The $129 "Upgrade" Cost of Mac OS X

When Apple released Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" they sold this for a retail* price of $129. I was pretty ticked at this price. And most all of the Macintosh community was ticked as well. Mac OS X *costs* $129, and now all of a suddent the "upgrade" is gonna cost another $129! Well they are doing the same thing with 10.3 "Panther". And with the announcement at WWDC now it is happening all over again. People are swamping the mac boards with complaints about the price of the upgrade.

I have something to say to that. Stop bitching and pay for it. I was at first ticked at the price, but I have since come to the conclusion that we as Apple users have been quite priveledged folks when it comes to upgrades. But yes people have the right to bitch about the $129. Only since Mac OS 8 was cost involved with a Mac OS upgrade. Durring OS 8 and 9 it did not cost $129, but it did cost money. Before that Apple did not charge for OS upgrades. So Mac users have come to expect a free meal when the updated OS shipped.

If you take a look at the changes to the Mac OS over System 7, 8 and 9, and look at the significant changes in the 3 major updates to OS X, 10.1, 10.2, and now 10.3 Apple seems to be on a much faster development cycle of inovation in the new OS.

One example is the changes in features and functionality in the Finder in 10.2, and now in 10.3 Apple is introducing more inovative features to the Finder. The Mac OS 9 Finder is not that far removed from the Finder I used is System 6. And the Finder is just one example of how OS X has evolved much faster then any Mac OS version prior to it.

Developing this functionality costs money. I am tired of hearing people bitch about the cost of upgrading to the latest version of Mac OS X. And what about the iApps? They were not as big a part of the Apple strategy as they are not with OS X.

Those iApps are free. And you know they are much better then a lot of commercial software I have used on both the Mac and Windows. Why not look at it from this angle. The iApps are part of what make Mac OS X and the Macintosh such an experience. The iApps are many times a main reason people switch to the Mac. And Apple is not charging you to download that software. That $129 is well spent.

* As a perk of both being a student and working as a state employee of an educational institution I do not deal with retail pricing much at all. An example of the iLife bundle CD. It costs me $10. Another example is Microsoft Office for OS X (and OS 9 for that matter) - Office also only costs me $10. It is the same thing with Mac OS X updates, they are at a much lower cost.


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