We had a few readers email in yesterday after it was announced that OS X Mavericks would be free, a first for a major desktop operating system release. It seems a few of you are curious about how Apple got here, and what the history is as it relates to the pricing of OS X. So, here's a quick history lesson.
- 10.0 Cheetah: Released March 24, 2001 for $129
- 10.1 Puma: Released September 25, 2001 for $0
- 10.2 Jaguar: Released August 23, 2002 for $129
- 10.3 Panther: Released October 24, 2003 for $129
- 10.4 Tiger: Released April 29, 2005 for $129
- 10.5 Leopard: Released October 26, 2007 for $129
- 10.6 Snow Leopard: Released August 28, 2009 for $29
- 10.7 Lion: Released July 20, 2011 for $29
- 10.8 Mountain Lion: Released July 25, 2012 for $19
- 10.9 Mavericks: Released October 22, 2013 for $0
So, as you can see, both OS X 10.1 Puma and 10.9 Mavericks were released as free updates, however, Puma was released just six months after 10.0 Cheetah, so that would have been ridiculous if Apple has chosen to charge for it. Other than that anomaly, OS X updates remained at $129 each until Snow Leopard in 2009, which sold for $29. The last $129 version of OS X was Leopard, which saw massive delays due to Apple pulling engineers from it to work on iPhone OS 1.0 (now known as iOS.) Lion was also sold for $29, and was the first version of OS X to be available as a digital download from the Mac App Store. The following year, Mountain Lion debuted at just $19--the best bargain in OS X release history until yesterday, when Mavericks launched for free. The trend has always been that OS X updates would cost the same as the previous year, or less--never more (discounting the Puma issue, which was a huge bugfix patch.) As this point, it appears that OS X has gone the way of iOS, where all updates from here on out will be available for free, on an annual basis.
Word on the street is that Apple is behind schedule on iOS 7 due to the management shakeup that occurred when Scott Forstall was ousted from the company. Jony Ive has taken over as head of hardware and software design, and with that will come sweeping design changes within iOS. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has gone so far as to say that he's heard that Apple has had to pull engineers off os OS X 10.9 in order to help get iOS 7 ready for release.
It may sound odd, but Apple actually took a similar strategy back in 200, pulling developers off of OS X 10.5 Leopard in order to ensure that the iPhone would be ready on time, resulting in a four-month delay for the desktop OS. Of course, Apple had a lot less software engineers working on iPhone software back then, so it's pretty telling that with the expansive growth, there are still challenges getting iOS 7 out of door.
Apple has just pushed out the first point update to Snow Leopard in Mac OS X 10.6.1. That was a pretty quick update, since Snow Leopard launched less than two weeks ago! Here are the changes you’ll find in this release:
- Improves compatibility with some Sierra Wireless 3G modems
- Addresses an issue in which some printer compatibility drivers might not appear properly in the Add Printer browser
- Addresses an issue that might cause DVD playback to stop unexpectedly
- Addresses an issue that might make it difficult to remove an item from the Dock
- Resolves an issue in which the Command-Option-T keyboard shortcut would sometimes bring up the special characters menu in applications such as Mail and TextEdit
- Addresses instances in which auto account setup in Mail might not work
- Resolves issues when sending mail with certain SMTP servers
- Addresses an issue in which Motion 4 could become unresponsive
- Includes an update to Adobe Flash Player plug-in version 10.0.32.18
You can grab OS X 10.6.1 now by running Software Update.
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Mac owners, the time for upgrading is upon as, as Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is now available on a worldwide basis. If you didn’t know that there was a new operating system from Apple today, we wouldn’t blame you, because it’s kind of been released without much fanfare. You see, Snow Leopard is all about fine tuning, refining, and improving upon OS X 10.5 Leopard. It’s a makeover that, at first glance, seems underwhelming because the majority of the changes occur “under the hood” so to speak.
So, what can you expect? Well, if you’ve used an iPhone 3G and an iPhone 3GS, think of it in those terms. They are really pretty much the same product, but the 3GS is much snappier, and has a couple of new features that the 3G doesn’t have, namely a better camera and a compass. Comparing Snow Leopard to Leopard is similar - you get speed, things feel faster, and potential is unlocked for the future, because there are some cool things that third-parties can tap into now.
Not everything is under the hood, though. You will see a few UI tweaks, like Dock Expose, right-click dock menus, Finder icons, and the like. We will cover all of those in more detail, but again, that isn’t the focus here. If you are underwhelmed right now, read on, because there is a lot to be excited about. At the very least, though, understand that upgrading to Snow Leopard will cost you just $29. Now that we have your attention, let’s move on. We’ve got videos for you, after the break.
Apple‘s next major operating system release, Snow Leopard hits stores and doorsteps this Friday, August 28th. That’s at least 4 days earlier than even Apple estimated, as the expectation all along has been that Snow Leopard would see a September release. On Monday, the online Apple Store went down briefly, and when it came back up, Snow Leopard was center stage, announcing a delivery date of August 28th to customers who pre-order, so they’d get it the same day that it hit stores. If you haven’t yet, Amazon has got some nice discounts:
- Snow Leopard Upgrade: $24.99 (14% off)
- Snow Leopard 5-User Family Pack: $43.99 (10% off)
- Snow Leopard Mac Box Set: $149.99 (11% off)
- Snow Leopard Mac Box Set Family Pack: $199.99 (13% off)
So, how about you? Did you pre-order Snow Leopard? Are you excited about it? Is it no big deal? Let us know, we wanna hear you.
First thing we noticed after getting our hands on the latest Snow Leopard build 10a432? The new OS X install icon, which is usually indicative of how the disc is going to look. Goodbye purple galaxy goodness, hello big, snowy animal.
Apple has just unleashed the latest update to the Mac OS X Leopard operating system in the 10.5.8 update. If you are running Leopard, just fire up Software Update, and the 165MB package will be available for you to download. This will likely be the last 10.5.x update before Snow Leopard launches next month. We’ve got a rundown of all the fixes and security updates includes in 10.5.8 after the break, but you can look forward to a Safari update, MobileMe improvements, and more.
Hey iPhone developers, Apple has just released iPhone OS 3.1 beta 3 build 7C116a, and it’s available now in the iPhone Developer Portal now. The download is 307MB. iPhone SDK 3.1 beta 3 build 9M2808 is also available immediately, with different versions for Leopard and Snow Leopard. Get to downloaded, and let us know what you find!
Hey iPhone developers, Apple has just released iPhone OS 3.1 beta 2 build 7C106c, and it’s available now in the iPhone Developer Portal now. The download is 320MB. iPhone SDK 3.1 beta 2 build 9M2804 is also available immediately, with different versions for Leopard and Snow Leopard.
Apple has released another updated developer build of Snow Leopard. This time we are looking at Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard build 10A402. If you are running either of the two latest Snow Leopard builds, you can access this update through Software Update. Apple says this build includes “general operating system fixes for stability, compatibility, and security.” The update weighs in at 1.31GB, so go grab a snack. Good luck!