Apple makes the world’s most advanced operating system freeware

Apple’s “product event in San Francisco will be known more for the introduction of new iPads, MacBooks, and Mac Pros, but what might be even more interesting is how Apple has decided to give away key software for free, including its long-awaited upgrade to Mac OS X, code-named Mavericks,” Sam Grobart reports for Businessweek. “Mavericks and two other software suites, iWork and iLife, are now available for download free of charge.”

“By going free, Apple has acknowledged something that’s been true in the industry for years: Software is a means to sell hardware,” Grobart reports. “Sure, there are some specialized applications that can command a hefty profit margin, but bread-and-butter applications used in the mainstream are not things you sell.”

“Apple’s strategy here is to get you on a device and with the latest version of its software as quickly and painlessly as possible,” Grobart reports. “Does it want to get caught up in the intricacies of a pricing scheme for OS X Mavericks? No, it does not. Better to just remove price as a consideration and make it part of the device you’re using.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iWork and iLife are free to those who buy new Macs and/or iOS devices, not available for download free of charge for everyone.

Related articles:
Apple’s new free OS X for Mac hurts Microsoft and the Windows PC industry in myriad ways – October 22, 2013
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


    1. Kodak and Microsoft have larger problems than their software pricing. In both cases they make terrible product.

      Kodak specifically didn’t adapt quickly enough to the digital revolution. Nikon and Canon make way better digital cameras.

      1. Kodak didn’t need to make great cameras, their cash cow was film and processing. That all went away with the transition to digital.

        Most digital captures are never printed, they are viewed on a monitor or phone /tablet.

      2. Might recheck your history. Kodak was putting its imaging chips into Nikon and Canon bodies through the 90s to make complete turnkey imaging systems. They were digital imaging pioneers, not late comers.

        Of course that makes their ignorant clinging to film and processing instead of pushing even harder with digital even sadder. 🙁

        Lesson to be learned by Apple from both MS and Kodak? Don’t sit on your laurels (Is that latin for @$$?) don’t be complacent. After the last 2 Apple events, it seems that Apple isn’t going to be complacent and coasting, no matter what the WS hit whore pundit analystas may tell you.

  1. A timely genius move by Tim Cook for many strategic reasons.

    Besides making sure that every Apple user everywhere and on any device get to taste and cherish the ultimate Apple experience of Apple’s unrivaled OSs, they get the unrivaled entire suite of Apple productivity software for FREE.

    As if design and hardware quality weren’t enough …! Apple just made sure to unify all it’s users on level playing fields. Even those that can’t afford new hardware. No one is left behind and everyone can play the latest move to the ultimate user experience anywhere all while realizing that there is absolutely NO reason to think of windoze or android anymore EVER.

    1. genius?

      Mavericks may be great, but the skeptic wonders the true motive for giving it away.

      In itself, free OS updates won’t immediately spur more hardware sales — on the contrary, it will remind older hardware owners that they should keep what they got. Freeware only puts more pressure on continued hardware innovation & updates to continue user interest. That will NOT be easy.

      Remember how certain Apple fanboys claim that specs don’t matter? Well, now they will. In giving away all its hard software development for free, Apple will now have to convince the average iPad owner why the new iPad Air should replace his current perfectly usable device running identical software.

      Seems like a strange decision to me. If the software is great, people WILL pay for it. They always have in the past.

      1. One has to wonder what makes a shallow twisted mind like yours come to a Mac website daily (as of late) only to spew negative stooooid drivel and FUD…

        They wrote a song for peps like you once, call Eleanor Rigby…

        1. You seem unable to stick to the topic. Indeed you are exactly as you described yourself … not to mention uncivil, fact free, and graceless as well. You and your buddy botvinnik should shack up in a rubber room to swap insults.

          Android is a free OS — does that automatically make it better? Did Apple’s previous drops in OS price on Lion and Mtn Lion make them superior OSes to the much-beloved Snow Leopard? Absolutely not. FYI, there are more Snow Leopard users than Lion or Mtn Lion users. What does that tell you?

  2. Actually something else that’s new, Apple never had an upgrade price for iWork… you just bought the new version when it came out. I was pleasantly surprised to see I was able to upgrade iWork ’09 for free – no new hardware purchase necessary.

    1. YES!! Fantastic.

      Hey remember just a few years ago when they charged for iPod Touch OS updates, and it was a requirement of Accounting Law, etc, because they were adding user-facing features?

      Basically they just gave away the farm, and didn’t charge a nickel. 😛

  3. It does throw a monkey wrench in Microsoft’s business model. When OS and Office software are free on the “other side”, consumers will question why they should have to pay Microsoft at all for its (only) two profitable products.

      1. And the end of Android will slowly come too by legal ax and determination, now that Google’s and Samscum’s efforts to challenge Apple’s patents has been verified and determined to be a bogus unfounded challenge and that ALL Apple’s patents have been declared valid and rightful.

        It’s just a matter of time before these two scumbag companies will have to pay the piper and find their own footing, which is highly unlikely to match the Apple empire’s offerings.

