Should You Care if Apple Is No Longer Updating OS X Snow Leopard?

OS X Snow LeopardAre you still running OS X Snow Leopard on your Mac? Don’t expect to receive updates from Apple then.

Apple shipped important security updates for OS X Mavericks (10.9), Mountain Lion (10.8) & Lion (10.7) on February 25th to address a number of vulnerabilities, including a major SSL bug in Mavericks.

There was nothing in the pipelines for Snow Leopard, though, and as ComputerWorld reminds us, Apple hasn’t bothered updating Snow Leopard since September 2013.

Why Does it Matter if You’re Running an Outdated Version of OS X?

Simply put, security.

Running an unsupported operating system means you won’t receive important security updates that will fix any lingering bugs. This can leave your unpatched system vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Take some of the vulnerabilities that Apple fixed yesterday. A few of the vulnerabilities addressed were Safari flaws that could lead to “an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution” if a user visited a malicious website. The patch was only released to OS X Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks.

What about Snow Leopard users that use Safari? Are they affected by this flaw? It’s hard to tell given that Snow Leopard is unsupported, but knowing Snow Leopard users are stuck on Safari 5 isn’t a good sign.

Nearly 1 in 5 Macs Still Run OS X Snow Leopard

The situation with OS X Snow Leopard bears an eerie resemblance to the one that Microsoft is dealing with when it comes to Windows XP. An estimated 19% of Macs were still running Snow Leopard at the end of January.

Snow Leopard users continue to use the OS for a number of reasons: they don’t like the UI changes in recent versions of OS X, need to run legacy applications and the OS works just fine for them as it stands.

Unlike with Windows XP, though, OS X users can upgrade to latest version of OS X, Mavericks, for free. That leaves little room for excuse on not upgrading. After all, you can always dual-boot with Snow Leopard to continue running any legacy apps.

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