Apple: Mountain Lion Hits A Record 3 Million Downloads2:42 PM EST Mon. Jul. 30, 2012
More than 3 million copies of Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion have been downloaded in just four days, Apple confirmed Monday, as Mac users flock to the software’s 200-plus new features and tighter integration with iCloud.
Apple launched its ninth generation operating system for its Mac line of desktops and notebooks last week, bringing with it a slew of new features that will make users’ Mac experience more closely resemble that of the mobile iOS experience delivered with Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
Users can upgrade from their current Lion or Snow Leopard operating systems to Mountain Lion by downloading the OS from the Mac App Store for $19.99. Apple said the release has been its most successful Mac OS to date, setting a new record for downloads.
"Just a year after the incredibly successful introduction of Lion, customers have downloaded Mountain Lion over 3 million times in just four days, making it our most successful release ever," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement.
Michael Oh, founder and president of Boston-based Apple solution provider Tech Superpowers, predicted that part of Mountain Lion's initial success would be due to the model through which users can buy it. Starting with Mountain Lion's predecessor OS Lion, users could download the new operating systems through the Mac App Store, rather than having to purchase and install them from a disc. Most users, he said, have grown accustomed to this model from using iOS devices, which could be a driver behind Mountain Lion’s growth.
"Certainly, I agree that the number of downloads and activity we have seen around Mountain Lion has been very successful so far," Oh told CRN. "And even compared to Lion, which was the first release of an OS in the App Store and sort of the mechanism Apple is using, ... we see that things are much smoother."
Mountain Lion is also less expensive than Lion, Oh noted, which sold for $29.99.
New functionality delivered with Mountain Lion, such as the inclusion of iOS-native features like iMessage, could also be fueling adoption. With iMessage, Mac users can send instant messages to others users on a Mac, iPhone or iPad, and with the new Notification Center, another iOS-centric feature, users can receive and review all texts, news and other alerts from a single central management console.
But, perhaps the most significant update seen with Mountain Lion is its native integration with Apple’s homegrown cloud service iCloud. Users of the new OS will now have the ability to automatically synchronize and share files and apps between their Macs, iPhones and iPads. When a note is taken or a document is edited, updates will automatically be pushed out to all Apple devices.
NEXT: How Mountain Lion, iCloud Will Fare In The Enterprise
Tech Superpowers' Oh said this new iCloud feature presents the biggest opportunity for Apple partners to step in and help clients get up and running with Mountain Lion in the enterprise. Namely, Oh sees an opportunity to educate clients about the inherent security risks of iCloud, as it is primarily a consumer-oriented solution.
"IT providers like us need to take that proactive educational role and say iCloud is not the end all be all for [enterprise file sharing]," Oh said.
Though many of the 3 million Mountain Lion downloads were most likely made by consumers, the new OS will inevitably make its way into the enterprise as part of the consumerization of IT, Oh noted. At this point, his role educating clients about the security limitations of iCloud will become more and more important.
"When new OSes come out, we have to deal with sort of the ripples in the pond that happen from there," he told CRN.
Though iCloud may be more of a consumer-focused tool, Oh did say that Apple’s inclusion of its Gatekeeper technology within Mountain Lion is a sign that the company is embracing a more enterprise-ready line of thinking. Gatekeeper protects users from downloading and installing malicious apps on their Macs by blocking files created by malware developers.
"We are certainly seeing that they are engaging more in [enterprise security], and we certainly welcome Apple to participate more in the discussion," Oh said. "But, there is still a lot of work to be done."
PUBLISHED JULY 30, 2012