We’ve recently been doing some data crunching, looking at the versions of Mac OS X run by our users. You can see one snapshot of that data the chart below.
This was a pleasant surprise for us. The vast majority of our users are running either Mac OS X 10.9.5, 10.10.5, or some version of 10.11. Good work! This blog post is for the roughly 15% of users running older versions.
Sometimes, users who’ve had problems with an update in the past are nervous about updating. And while we’d generally not recommend doing a big update right before a project is due for delivery; it’s important to keep current whenever possible.
Apple has done a good job in recent years of making updates painless and reliable. With all of the recent Mac OS X releases, there’s almost no reason to be on anything but the latest release. In particular, users on older version of Mac OS X 10.9 and 10.10 should make it a priority to update. Early versions of 10.10 has serious issues with some pro video codecs.
Users who are still running Mac OS X 10.8 (“Mountain Lion”) are also strongly encouraged to update. Most users will see a substantial performance boost when working with video on newer versions of Mac OS X, as 10.8 lacked support for a variety of hardware acceleration features.
You certainly don’t need to be on the bleeding edge, updating the day a new release comes up, but nowadays almost every user should be on an update plan that tracks relatively closely with the latest release.