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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Apple confirms: future OS X versions to be free like Mavericks

Apple confirms: future OS X versions to be free like Mavericks
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MacNN Staff
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Oct 28, 2013, 05:53 PM
During the conference call for its fourth quarter financial statement, Apple confirmed that future versions of Mac OS will be free. That will keep them in line with a precedent Apple set with the the OS X Mavericks OS update, which Apple released earlier this month. The free operating system updates, along with iWork updates and free copies for each purchaser of Mac and iOS hardware, is part of a $900 million sequential increase in deferred net revenue for software upgrade rights and non-software services.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer noted during the call that the company has already been deferring a sizable amount of potential revenue for iOS and Mac units due to the software that is already packaged with those devices. The company has already made iWork and iLife apps free in both their Mac and iOS incarnations for buyers of new Apple devices.

Apple's income from software and services has increased over the years, and the company expects to see that trend continue going forward. The company's iTunes/Software/Services division generated $4.3 billion in revenue this past quarter, due in large part to the continuing success of the App Store, which has now seen more than 60 billion total downloads.

Asked to give further comment on why Apple decided to give away its operating system updates, CEO Tim Cook said that it was "just another reason that everyone should buy a Mac."

"We wanted it to become a part of what it meant to own a Mac," Cook continued. "We wanted all of our customers to have access to our very latest software so that they would have access to our latest features. I know that some other folks charge $199 for the OS and for productivity apps, but we wanted to make it part of the experience."
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Oct 28, 2013, 09:02 PM
Or does this mean, as the Mac means less and less to Apple Inc. bottom line, that you get what you pay for, back to development costs. The Mac OS is getting dumbed down to the level of iOS. See the latest iWork suite apps and what has happened to good old .mov format QuickTime movie files. Mavericks was supposed to be targeted at power users, and while it may be faster in some regards, the feature trend is not good for content creating power users.
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Oct 28, 2013, 09:28 PM
@BradMacPro, hardly. Apple has an interest in making sure developers have access to the latest APIs and a marketplace that has most people running the latest versions. This helps them. Apple made most of their profit on hardware anyway, so dropping this only takes a small amount out of their revenue and gets a better deal out of it.
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Oct 28, 2013, 10:18 PM
Apple dropping support means this user is hunting down older but more bulletproof hardware...

I have to ask if this is more about getting everyone on to the N-S-A & big data gravy train... Linkedin is the latest addition? Once Elvis has left the building I wish everyone good luck getting their privacy back...
The Vicar
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Oct 28, 2013, 10:56 PM
Funny, originally the Mac OS was free anyway. It wasn't until 7.1 came out that Apple started charging, and it was a big shock to anyone who had been using earlier versions. This is just a return to earlier policy.
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Oct 29, 2013, 01:11 AM
It sounds like the App Store generates enough profits to be able to give away Mac OS for free. See if Microsoft can playing catch up on this one.
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Oct 29, 2013, 10:42 AM
I would think the assumption is that if it's free, more people are more likely to try it. This might help developers in having a larger target audience in the newest OS.

Maybe it's to pressure MS into feeling they have to give away their OS, and maybe their Office suite too... oh, that's their bread and butter. That's pretty clever. 'Buy this Mac and you'll never buy another OS again.' If Apple can get iWork beefed up to be an even better Office competitor, then MS is in trouble. Apple is giving away what they sell to feed their families. I bet FaceTime collaboration in iWork Apps is in the near future.

It also might be part of a plan to expedite the advancement to a completely different hardware paradigm for home computing. One the power users will hate, most likely.

Either way there is little risk in putting out a new OS for free isn't so risky because it's designed for Macs, and those who would build hack-intoshes would probably steal it anyway.

Next year is going to be beyond interesting.
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Oct 29, 2013, 10:43 AM
"Mavericks was supposed to be targeted at power users..."

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