Apple just did something the company hasn’t done very often in recent years — it completely surprised nearly every single person with the announcement of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the next OS for the Mac. Inching a step closer to bridging the gap between iOS and OS X, Mountain Lion brings practically all of iOS’s featured apps to desktop and laptop computers. From Messages, which I’ve been waiting for ever since iMessage was announced, to built-in iCloud support, Notification Center, Game Center, Reminders, Notes, a much-improved Safari browser, AirPlay and more, the two OSes are practically the same now in terms of system apps. This is the first developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and the OS will only improve before it is released in the summer. If you’re itching for my thoughts, though, you’ll find them after the break. More →
Following Apple’s blowout December quarter during which it shipped a record 37 million iPhone handsets and 15.4 million iPad tablets, a significant shift has taken place. iOS’s share of U.S. Web traffic as observed during a six-month study conducted by leading ad network Chitika has surpassed Apple’s Mac OS Web traffic share for the first time. Read on for more. More →
Microsoft’s Windows operating system continued its slow decent in September as Apple’s Mac OS and Google’s Android platform again showed gains. Advertising network Chitika’s research division, Chitika Insights, published an infographic on Monday outlining operating system usage share on its network in the month of September. After losing nearly three-quarters of a point last month, Windows again dipped 0.592% to land at 77.7% for the month of September. The Windows OS has now dropped a total of 1.35% since July. Apple’s OS X platform showed the biggest gains in the month, jumping 1.039% to hit double digits at 10.6%. Google’s Android OS gained marginally in September to reach 3.3%, and Apple’s iOS dipped to 5.2%, shedding 0.301% of its usage share as the world waits for the iPhone 5 to launch next month. Chitika’s full infographic follows below. More →
New data shows that usage of Microsoft’s Windows operating system declined so far in August while Apple’s OS X and iOS usage increased, as did usage of Google’s Android OS. Chitika Insights, the research arm of ad network Chitika, published an infographic on Tuesday showing that Windows’ usage share dropped to 78.282% so far in August from 79.049% in July. Mac OS grew from 8.895% in July to 9.551% in August, iOS grew marginally from 5.278% to 5.491% and Android grew from 3.135% to 3.245% in August. During the month in which Linux celebrated its 20th anniversary, usage dropped from 2.365% to 2.191%. Of note, Net Applications showed significantly different OS market share data in July compared to Chitika, with Windows holding 87.6% of the market, Mac owning 5.61%, iOS owning 3% and Android claiming 0.81% of the global OS market. Chitika’s full infographic follows below. More →
Microsoft announced on Monday that it has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses to date, but that hasn’t stopped the tech giant’s share of the global operating system market from sliding. According to market watcher Net Applications’ data for June 2011, Microsoft’s global operating system market share slid to 88.29% as it continued on its slow but steady decline. The second most popular OS in the world was Apple’s OS X, which was up a nominal amount to 5.37% of the global OS market, followed by iOS with 2.63%, Java ME with 1.12% and Linux with 0.95%. Though Android devices continue to sell rapidly, Net Applications placed the OS in the No. 6 spot in June with 0.72% of the global market. Since January of this year, Apple’s OS X and iOS market shares have risen steadily while Windows continues to slide. According to Net Applications’ revised data, Windows’ OS share dropped below 90% in January of this year for the first time since it climbed above the threshold. It had been reported earlier that the OS slid under 90% last November, but Net Applications has since updated its figures to show that Windows held a 90.81% share in November 2010 and a 90.29% share in December. Two charts showcasing Net Applications’ June data follow below. More →
A new independent study by security experts at Symantec attempted to measure how secure Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform are, and also to determine how these mobile platforms stack up against desktop operating systems. Symantec claims that these mobile platforms are much more secure than today’s popular desktop operating systems, though the firm does note that the key variable, as always, is the human element. “Today’s mobile devices are a mixed bag when it comes to security,” said Carey Nachenberg, Symantec Fellow and Chief Architect, in a statement. “While more secure than traditional PCs, these platforms are still vulnerable to many traditional attacks. Moreover, enterprise employees are increasingly using unmanaged, personal devices to access sensitive enterprise resources, and then connecting these devices to 3rd-party services outside of the governance of the enterprise, potentially exposing key assets to attackers.” While Symantec neglects to reach a firm conclusion regarding which mobile OS is the most secure, the firm definitely seems to favor iOS more often than not. It says iOS’ app screening procedure plays a big role in the operating system’s security, and it also says the platform’s architecture makes it better at resisting malware attacks and data integrity attacks. It also says iOS offers better encryption and more secure access control for apps. Symantec’s full press release follows below.
