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Snow Leopard still more popular than Lion

Ed, Jan 07 2013 09:43 PM in Apple News

Version 10.6 of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard, ended 2012 as still the second most popular Mac operating system, beaten only by the current version, Mountain Lion, and just edging its successor, Lion, which sits in third place according to stats from netmarketshare.com for December 2012.

Despite being originally released in 2009, Snow Leopard is still a favourite amongst many Mac users, including many x86 enthusiasts, thanks in part to its stability and optimisations, but also arguably due to a lack of killer features from successive versions of Apple's desktop operating system, not to mention the slow evolution towards a more iOS-like look and feel, which may not be to every Mac user's tastes.

Apple even took the step of re-introducing the boxed copy of Snow Leopard to its Apple Store just a couple of months ago; a move that surprised many given the company's forward-thinking approach of ditching physical distribution of its last two major versions of the Mac OS in favour of digital downloads, let alone reselling an outdated version.

Let us know if you're still sticking with 10.6 or how you feel about 10.7 and 10.8 compared to 10.6. Are Snow Leopard users hindering the progress of Apple's desktop future by creating demand for an outdated OS? Or does Apple need to re-think its desktop OS strategy and analyse why users are sticking with Snow Leopard?

SL to me was the most stable and fav OS X version to date for me. Lion wasn't a particular fav but I still keep a SL partition around alongside my ML for things like ppc aps that no longer work in today's OS X.
Hey Jason, do you know how many other Lion's updates there will be? :)
I reckon there won't be anymore if you ask me but Apple may pull a 10.6.9 update so just in case you wanted to give that SL another update.

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I'm still using SL. Mainly cos' I can't upgrade the hardware for it to be compatible with anything newer then SL. I haven't had an opportunity to play with ML/LI yet (enough to draw any conclusions at least), but there is nothing in SL, that I could hate or dislike, that would justify an upgrade. Sure, it might change with different (newer) hardware.

IMO SL was the last "true" Mac OS X (having in mind that Steve Jobs most likely took part in the development). Not that I have anything against ML or LI, but these last two looks like tad out off course of how previous versions were developing.

Probably there is something that Apple should rethink if an outdated OS is that popular. It reminds me XP vs Vista situation. Eventually MS released W 7 which is far more popular then Vista.
Snow Leopard is by far the finest piece of software Apple has ever released. Lion was a mistake. Mountain Lion is ok, but I've never appreciated the fact that Apple is basically forcing users to upgrade in order to have the iCloud facilities. For instance, I use iMessage a lot.
I personally prefer Lion to Mountain Lion, as my GPU doesn't support Snow Leopard and it's freezing a lot on Mountain Lion.
I'm using SL 10.6.8 too. I cannot use the latest versions of some apps such as TotalFinder, PathFinder. They put the requirements to 10.7 or later :(
old stuff = old os
i think so..
and besides snow can do everything like ML
The only reason I bought an "old" (Early 2011) MBP 15" was the ability to install 10.6. I'll keep it that way until at least one of my very favorite program ask for update that is 10.7+ only

I hate Apple for being M$ minded and cutting support for older hardware.
As for Tiger, Apple made a really good job on Snow. The ability to run UB and PPC apps, essencial for a lot of prepress apps (even today) makes this OS the correct choice for many users that in other side, are not confortable with the iOS-style appeared in the next releases.
I am really happy to hear this. I downgraded both my Macs from Lion ( never upgraded the hackintosh) to SL. Super fast and super stable. Tried ML for a month and again went to SL.
i have a Dell XPS 17 with 2nd generation core i7 and with integrated intel hd 3000 and has 8 gigs of ram, but for me snow 10.6.8 feels seriously smooth in graphics transitions and even overall os feels more polished & light.

But i keep on hearing that ML is more polished in its reviews, but i never felt that in reality.Whenever i tried ML, i returned back to SL with in hours.

