The mainstream media has definitely missed the mark concerning Apple’s new Mavericks operating system for the Mac being free. You can read the views from Wired like “Apple Just Ended the Era of Paid OSes” or Bloomberg with “Why Apple Wants Its Software to Be Free“.
There are a few things to set straight:
- Apple copied Microsoft. Windows 8.1 was released before Mavericks and is free to all Windows 8 users or those with Software Assurance.
- Operating Systems are free on all tablets. For sure, it’s likely baked into the price. However, there is no separate operating system cost when you buy Microsoft Surface, Google Nexus, or Apple iPad.
- Mavericks is the last Mac OS. Apple dropped “Computer” from the name in 2007. A Mac is just another PC-like device. Development going forward is strictly iOS.
- Apple is behind providing free services to consumers. Consumer services like Microsoft Live and Google Gmail have been free for many years. Apple is just catching up with offerings like iWork.
Apple wants to be your prestige status symbol from smartphones to watches and TVs, along with growing more media services like iTunes. Microsoft makes software, is starting to dominate online services, and expanding in consumer devices beyond Xbox with Surface. Google makes money from advertising and all of their products consume some type of search as the hook.
Let’s not get confused about the free Mavericks being an innovative concept from Apple, or that it is somehow an attack on Microsoft or Google.