Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion to be free upgrade?

“Will Mountain Lion be a free upgrade? There’s some signs this is possible. The company recently began offering Mobile Me users free Snow Leopard upgrades in order to promote the move to iCloud,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

Why would Apple move to free OS upgrades? My thoughts:
• Partially to ensure rapid take-up of new operating system evolutions as it moves to make iCloud a central part of its multi-device computing experiences.
• Partially to put the kabosh down against Microsoft, which will ship its fee-based Windows 8 upgrade later this year.
• And partially to promote rapid Mac replacement — after all, in most cases, Apple ends OS support after two iterations, in order to run a secure system and to benefit from new system features, Mac users are therefore ‘encouraged’ to upgrade their Macs every two to three years.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: So far, Apple’s only official statement on OS X Mountian Lion pricing and availability is: “Mac users will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store in late summer 2012.”


  1. I wish I knew whether “late Summer” meant July or more like August/September. I’m going to be re-imaging about 150 Macs for the local school district and would love to have them using 10.8 when school begins.

    So now I’ve got to decide whether to put off imaging for an extra 30-45 days just in case or just go with 10.7, get it all up and working properly and then always be a version behind.

    1. In all likelihood, it will be mid-September. There were several occasions when Apple did this — announced a product for “Late Spring” or “Late Summer” and released mid-June or mid-September.

      It looks like you’re stuck with Lion…

    2. Why would you want to rush this into production?

      A big reason for an imaging process is to issue a standardized, fully tested, fully working environment as a baseline. Rushing a brand new OS in to production is not a best practice. It is a recipe for pain.

      1. I don’t mind a little work, to be honest. Too many IT people forget that as much as users want stability, they also want to be up on current trends and not a year behind.

        10.8.0 will have issues, but it’s really not that difficult to push out updates via ARD. Further, our server setup is pretty basic with home syncs, some share points and printer management. I wouldn’t be bold enough to do this between 10.5 and 10.6 when so much changed under the hood, but I think 10.8 will be 10.7 with some new apps/interfaces bolted on.

    3. You would love to have them on 10.8 when school begins? Really? Are you ready to support all the things that may not be working? AD/OD integration? AFP/SMB? 10.7 is still not where it should be for large district deployments and you want to blindly put 10.8 in users’ hands? Sounds like your district could use some experienced advise. Good luck!

      1. It’ll take me all of two days to image. Of course I’ll test it first to make sure we’ve got functionality for many days ahead of pulling any triggers. 10.7 could very likely get the nod – and maybe we stay with 10.6. I’d merely like the chance to play with 10.8 and perhaps make that call.

    1. Also, it’s literally $6 per machine for a Mac OS upgrade – from the app store, that $29 purchase is good for 5 macs that you own…

      Whereas one version of windows for ONE machine costs a whopping $150 to upgrade 🙁

      So glad I made the switch.

  2. Judging from the way Lion took almost 10 months, and isn’t even close to Snow-Leopard-level stability, we’ll need to wait at least that long after Mountain Lion to wait for major bugs to be squashed. I am tired of being Apple’s beta tester. You guys go ahead and test it for me. It’s people like you that make Apple OS’s great. You beta-test while I wait, and then I hop on when it’s rock solid, while you guys are beta-testing the next generation. The cycle continues.

    1. I have used Lion since the day it was released. Aside from some *very* minor glitches here and there, (mainly in 10.7.0 and 10.7.1) I have had zero stability issues.

      1. same here.
        the only consistent issue, the wifi connectivity. but that was in 10.6.8 when that issue first came up.. it’s still an issue (go read the discussions)
        it’s getting better to “fix” but it still reverts back to failures from time to time.

    2. No stability/connectivity issues here. Been using Lion since 7.1. However, do not like mission control due to Lack of desktop name edit feature. lLaunch Pad is a poor choice for a desktop machine.

    3. Depends on what hardware your using, to run Lion right you need at least 4 gigs of ram, my MacMini and MacBook pro both have 2.26 Core 2 duos and each had 2Gigs of ram and ran like slugs with lion, upgrading to 4Gigs did wonders for both of them. My new iMac 27 inch 3.4 Ghz has had 16 gigs of ram from day one, and came with Lion installed from the factory. None of my systems have stability problems, and differ with your statement that Lion isn’t even close to Snow Leopard for stability, Lion is in fact several parsecs ahead of Snow Leopard.

  3. Lion is the most problematic OS version since the old OS9 days. Halts to processing, jerky scrolling, inexplicable memory usage, it just hasn’t been a fun ride. I have it installed on multiple machines so it is NOT the computer. Apple rushed Lion out the door.

    1. Weird, I haven’t seen any of those issues on any of my machines or the machines I manage or consult on. On the contrary, Lion has been a damn nice, solid, reliable OS.

      What kind of machines are you using Lion on, and how much RAM do they have?

  4. Lion is the first time in years I’ve seen an OS X run slowly. It’s doing so much in the background, the applications take the hit. The spinning beach ball comes up more with Lion than anything before.

    The recent Safari fix did work, though.

    Free is always attractive, Lion didn’t seem that big a step forward. At least it was cheap to buy. I’m unlikely to buy Mountain Lion because it could slow my Macbook even more.

  5. I waited for a while to upgrade to Lion, till 10.7.3, and I’ve had zero problems with it, either stability or connectivity. It took me only a couple of days to get used to the Lion way of doing things, and I’ve got no complaints, I actually like it.

    My concern is whether 10.8 is even going to be supported on my mid-2007 MacBook Pro – which is running Lion very well – given ML’s fluctuating hardware requirements in the Developer Previews. Things that are notably missing from Lion, which have been added in ML, I’d like to have on my MBP.

    I do agree, though, that Snow Leopard is the best iteration of OS X so far and the best desktop OS yet.

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