The OS X Mavericks download is free for previous for Macs with versions prior to OS X 10.9.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Windows 8.1 update is free only to current Windows 8 users and it's actually fairly hard to upgrade from Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
OS X Mavericks Compared To Windows 8.1For Apple to make the OS X Mavericks download free is a bold move. The previous version, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, cost $19.99 and a Windows 8.1 upgrade from anything prior to the original Windows 8 still costs $129 or higher.
The new OS X 10.9 seems more tightly integrated with iOS 7 for the iPhone and iPad. The new Apple Maps and iBooks apps give OS X Mavericks almost all the new features in iOS. Apple's productivity suite, which includes the word-processing program Pages, the spreadsheet software Numbers, and presentation maker Keynote, are free as well with new device purchases. Microsoft's productivity suite requires a $99 annual subscription fee to use mobile versions of its Office apps.
OS X Mavericks reviews say the interface is more cleaner-looking and more convenient than ever. Apple is providing new power management and security features and the ability to perform tasks like message-sending without opening a separate app. Other new features include a tabbed Finder and color-coded tags, which seem to be borrowed from web browser conventions now standard.
But not all is peaches, cream, and apples with the free Mac OS X Mavericks download. Users with multiple monitors may suffer a new DisplayLink bug that causes flickering and display corruption. There may even be performance issues. But it's not like bugs are new to Apple since iOS 7 suffers from causing users vertigo.
Mac OS X Mavericks To Unify With iOS 7?Windows 8 was advertised as the first unified operating system and one of the new Windows 8.1 features synchronizes certain user settings and files across multiple devices, from your Windows 8.1 desktop to the Surface tablet to Windows 8.1 phones. In the past it was estimated that Mac OS X and iOS might be merged or unified some time between 2014 and 2016. Apple might be tipping their hand to their long term plan after Mac OS X Mavericks since they seem to be merging in several features that used to be iOS only.
But if Mac OS X Mavericks is hinting at a future unification it seems likely Apple will always make sure the user experience is distinct per device while Windows 8 is infamous for forcing everyone to use an interface best suited for touchscreens. Apple CEO Tim Cook actually blasted Microsoft for their recent business strategy:
"They are confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they are trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?"So, at least in the short term, it seems unlikely Apple will make an iPhone that could transform into a Mac by plopping it into a desktop port plugged into a monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
The Mac OS X Mavericks download is only available for Snow Leopard and above. Besides going to the Apple website, you can also click the Apple logo in the upper right hand corner of your screen. From the dropdown menu choose "Software Update" to bring up the App Store. After asking for your Apple ID credentials, the installer will walk you through the process of the upgrade.