is that Apple made it a free upgrade for all supported hardware when the OS was released last year, mirroring its strategy for OS upgrades for its iDevices.

OS X distribution for March 2014
OS X distribution for March 2014. Image: Chikita

On the other hand, given that it is free, perhaps it's surprising that uptake hasn't been faster. However, as Chikita notes, unlike iOS system updates that are pushed out to users, Mac owners weren't "actively solicited" to update to Mavericks. Though, it adds, this may change in future with Apple's addition of autoupdate features that check for app and system updates.

When it comes to getting all devices on to the latest OS, nothing comes close to iOS. Two months after iOS 7's October release it was already installed on 74 percent of iOS devices, making life a little easier for developers by providing a more consistent compatibility base to work with. Today, iOS 7 runs on 85 percent of iOS devices.

At the other spectrum is Android. Five months after Google released Android 4.4 KitKat, the OS runs 2.5 percent of Android devices that connect to Google Play.

And then there's Windows 8, released in October 2012, which runs on 6.3 percent of the world's PCs and Windows 8.1, which runs 4.3 percent of all PCs five months after it was released, according to Net Applications figures.

Microsoft of course is in a different position to Apple in that it relies heavily on revenues from Windows licensing, so while it's free to upgrade from Windows 8, it still costs at least $150 to upgrade from older versions. 

Read more on Mavericks

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Mavericks is the strongest release since Snow Leopard....

    Although Snow Leopard is regarded by many to be OS X at its best (myself included) the release of Mavericks brings significant improvements to the table such as increased battery life on MacBooks which is a major plus. With Mavericks you can get up to an extra hour of productivity when combined with the Haswell MacBooks and significant improvements with Sandy/Ivy Bridge generations by up to half an hour.

    The now fixed SSL/TLS bug aside Mavericks is a major step forward from Mountain Lion with improved integration with iOS and native support for an additional display.

    All in all much OS X goodness.
    • native support for an additional display?

      What do you mean? I've been using an additional display with my 2007 Macbook Pro since I first got it. I disabled the Mavericks way of doing things on my 2013 model as I dislike the way it works.
    • The ring chart's "2%"

      The percentages for Tiger and "Other" are misleading, and at a glance are certainly not both 1%. According to my calculations, the percentage for Tiger is about 0.6% and for "Other" is about 1.2%. Personally, I think these values should have been given to the tenth of a percent.
      • didn't mean to reply to your post

    • Hilarious

      You're part of the minority. Every subsequent OSX release from Apple has been received with a ho-hum, lukewarm response by the Mac community, and rightfully so. Whether it's Lion's grand-canyon sized list of security exploits (after finally adopting ASLR and DEP, 10 years after WinXP), to Mountain Lion's complete abandonment by Apple on the security front, it's not hard to understand.
      • You have a typo...

        "Every subsequent OSX release from Apple has been received with a ho-hum, lukewarm response by the [anti-]Mac community."

        There. Fixed for you.
        • No...Actually it was more accurate as he said it

          Mavericks is a big zero...and I have always loved my Macs...always been an early adapter of the new OS presentations...but like many of us...I hate Mavericks.

          Run 10.6.8 on one machine...and 10.9.2 on I did for months...then tell me how fast and great Mavericks is.
  • Amazon is selling the full version of Windows 8.1 for $103.00

    " still costs at least $150 to upgrade from older versions..."
    • ...and it's still more expensive than FREE

      just sayin'
    • I run Windows on three Macs

      But Mavericks is the OS I use most. I paid just over $100 each for my Windows 7 installs and it occurred to me that as a Mac user, I probably support Microsoft financially more than the average Windows PC owner who likely buys a PC with Windows pre-installed that the maker likely paid Microsoft a fraction of my cost.
      • And Thus:

        the slow uptake is explained!
  • This is an interesting trend..

    My personal experience of it support is that there are a far greater number of pc users who never update anything, and even turn off automatic updates specifically to avoid system notifications. I've routinely seen macs and PC's that haven't had any updates in several years. And that's not even system upgrades.

