Few were surprised to see Apple’s new iPads yesterday because of numerous leaks over the last few weeks, but the Cupertino-based firm managed to shock attendees nonetheless, when it announced that the Mac OS X Mavericks comes as a free update. This is great news for all Mac users, as this is the first time Apple is offering its OS for free, and you don’t even have to purchase a new hardware to get the free OS.
Apple is allowing old Macs, even those bought from 2007, to be updated to the latest OS with just a click of a button. This isn’t something new as Windows users can do the same – but doing so comes at a price. Windows 8.1 costs between $119.99 to $199.99, depending on the version you purchase, but with Mavericks, Mac users no longer have to pay or buy a brand new computer to get the new OS. This means that Apple can mitigate fragmentation issues, enhance security and boost compatibility.
All of this is bad news for Microsoft, as this free offer may entice more consumers to buy Apple computers, rather than those running Windows. In fact, this could even be a new trend that Apple has started for PCs. Apple offers its iOS as a free update to compatible devices, but if you no longer have a compatible device, consumers have no choice but to purchase a new device equipped with the new operating system. This could be what Apple intends to do with OS X, make it available as a free update, then make newer versions only compatible with certain devices.
Free iLife & iWork Productivity Suite
Aside from that, Apple has also made its iLife and iWork productivity suite completely free, another reason for consumers to consider Apple products in the future. Though Microsoft’s Office is the most popular productivity suite for consumers and the enterprise, it can be extremely expensive to have this software installed on computers. Microsoft prices Office 365 at $99 a year. By making iLife and iWork free, Apple could boost adoption of these office suites.
If you own iLife ’11 or iWork ’09 apps, whether you purchased them from the Mac App Store or not, you can now download the latest, free apps directly from there. All well and good, but some users are reporting having problems with their app downloads as the Mac App Store fails to recognize the previous apps as legitimate versions. Apple has already addressed this and stated that they are currently experiencing some issues with their legacy customers, but it says they’re already working on a fix.
If you purchase a new device, you shouldn’t encounter any trouble downloading these apps for free.