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A Quick History of OS X Prices

23 October 2013 747 views No Comment

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While the shriveling rump of Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft charges $199 for Windows 8 Pro, warts and all, Apple’s OS X price is now free. That is all the more amazing considering that the most popular Linux distros are not free anymore.

Apple senior VP of software Craig Federighi surprised many when he announced, with an obvious look of pride, that OS X Mavericks is available for free. The applause got louder still when he told the assembled bloggers and digerati that users running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later can all upgrade for free, as well.

• OS X Kodiak, 09.13.00, $29.95
Apple Releases Mac OS X Public Beta

• OS X 10.0 Cheetah, 03.24.01, $129
Mac OS X Hits Stores This Weekend

• OS X 10.1 Puma, 09.25.01, $129
First Major Upgrade to Mac OS X Hits Stores This Weekend

• OS X 10.2 Jaguar, 08.23.02, $129
Apple to Kick Off “100 Minutes of Jaguar” at All 35 Apple Retail Stores on Friday, August 23

• OS X 10.3 Panther, 10.24.03, $129
“Night of the Panther” Kicks Off at 8:00 p.m. Tomorrow

While the shriveling rump of Steve Ballmer's Microsoft charges $199 for Windows 8 Pro, warts and all, Apple's OS X price is now free

• OS X 10.4 Tiger, 04.29.05, $129
Apple Unleashes Tiger Friday at 6:00 p.m.

• OS X 10.5 Leopard, 10.26.07, $129
Apple to Ship Mac OS X Leopard on October 26

• OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, 08.28.09, $29
Apple to Ship Mac OS X Snow Leopard on August 28

• OS X 10.7 Lion, 07.20.11, $19.99
Mac OS X Lion Available Today From the Mac App Store

• OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, 07.25.12, $19.99
Mountain Lion Available Today From the Mac App Store

• OS X 10.9 Mavericks, 10.22.13, Free
OS X Mavericks Available Today Free from the Mac App Store

For me, the most memorable OS X releases were the original beta ($29.95 and it was awful), OS X 10.2 Jaguar (truly useable), OS X 10.4 Tiger (rocked) and OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (smooth, baby). And, for what it’s worth, OS X Mavericks feels like the completion of the evolution of OS X begun with the transition to Intel back in 2006.

And, you’ve got to love Apple’s new OS X price, really love it.

Quite a journey. From the days when Apple’s future was very much in doubt to a present overflowing with an abundance of promise and riches.

What are your favorite OS X releases?

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