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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.