OS X 10.9 Mavericks is not exactly a surprise for Mac users, having been announced earlier this year at WWDC 2013. The big surprise from Apple has more to do with the company’s recent generosity binge regarding software updates.
Upgrade Me For Free
Yes, boys and girls, guys and gals, Apple is flush with riches, despite the meandering stock price, and so much so that the company is finding new ways to share the wealth.
OS X Mavericks for the Mac has plenty of new user friendly, long-awaited, highly anticipated features, but the one that everyone will remember is the price.
Mavericks is free. Login to the Mac App Store now, upgrade your Mac, quickly, before Apple realizes it is leaving $600-million in pure profits on the table.
$600-million? I figure Mavericks is worth $20, at least (to match last year’s OS X Mountain Lion), but maybe more because iLife and iWork apps are free now, too.
What is going on with Apple?
It’s all about competition. On the Windows PC side, Microsoft’s Windows still rules, and so does Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, et al). On the other side, Google and PC manufacturers are pushing cheap Chromebooks with Google’s free web apps.
Apple is caught in the middle, but the most profitable Cupertino, CA company ever can afford to compete on both ends of the scale– Google and Microsoft– by offering free iLife and iWork.
That’s right. Free. iLife and iWork on both iOS and OS X. And, free Mavericks for Mac users.
Free. Free. Free.
Apple is in a good mood this year.
Top 6 Fun Facts
Let me cover what I like about OS X Mavericks and what you have to look forward to when you upgrade (did I mention that OS X Mavericks is free from the Mac App Store?).
iBooks – We’ve waited years for this and Apple heard our pleas. iBooks comes to the Mac. There’s the iBooks Store, iBooks in the Cloud, even an option to open multiple iBooks books at the same time (take that, iPhone).
Multiple Displays – I use a 27-inch iMac at work, but many co-workers have MacBook Pro models with an external display. Mavericks now puts a Menubar on every display, and every Spaces.
Apple Maps – You knew this was coming, right? Who complains about Apple’s Maps app any more? Just like on iPhone and iPad, Apple Maps does standard maps, hybrid maps, and satellite view. Yes, Virginia, there’s Flyover 3D, too, and an option to map a location and directions and send it automatically to your iOS device.
Interactive Notifications – This was a no brainer. Now you can respond to a notification from within the notification without having to move to an app first. This is great for iMessage.
Finder Love – Tabs are the cat’s meow in most modern apps, and Apple finally brought the Finder into the 21st century with… drum roll, please… tabs. Multiple windows in one Finder window.
iCloud Keychain – Totally welcome, and probably worth money all by its lonesome. iCloud Keychain means your keychain information– contact, login IDs, passwords– all get synchronized between Macs and iOS devices.
OS X Mavericks has even more features, including file tags in Finder, shared links in Safari (and a new website notification system), faster page rendering and more efficient CPU usage (which should result in longer battery life for MacBook models).
One thing should be evident with Apple’s recent rash of product announcements– Apple’s Mac, iPhone, and iPad are a solidly integrated platform of devices, services, and software. As the post-PC era continues to impact the traditional PC market, Apple seems willing to spur sales by reducing gross margins on the Mac line, but not on iOS devices, still the most expensive in the industry.