It looks like we may finally see Apple unveil its mid-2011 MacBook Air models some time this week. Best Buy has stopped shipping all MacBook Air notebooks as of this past weekend. The online retailer is still taking orders, however, which indicates that Apple will likely not adjust pricing when it issues its refreshed models. Of note, unless Apple introduced an entirely new model at a much lower price point, this puts earlier rumored sales targets of 8 million units well out of reach. Several sellers on the Amazon.com website are showing low inventory or stockouts as well, further supporting the notion that Apple has stopped refreshing distributor inventory as it prepares to begin shipping updated MacBook Air models. Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Airs are expected to feature Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports, among other changes. More →
Apple on Thursday released the latest public build of its Mac OS X operating system, version 10.6.8. Release notes are as follows:
The 10.6.8 update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac, including fixes that:
- Enhance the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion
– Resolve an issue that may cause Preview to unexpectedly quit
– Improve support for IPv6
– Improve VPN reliability
– Identify and remove known variants of Mac Defender
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4561.
For information on the security content of this update, please visit:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.
The new Snow Leopard build is available for all modern Apple PCs, and the highlight is clearly the first bullet item listed above: “Enhance the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion.” Apple is expected to release OS X Lion next month.
Operating systems are big business. But just how big you ask? According to research firm Gartner, sales of server and desktop operating systems totalled nearly $30.4 billion in 2010 alone. “As the global economy recovered, worldwide operating system (OS) revenue totaled $30.4 billion in 2010, a 7.8 percent increase from 2009,” explains Gartner. “Among client OSs, Mac OS was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010 as the unit shipments of Mac desktop/laptop devices saw strong sales, although from a much-smaller basis. Windows client was still the largest client OS segment, with high-single-digit growth, particularly driven by adoption of Windows 7 and the imminent end of life (EOL) of Windows XP.” Oracle saw the largest percentage-growth year-over-year thanks to its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Analysts are expecting the operating system revenues to continue to rise in 2011. More →
Earlier today, Apple announced that it will be holding its annual Worldwide Developers Conference from June 6th to June 10th in San Francisco where it said that it will “unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS.” That suggests that Apple may stray from its usual schedule of announcing an updated iPhone during the show each year. “You get caught up in patterns, and it holds true, until it doesn’t,” Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Gartner, told The Loop. “There is no reason for Apple to follow a predictable yearly pattern, and it keeps their competition off guard a little bit.” We’ll be honest, it would be pretty disappointing to many Apple fans if this deviation was true, but we’re skeptical. It makes perfect sense for Apple to announce the new hardware alongside an updated iOS platform with developers in the room. Why stray from what works? More →
A new rumor cites an anonymous “inside source” in suggesting that Apple plans to launch its Mac App Store one week from today, on December 13th. According to the rumor, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wanted to launch the new App Store today — and developers were reportedly told to have submissions ready by today — but delays pushed the launch back to next week. First announced last month, the Mac App Store will be OS X’s equivalent to the iOS App Store; a one-stop-shop for software that simplifies the process for users and developers alike. The Mac App Store will not be the only authorized point of OS X distribution like the iOS App Store, of course, but it is expected to quickly become an integral tool for OS X software distribution. More →
Haven’t got your Steve Jobs email fix for the day yet? Good, because another one is making the rounds and this time it’s about Apple’s AirPrint feature. If you have been keeping up on the saga, Apple announced AirPrint with support for some select HP printers, but it also indicated you’d be able to print to any shared printer on your local Wi-Fi network. At iOS 4.2 launch, however, only the HP models are officially supported (and enabled). Here is a reported email to Steve Jobs on the issue and the response:
You got me all hype about AirPrint. Now with iOS 4.2 released, I find out that I can only print on 11 select printers. Seriously?!
And, Steve Jobs’ alleged reply:
Lots more coming soon. It’s what it takes to make a giant leap to driverless printing, which is huge.
There are unofficial ways to re-enable support for shared printer printing on Mac OS X 10.6.5 and your iOS devices, but for the purists out there, maybe word of this feature slowly being reintroduced in a “huge” way will give you peace of mind. More →
If rumors circulating today are to be believed, Apple is set to have a pretty big week in terms of software updates. It’s no mystery that Apple has several new software builds in the works but as always, the company has not announced specific release dates. A new report claims to peg dates for three major upcoming releases, however, and they’re all due this week. First up, OS X 10.6.5 and iTunes 10.1 are both said to be slated for release tomorrow, November 10th. The report also states that iOS 4.2 will become available to users on Friday, November 12th, at 1:00PM Eastern Time. iOS 4.2 will bring with it Apple’s much awaited AirPlay and AirPrint functionality, which are dependent on iTunes 10.1 and OS X 10.6.5 to function. More →