Has Apple Ended it for Paid Operating Systems with OS X Mavericks
Apple yesterday announced a flurry of new products from the new iPad Air to the iPad Mini with Retina Display, brand new Mac Pro and a revamped Macbook Pro with retina display. Possibly the most subtle and less talked about are the software launches. Apple launched the new Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks and 7 new applications including a revamp of popular iMovie, iPhoto and Garage Band which made the iLife suite and work based Pages, Numbers and Keynote which made the iWork suite. The best part being the fact that all of the above comes free to Mac owners.
Logically all these Apps and Operating System updates are meant for consumption on Apple products, and by making these crucial applications and a major Operating System update free, Apple may have stirred the industry and the likes of Microsoft who basically survive by selling their operating systems and apps.
Prices of Apple’s Mac OS X have dropped in cost considerably over the years. Apple charged users US $129 for four main OS updates, then Apple dropped the operating system’s upgrade price to $29 with 2009’s OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and then to $19 with last year’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Microsoft was forced to lower the price of its expensive Windows 8 to a mere US $ 29 to compete with Apple last year, where the Redmond company offered its previous OS owners a cheaper upgrade to the new Operating System. However post a golden period the price was returned to a whopping US $ 199 which the company charges for their PRO variant of Windows 8. Microsoft this year however offered Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade to Windows 8 owners, and while many may call it an incremental upgrade, Microsoft continues to claim that Windows 8.1 is a major software overhaul which is “worthy of a price tag”.
Back in the 80’s software was a part of commuters as a vertically integrated product. Apple with OS X Mavericks has suddenly sprung that era into present day. Since Apple is the only company that manufactures hardware for their software or vice versa, it makes sense for the company to gain profit from hardware sales and make the software free. In essence the user sees it as a freebie especially since it had a price tag prior to it being free.
Apple has also ensured that anyone with a Mac computer upto 4 years ago can update to the new Mac OS X Mavericks, which will make old owners of Apple computers happy, since they won’t need to spend money for new operating systems each year.
What’s more, Apple has also enabled users to get Apple own apps like the iLIfe suite and iWork suite free of cost, making it a boon for students and daily users. Apple used to drive huge profits from selling applications and operating system upgrades. Most people don’t upgrade their Operating Systems till they buy a new computer, Apple however has sort of changed that, or has tried to change it. Just like software updates on the iPhone that drove more than 80% iPhone owners to upgrade to iOS 7, it is expected that a whole chunk of Mac owners have probably already upgraded to Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, or plan to over the weekend.
The upgrade process is simple, hit the Mac App Store download the Mavericks installer, run the installer and about 20 minutes later you are upgraded. As Steve Jobs would say “It just Works!”, exactly how upgrading a modern operating system should feel like. It gets done with the minimal of fuss and fanfare, and then the operating system steps aside and lets the user get back to work.
For Apple owners this may not seem as a big deal, however the folks over at Microsoft are probably festering out new plans as we speak to keep their investors happy. Do you think OS should be free? Let us know below!