Apple Discontinues Support For OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Leaving 20 Percent Of Mac Users Ripe For Malware

There's mounting evidence to suggest that Apple has put Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) out to pasture, thereby leaving users of what's become a legacy operating system to fend for themselves out in the wild. For the second time, Apple rolled out a security patch for present and past OS X builds dating back to OS X 10.7, or Mountain Lion, and stopping just short of supporting of Snow Leopard.

According to ComputerWorld, Apple did the same thing back in December when it patched Safari 6 and 7 for newer version of OS X, but neglected to update Safari 5.1.10, which is the latest version available for Snow Leopard users. The last security update for Snow Leopard was in September of last year.

Snow Leopard
Image Source: Flickr (slider527)

Apple used to have a pretty predictable system for updating its OS X products, though ever since the company accelerated its release schedule, it's been a little tougher to discern which versions will be supported by the newest security update and which ones won't.

In any event, it appears Apple is longer interested in supporting Snow Leopard even though it's still somewhat widely used, just as Windows XP is still somewhat popular among Windows users. Some 19 percent of all Macs still run Snow Leopard, which is even more than its successor, Lion, which is installed on 16 percent of Macs. What that means is that Apple is leaving nearly 1 in 5 Macs susceptible to new malware threats by cutting off support for Snow Leopard.