which is the most popular Mac OS ?

I’m looking for info about the most popular Mac os. I’d like to know the nubmer of people using the different mac operating systems.
is there any good web resources on suce information ?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

The most popular? There is only one really. The MacOS itself. If you mean which VERSION is the most popular, i dont think its a matter of popularity. People choose an version that WORKS and 99% of the time its the most recent one that has the most features, enhancements, etc. So the most popular one right now would be 9.0. In a few days it will be 9.0.4. Now there are other OS's that run on Mac hardware. You can run LinuxPPC, MacOS X, MacOS X Server, and BeOS. LinuxPPC is gaining ground as far as popularity but its not a consumer OS. The same applies to MacOS X Server which is purely for serving files and is not a consumer OS. BeOS is still in beta stages and doesnt have much in the way of useful software. And MacOS X (consumer version of Server) hasnt even been released yet. So your choices as far as a useful consumer OS are OS9.
hedAuthor Commented:
sorry i"ll rephrase my question. what i meant was what percentage of users are using 9,8,7 etc?
i need it in order to find out for an application my company is writing , which systems are major and should be supported.
Sorry for the misunderstanding
Without statistics in front of me, most people are using 8.6 or 9.0. Very very few people use anything previous to that. If they are using anything previous to that its on very old hardware and will end up being replaced within the next 3 years anyway.

In any case when writing a new application you always want to write it for the most current OS. Its never wise to write for a segment that is using old hardware as your audience will just get smaller and smaller.

On a side note OS 9 is the last MacOS that apple is producing. It will be updated to 9.0.4 sometime this week (fingers crossed) and then to 9.1 by years end. If you want to write a program for most users, OS 9 is it. End of the line. From there apple will be moving to OS X which is based on the NeXt kernel. That is the future of the MacOS.
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

I'd have to disagree with very few people using MacOS < 8.6. In k-12 education sites, I'd be real surprised if the majority of OS's being used was higher than 8.1. Reason? Cost.

And the same segment, K-12 education doesn't get a lot of funding to change hardware, so they typically use stuff until it breaks. One of the schools I assist is still using LC's because 1) they still work and 2) they don't have the funding to replace 30 of them with iMac's (the cheapest thing they can buy. Didya know they can't buy the discontinued iMac models that are really cheap?)
The k-12 schools that are using older hardware and software are a relatively small portion of the whole picture. Maybe 5% of the whole mac usebase if even that. Yes, they are out there and its a shame to leave them behind but the reality is that most people are using newer stuff. At least PPC.
I will say that I have to agree with JHausmann.  Most of the K-12 education are still using older Macintosh computers and older IBM comaptible computers.  The Education community does not get the funding in order to replace these older systems with something newer. The best they can do is replace obsolete systems with the oldest Power Mac on the market, Power Mac 6100.  Now, this Power Mac 6100 will go up to Mac OS 9.0 (as per Apple).  Apple has stated that users of older systems can upgrade their system software to 7.5.5 for free.  So, if I were writing a program (which I have no desire to) I would start off at the base OS 7.5.5 and support for 68040 computers.

Question for you hed, what type of program is your company writing?  Who will it be used by the most?  If not the Educational market then who are you trying to get to purchase your software?  This might help in determining where you should go with the operating system.
Apparently there's at least one company that figures it can make money out of the "LC" market:

I'll approach the question from another angle - reputation.

OS 7.1 with update 3.0 was considered one of the most stable versions. However it's support for network functions (internet, etc) is weak considering newer developments. On the other hand it's GUI is still better than it's younger distant relative Win95.

OS 7.5.3, especially with Open Transport 1.1.2, approached that level of reliability (7.5.5 worked well only when virtual memory was not relied on heavily and and fixed a rare PPC problem.) This is the only OS i take one of the intermediary versions rather than the last of the series.

OS 7.6.1, again with OT 1.1.2, is the last a 68k Mac can reach ( well 68040's can run 8.1) It seems about as good as 7.1(.3) but provides much better support for networking and is considered a common minimum OS. Sort of the if it don't break don't fix it OS. The culmination of things started with 7.0

OS 8.1 offered many new functionalities and can support many updates that reach the kinds of things roled into upto OS 8.6 though 8.6 supports faster network functions. Beware the hd driver the 8.1 installs by default. It is problematic.

8.6 mostly roles all the updates to 8.1 into one package. People argue whether 8.1 or 8.6 supports USB better.

OS 9 supports TCP/IP only network functions (as opposed to forcing you to have Appletalk running somewhere/anywhere.) However it's security system is now built in and is suffering as well as benefiting from being the bleeding edge. Until the patch came out it was the first and only Mac OS that could be used to by someone without the owners knowledge to attack someone else with a denial of service attack.

I'd make my suggestion to you depending on a profile of your users.

If the users of your application are expected to be tech-savy and likely to update hardware and software with some frequency, many are probably using 8.6, but 8.1 would certainly be a safe bet.  Even a lot of non-savy users who jumped on the iMac bandwagon when it came out  will be using at least 8.1.

However, if your users really do run the gamut from those who regularly maintain their systems to those who've kept their Macs for years and only occasionally use a word processor, I would shoot for 7.55 compatibility.  As cdeagle30 pointed out above, it's the last free update, so most people who've held onto 68K machines will likely be running at least 7.55.  
In Japan,there are many old Mac Funs.
Perhaps,they are useing Mac OS 7.5.3 . or 7.5.5.
Almost PPC  Mac user can choose OS 7XX , 8XX  or 9XX.
But old type PPC or 68K  Mac users have to choose under OS 7.5.3.
And G3 and G4 MAC user cannot use OS 7XX or OS 6XX.

Of all the people I know, OS 8.6 is the best of all.  Supposedly Mac OS X will be godlike, but until then, stick with 8.6.  OS 9 is nothing but a continuous stream of bugs and annoyances.  
errrrrm....OS9 is just fine. Certainly less bugs than 8.6. 9.0.4 is even better.
In japan,Mac OS9.0 is  the most popular Mac OS,I think.
Because,on  the  Japanese apple computor's official question site(the URL is as follows),the number of the questions about OS9.0 is biggest.  

In just now,there are 2questions about OS7.5x.
There are 7 questions about OS8.0/8.1.
There are 3 questions about OS 8.5/8.5.1.
There are 18 questions about OS8.6.
There are 101 questions about OS9.0.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Apple Hardware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.