I am hoping at least this time Apple makes a more lighter ( in using resources as well as look & feel) & polished 10.9 instead of concentrating on adding features from iOS and making it heavier.

Yeah, I will always have to keep my SL partition handy in my Mac triple-boot since that's what my boatloader boots from and also b/c Apple screwed me over disabling PowerPC apps from working on Lion and ML. 10.7.5 gave me tremendous problems so I had to downgrade to 10.7.4. Now that I think about, I might just get rid of Lion, and keep SL and ML. 3 Mac partions maybe overkill...
Still using Snow Leopard (because its stable and everything apart from SD/Microphone works.) I have updated to Lion at one point, but it was a big laggy with animations, my GPU isn't that strong in my laptop. I haven't fully given Mountain Lion a go on it, but I've used it on a MacBook and it's slow as hell. Don't fancy that.
Snow Leopard was much stable than two latest versions Lion & ML.
I'm still thinking to back to SL. HW: iMac MC813 early 2011.
yeah i just saw the official apple video for mountain lion - a bunch of features i don't really want. maybe i will upgrade to lion eventually when there is better AMD support. however i only recently installed snow leopard, and on an old hitachi hard drive, and it is FAST - much faster than windows xp

I think SL is much more responsive then ML. I noticed this on an i7 too, so my little core duo laptops will stay SL.

I'm on Maverick DP for a month and haven't found single stability issue till now. After reading this thread thinking about installing SL as dual boot :-)

3 of 4 computers in my house run snow leopard. The fourth runs linux... the beta 2 elementary

I think compatibility makes it popular. Snow Leopard can be installed in all PCs at least Pentium 4 3GHz (Prescott) while Lion and Mount Lion require at least Core 2 Duo system. Also Rosetta is very important for old applications. I recently installed MacOS 10.5 Leopard on a real PowerPC Mac. The owner is a graphic artist that is used to certain versions of Photoshop and Illustrator. All of them work without any problem up to Snow Leopard. In Lion and Mountain Lion he would need to buy newer versions that apart from the associated cost, he would have hard time to master. When you use a computer for work you don't want to lose any time for training, you want to be ready for work at once. So I prefer Snow Leopard over newer versions. Beside some new features, I didn't see anything else that you cannot live without. The biggest problem is upgrading to 10.6.8 since if not done correctly, the system will not boot. I had Snow Leopard installed on an Acer AspireOne 150 netbook and could do all upgrades up to 10.6.7 without any problem. After each combo upgrade I simply replaced the mach_kernel file with the custom Atom kernel one and it worked. But when I did the mistake to upgrade to 10.6.8 the system never booted again. I didn't have the courage to reinstall MacOS and all applications from scratch, so I just deleted the Mac partition and expanded Windows to take all disk.

10.6.8 was one of the easiest updates ever for my AMD machine. Perhaps that can be explained by the fact i'm used to legacy kernels and other patches since the beginning because of lack of AMD CPUs support by OSX. As far as i can remember, the transition to 10.7.4 was way harder, but those times we had only an incomplete 32-bit only kernel to rely upon.


On topic: the popularity of Snow Leo is just like Windows XP long lasting following: people tend to stick to systems the know well, as long as they fullfil their needs. If it's not broken, why fix it? Since i don't need Rosetta, and i definitely need Logic Pro X, besides my workflow is adjusted to full screen apps and fast and unlimited spaces switch, i simply cannot imagine running anything below 10.8.4. To be candid, i'm on Mavericks most of the time, because of independent screen management and overall performance, despite some glitches typical of a developer preview OS (some plugins refuse to load, autosleep won't happen, Safari misbehaves sometimes etc). Snow Leo was the champ of its time - not that Windows 7 SP1 wasn't also good - but it cannot keep the pace: it's simply too slow (and gives the deceiving impression of being faster just because it boots and shuts down faster), too outdated, lacking too many features that made my work easy and pleasant on OSX. If feels old, just like XP in a certain way.


All the best!

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