Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Apple’s New Mavericks OS X: Free. That’s Right, Free.

Integrated graphics? Timer coalescing? What does it all mean? Here’s one word that might make sense: Free.


Apple at its fall event today focused primarily on new operating-system features geared toward the power user, like extended battery life, compressed memory and integrated graphics. But it the new OS, called Mavericks, is also free. It’s available in a single-step update, even for Macs from 2007. It launches today.

Previous Mac operating-system upgrades cost $19.99.

Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, walked through some of the new features of the operating system, which is the 10th in Apple’s OS X history, and the first of the lot that doesn’t have a “big cat” name.

Mavericks OS X 10.9 has, among other features:

  • Finder tabs, allowing users to draw all finder windows together in tabs or drag content across tabs. The finder window can go full-screen now, too.
  • Tagging, so you can add tag words like “important” or “work” or “personal,” when you save documents and other files in Mac. This is supposed to make search better, too.
  • Multiple displays. You can get at your menus across multiple displays, and when you take a window full-screen on one display, it doesn’t “mess with your other displays.”

Really, we saw most of these already at Apple’s developer conference this past June. But Federighi went a little more in-depth this time, showing the improved display and categorization of Finder windows, tagged documents, and features like shared links and reader view in Safari, meant to improve the news-reading experience.

Did I mention that it’s free?

This is all part of Apple’s master plan of using software and apps to, well, sell more hardware. “Apple has gone all in on the ‘integrated hardware/software’ product strategy,” says Carl Howe, consumer research analyst at Yankee Group. “The company always has, but now the business model is fully committed.”

Apple’s previous operating system, Mountain Lion OS X, was the best-selling Mac OS release of all time, according to Apple, with 28 million copies shipped. As of June, 35 percent of Mac users were using the latest version of the OS, Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the time. (You crazy early adopters, you.)

Keep following AllThingsD for more updates from the event …


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