    1. Exactly. If software is a means to sell hardware, then Microsoft and Google are in trouble. Microsoft now has Nokia and Google has Motorola Mobility, but that is not nearly equivalent to the mature, vertical hardware/software integration of a company like Apple.

      Some might say that “software is a means to sell hardware” has been Apple’s approach for quite some time. However, I don’t think that is entirely accurate. Apple does not differentiate hardware from software in its products – they are integrated products in which the hardware enables new software functionality and the software evolves to regularly improve hardware performance. This hardware/software ecosystem approach combined with planned, periodic updates is Apple’s ace-in-the-hole. No other company does this as well as Apple. And, when you combine the ecosystem approach with true innovation, the result is often magic.

      Honestly, can you imagine what the current state of digital music devices, cell phones, and tablets would be in the absence of the iPod, iPhone, and iPad? Apple pushed technology forward by at least five to ten years. People can harbor irrational hatred of Apple if they want, but the positive impacts of Apple on mobile devices, in particular, are strong and undeniable.

  4. I was thinking, when Mavericks just appeared as a “free upgrade” in the updates window, how similar OSX now is to how the consumer based Linux distros operate.

    And the new versions of iLife and iWork are free to those that have already purchased the previous App Store versions, which I did. Unfortunately they’re now sat there daring me to click the Mavericks Upgrade button, and I really shouldn’t do that until I can be absolutely sure that my work software will still be working afterwards.

  5. I don’t understand how making Contracts, Calendar, and Notes less readable and intuitive, is an improvement. Please Apple stop this degrading of what otherwise is a great operating system.

    1. Or OS 12 or 13…what’s your point? When Microsoft gives away major OS updates on a regular basis (or even prices them down at the $30 range), then you can cry “meh.” Until then, your disdain is just an affectation.

    2. It is a big deal.

      Giving away 10.9 is Apple’s attempt to kill off Rosetta once and for all. It’s Apple’s attempt to get Snow Leopard (the XP of the Mac world) users to update. Perhaps it is another step closer to getting Mac users to adopt “cloud computing” (aka subscription-based computing).

      It will be interesting to see how many old-school Mac users take the leap.

      Mark my words, the upcoming weeks will see MDN flooded with stories of how fast the adoption rate is, the market share of OS X 10.9, and so forth. So it’s a big deal to those nouveau fanboys who have nothing but disdain for legacy users or those old Mac users who don’t jump up immediately to grab whatever is offered for “free”.

  6. bkire has hit the mark. The reason this one is free is because it would have created buyer’s remorse if we had to pay for it. A few nice tweaks but “revolutionary” and “magical” are terms of a past era. Nothing about Mavericks are any more than things we react to by saying: “oh sure, that’s the way this should have worked all along.” Tim Cook era, folks. As usual, nothing much to see here so move along. Enjoy what we have and quit expectations for more. AAPL says so and we might as well too.

    1. Righhht…another “quality” post by JM. If you are so disaffected with post-Jobs Apple, then why do you waste your time attempting to drag the rest of us down into your hole of gloom and doom? You may want to consider visiting a professional to discuss antidepressant medication.

      Your cynicism is underwhelmingly and consistently boring and repetitive. Your most recent post fails to address the fact that you can upgrade to OS X 10.9 for free from a couple of major releases ago without paying for the interim updates. It also fails to address the free upgrades to iWork, etc.

  7. Making Mavericks free is a masterstroke: every developer should be taking advantage of SpriteKit and all of the new core technologies and coincidentally, there is currently no point in supporting older technologies like OpenGL 3.2. Since it costs nothing to upgrade, everyone should be running Mavericks.

  8. perplexed. i want to install OSX Mavericks on my iMac at work but i can’t without entering my apple id. my boss doesn’t have an apple id or a company apple id and i don’t want to use my personal apple id and can’t create one with my company email just for the download unless i enter credit card info which i don’t want to do.

    yes, it’s a minor issue, i guess. i just hesitate using my own personal apple id to download to my company workstation. maybe, it’s up to my boss, now, to type in her apple id on my machine but i don’t think she has one. just trying to sort out my feelings. yeah. it’s stupid. i’m stupid. i guess i just have to think some more different.

  9. Um, it isn’t free if you have to pay for expensive hardware to get it. The O/S cost incorporated in the cost of the hardware and the future updates are free which is a nice gesture. But it didn’t come “free”.

    1. yes it is free, go down to your local electronics recycling depot, then wait for a compatible mac to show up (not likely in many places as they are not failing) and install the OS

      Oh wait, are you too cheap to buy the internet service to download it? never mind, since that costs FAR more than a new mac over the lifetime of the machine (my 2007 iMac is fine with Mavericks)

      belly up to the bar and get a machine that works, if you really think windowze works, no problem, leave the forum and pay more dearly or stay on last decades OS

  10. “By going free, Apple has acknowledged something that’s been true in the industry for years: Software is a means to sell hardware”

    Apple has always said they write software to sell hardware. This isn’t something Apple just discovered. It was their stated policy at least from the first time I heard it in 1981 or thereabouts.

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