After 48 hours on the market, Mac OS X Mountain Lion captures 3.2% of market share.

First announced in February of this year, Apple’s newest operating system in the Mac OS line was released for public download on Wednesday, July 25. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion has received largely positive reviews thus far. Taking notes from the mobile iOS, Mountain Lion adds a notifications center, replaces iChat with the Messages application, and incorporates the sharing button for easy exporting of images, documents, and other files to social media and email. Also among the 200 new features is AirPlay, which allows for live streaming from the computer screen to any television enabled with Apple TV. The update is available for $19.99 as a download through the App Store.

Given the expected demand for the product, and recent statistics showing high adoption rates for updates to iOS, Chitika Insights conducted a study into Mac OS X usage statistics following the release of Mountain Lion. Within the first 48 hours, usage rates for OS X 10.8 were already rivaling those of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. While over 45% of users still operate on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, anybody using 10.6.6 or higher is eligible for the upgrade to 10.8. Those who skipped the upgrade to Lion, which had mixed reviews, may be more inclined to make the jump to Mountain Lion.

With 3.2% of all Mac users upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion in the first 48 hours, Apple’s latest operating system stands to do much better than its predecessor OS X Lion, which experienced only a 14% market share after 3 months on the market.

It is rather impressive for an operating system to capture 3.2% of market web usage after just 48 hours on the market. Such figures are likely supported by a relatively low price point for the operating system as well as an expansive list of desired feature improvements. We will continue monitoring adoption rates of the newest offering from Apple through its first week of release and beyond.