    I'm wondering if the smartphone is increasing people's awareness of upgrading and updating their devices? We know that update adoption rates increase with watch release on the mobile platform and that some people even consider how likely a handset manufacturer is to issue the latest update when purchasing their device.

    The downside to automatically updating reaching the masses is that we now routinely see smartphones in their recovery modes because someone has pulled the cable out or turned it off in an update and hasn't backed up.
  • many unsuspecting the loss of Mountain Lion though

    Apple was VERY sneaky about the "upgrade", I did it thinking it was something like a security patch, and after it was done, found the damage. It took 2.5 weeks to get my macbook pro back to running order. Mavericks broke almost EVERY program on my laptop! I had to fully wipe the HDD & restore from an image I made the week before I made that mistaken "upgrade".
    Of the 40% number, I wonder how many would love to go back to the previous OS if it did not mean having to lose everything. Aside from sycophants, I have yet to hear any truly positive love of this "Win ME\Win 8" curse of the mac world.
    • No longer love my Mac...

      Mavericks cured me of any love I had for my Macs. I lost count of the things which stopped working as they had done and now they run so slowly. Safari freezes, Mail has a mind of it's own and often opens as a frozen long narrow window and has to be forced to quit. Aperture just threw a fit and started turning images to random blocks of black only cured by having to pay for an unwanted update to a less than loved version! Naturally the printer failed because of lack of driver!

      Worst of all the lack of password before updates means that my partner got flustered into updating Pages with "one click" and loaded a version neither of us wanted and both of us hate.

      If I was paid for the lost time I could just have bought new machines!

      Big update percentage but how many are happy?
      dumb blonde
      • Do as I did....

        Use Mavericks on an external USB hard drive, and boot to it only as required for some of the software out there. Carbon Copy Cloner by Bombich software works great for that. Then stay in 10.6.8 for your every day usage, so the OS does not slow you every OS since Snow Leopard has.

        From your are not so dumb!!!

        Mavericks put it bluntly!
    • Mavericks screwed one thing up for me

      Which was printing to a windows box. Other than that it really doesn't seem that different (except it put a wave on my desktop as wallpaper.)
  • Expectations Fulfilled

    When a company improves their product again and again, their customers come to expect it. So the next improvement is desired, anticipated, and upon arrival--satisfying. Apple has always taken more steps forward than backward with each new version of OS X. Now consider the other scenario, that is, when a company tries to improve their product but fails from time to time. It follows that their customers will not expect improvement to the same extent that the afforementioned customers do. I for one am glad Apple thinks different (than Microsoft).
    • I totally disagree

      Apple has learned nothing from what happened to Microsoft, and is now producing unfinished, slow, and ungainly OS's...that are mainly bloatware and about control.

      Far from enhancing the user experience, the OS's are inherently slower to use, and have become cumbersome.

      I do not want bells and whistles...just an OS that actually works...and Mavericks does not work.

      I was not a fan of Lion...disliked Mountain Lion...absolutely hate Mavericks...and I am not alone.
  • How Many People LOVE Mavericks?

    Mavericks uptake has been brisk, but if you visit online sources, you'll note they're bristling with users complaining about Mavericks, with everything from lost or broken functionality and services, to data corruptions.

    As a data point, my new MacBook Air arrived with Mavericks, and it took quite a bit of trouble-shooting to determine that Mavericks corrupts a 32GB and 64GB volume (USB stick) when copying lots of small files to it. No errors are reported during the copy, but the Disk Utility reports node problems, unmounts the volume, and then won't let you use it.

    Count me as one of the many who has Mavericks, but isn't a fan.
  • So, 60% of Mac users are running OS X Lion and earlier

    I am aware that Apple has provided *some* security updates for OS X Lion, but it's not nearly as secure as running Mavericks. Those that still remain on OS X Snow Leopard are, more or less, equivalent to the soon-to-be Windows XP diehards.
    Rabid Howler Monkey