“For the last several years, we’ve been on a mission,’ Apple SVP Craig Federighi said on stage [today in San Francisco], ‘[and] today we’re going to revolutionize pricing,'” Austin Carr reports for Fast Company. “When Federighi flew on stage to highlight Mac OS X Mavericks, he made a surprising announcement: Apple’s new operating system would be free — a move that could have significant connotations not only for Apple but for the PC industry as a whole. Federighi himself called it ‘a new era for Macs.'”

“Traditionally, PC and software makers have made significant revenue from either licensing OS software or using it to attract new customers to purchase hardware upgrades,” Carr reports. “Today, Apple blew up that antiquated model, bringing its desktop operating system pricing in line with its mobile OS. Now, even if you’re on an OS as old as Snow Leopard or on a device purchased in 2007, you can still “in a single step update…to Mavericks” for no charge, Federighi said, adding, ‘Free is good.'”

“When more and more users upgrade to Mavericks, because it’s free, Apple users will more and more operate on the same standard, enhancing the platform’s security while boosting app compatibility,” Carr reports. “The largest benefit to Apple, however, could come through the disruption it might bring to Microsoft’s business model. Last year, Redmond brought in $19.23 billion from the Windows division, with 65% of that coming from licensing its operating system to OEMs. With Apple offering its sleeker, better-reviewed operating system now for free, Microsoft’s pricing for Windows–both to average consumers and enterprise customers, as well as possibly OEMs–will seem outlandishly high by comparison.”

“Imagine a corporate IT buyer choosing between purchasing Macs and Windows-based PCs for employees,” Carr reports. “Apple also decided to make its iLife and iWork productivity suite free, another headache for Microsoft, which continues to generate significant revenues from its Office suite of products.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why pay for bloated garbage from beleaguered Microsoft when the world’s most advanced operating system and the most integrated and connected – thanks, iCloud! – productivity and creativity apps can be yours for free on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad?

Related articles:
Apple exploits Microsoft’s confused hesitation on Office for iPad – October 22, 2013
Apple’s OS X Mavericks available today free from the Mac App Store – October 22, 2013
Apple releases next-gen 64-bit iWork and iLife apps for OS X and iOS; free with new Macs and iOS devices – October 22, 2013