New Apple hardware? OK, but free OS and apps sound really good!

OSXApple’s fall event early this morning (Singapore time) was about thinner, lighter and more powerful products. Yes, these are improvements but not something that would get me excited to lay my hands on one.

After all, having gone through two iterations of the iPad and other Apple products, the new announcements seem to be marginal improvements. OK, the new iPad Air is lighter and thinner but hey, I’m already used to having the New iPad (or at least, that’s what it was called at launch). However, what kept me awake (remember, it was in the wee hours) was the announcement that users can have the latest Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, for free. Now, this has the potential to be a game changer especially in its battle with Windows. How often have we heard of free Microsoft products? If at all…

According to Jan Dawson, Chief Telecoms Analyst of Ovum, the changes to Apple’s software licensing for Mac OS X, iLife and iWork is also important, not least for Microsoft. “Microsoft generates 96 percent of its operating margins from operating system and productivity software licensing, and Apple is now teaching people to expect both of those things to be free. While this won’t disrupt Microsoft’s business overnight, it will create further pressure on Microsoft to bring down prices for its productivity software and especially for Windows,” he added.

Back to Mavericks, it certainly looks exciting — better battery life, Maps and iBooks. An upgrade in OS can turn an existing device into a new one. Better yet, it’s available for download immediately.

As I’m hammering away at the keyboard writing this post, Mavericks is being downloaded onto my MacBook Air. Thanks, Apple!

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