OS X Yosemite: Four Days. Windows 8: Two Years.


Since very early on, Backblaze has supported both Mac and Windows computers, so we keep aggregate statistics on how many customers are backing up each operating system, and specifically what versions. With the recent release of Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, I wanted to see the percent of people that had upgraded—and what I found was astounding.

OS X Yosemite

The most recent version of Mac OS X, version 10.10 codenamed “Yosemite,” was released to the general public on October 16, 2014 as a free download for users on Apple’s Mac App Store.

Like many diehard Apple fans, I was excited and installed it on release day after having used some of the prerelease versions on non-crucial computers. So far, it’s been a pretty smooth ride, and we’ve seen the same for most of our Backblaze users as well.

Backblaze’s current version 3.0.1 and later fully supports Yosemite, and even has a “dark mode” icon for the menu bar.

Windows 8

I was curious how rapidly Backblaze customers have been adopting Yosemite as their operating system, and how that compared to Windows 8.

For background information, Windows 8 was released to the general public on October 26, 2012. On October 17, 2013, Windows 8.1 was released, improving Windows 8 and adding a few new features.

Comparison of OS Adoption Rates

I was amazed at what I found with Backblaze’s aggregate user statistics: On October 20th, 2014—just four days after release—the percentage of Backblaze’s Mac user base who were now running OS X Yosemite surpassed the percentage of Backblaze’s Windows user base who were running Windows 8 (including 8.1), which has been available to the general public for nearly two years.

You read that right.

  • It took nearly two years for Windows 8 adoption to reach 21% of all Backblaze Windows users.
  • It took only four days for Mac OS X Yosemite adoption to reach 21% of all Backblaze Mac users, and it continues to grow each day!

Why Is This?

I have a few theories of my own:

  • Windows computers tend to be more locked down in corporate environments, disallowing users to upgrade the operating system.
  • Windows 8 has had a lukewarm reception in general, and Backblaze’s statistics reflect that.
  • Yosemite is free and has the same minimum requirements as its predecessor, Mavericks, which had the same as its predecessor, Mountain Lion.
  • Windows users tend to replace their operating system when they replace their computer hardware, so updates are fewer and farther between.
  • Apple offered a free public beta of Yosemite to general users; it’s the first time they’ve had a public beta of Mac OS X since 10.0 in 2000. Betas for previous versions of Mac OS X were only available to developers.

What are your thoughts about why Yosemite has such a rapid adoption rate as compared to Windows 8? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments.


About Adam Nelson

Adam has been supporting Macs, Windows and their users professionally for 15 years, earning his stripes behind the Genius Bar. He's been backing up to Backblaze since 2009; joining the team in 2012. If your ones and zeros are at sixes and sevens - he can help.