Apple has announced the release date and price for the new version of its desktop OS, OS X Mavericks. And the big surprise is it'll be free. The software is available to download from today.
“Over the last few years, we've reengineered our development process, and [with the app store], the way we distribute. Today, we'll revolutionize pricing,” said Craig Federighi, Apple's SVP of software engineering. “Today, we announce a new era of the Mac.”
Lion, Mountain Lion and Snow Leopard users can upgrade in one step (for free) to OS X Mavericks. It's available on Macs as old as 2007.
Apple's prior OS updates had been coming down in price — costing as little as $30 for Snow Leopard — but Cupertino making a major OS update free is still a big deal.
The next-gen OS, which breaks from Apple's prior convention of using big cat names for OS updates (naming it after a surf break at Half Moon Bay, California, instead), brings a raft of improvements, including an enhanced Finder, better multimonitor support, a standalone iBooks application, and improved power management to OS X-powered Macs.
Apple spent a while talking up Mavericks' battery efficiency, memory and graphics improvements at its San Francisco-based event today – as well as diving into apps and maps. “We've focused on three things with mavericks: technologies to improve the performance of your hardware, new features, and new apps,” said Federighi.
Cupertino had previously said Mavericks would arrive this fall.
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