On Monday, at this year’s Apple WWDC conference, the company announced a lot of interesting things including their core operating system, OS X Lion, and for the most part it seems that not much attention was paid to it.
That was until they announced that it would be available to the public on July 2011 through the Mac App Store for the low low price of $29.00.
As a bona fide Windows user who has decried on many occasions Microsoft’s insane pricing schemes; that seem to be more about making the consumer dig further into their wallets than they did the prior version. hearing that kind of price made me jealous.
I remember when OS X Snow Leopard was released with around the same price point and many folks suggested that this was because Snow Leopard was considered to be more of a point release than a full on version release.
Well it would seem that Apple has decided to stick with that pricing scheme as OS X Lion heads to market, or rather the App Store because that is the only place you will be able to get it – no more physical media for you (talk about a cost saving). So what are you getting for that $29.00?
Well when it comes to the news and announcement page at the Apple site for developers the information pickings are pretty slim:
The eighth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system challenges the accepted way of doing things by introducing new features that change the way you use a computer. This developer preview features over 3,000 new APIs covering a range of new technologies and capabilities that you can incorporate into your apps. Start developing your apps today so they are ready when Lion ships this summer.
Gee, thanks. Guess it’s time to dig through all the posts that seem to be drooling all over iCloud and iOS5 to get any kind of details. Well thanks to the folks at Geekosystem we manage to get a few details.
Details like: uniting Expose and Spaces which are accessible via multi-touch guestures, full-screen mode for immersive experiences (gee hasn’t Windows had that since, oh, 3.1?), something called Launchpad for faster access of your apps, and some new auto saving tools.
While Apple likes to point to over 3,000 new APIs for developers it sure seems that from the consumer side of things that Lion is just a tad skimpy. You know, more like a service pack rather than a full on version upgrade.
Now a lot of the Apple folks out there will be pointing at this $29.00 price tag for OS X Lion and compare it to the price of Windows; where the Home Edition will run you around $149.00 for the full install, and pat themselves on the back about how much better Apple is for the consumer.
While we can debate until the end of time, or at least until the next version of each platform, the fact is that as Apple increases its market share it is changing the perception of what software is worth as well as how, and how much, we pay for that software.
With Apple releasing OS X Lion for $29.00 it doesn’t matter if it isn’t anything more than a 4GB service pack or a trimmed down brand new version of a download and run operating system. The perception they are creating by making this apparently their standard price for an operating system is that OSes aren’t worth hundreds of dollars.
This perception is one that Microsoft is going to have to fight against as it moves forward with Windows 8. If people can get a better quality computer, albeit more expensive than the run of the mill PC crapola machines, and an operating system on it that not only is beautiful and just works but it won’t break the monthly budget.
I don’t think that the OS war between Microsoft and Apple is just about the features anymore, it is becoming more a battle of perceptions and Apple has fired the opening salvo at the price of $29.00.