Windows 8.1 vs. OS X Mavericks: Free Upgrade Showdown
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User Rank: Strategist
11/1/2013 | 6:11:08 PM
re: Windows 8.1 vs. OS X Mavericks: Free Upgrade Showdown
Weren't Windows service packs free in the past? Windows 8.1 is a service pack for Windows 8... it is not an entirely new operating system (which Windows 9 will be).

As before, it is a service pack only for Windows 8 users. People using Windows 7, Vista, or XP cannot upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free.

On the other hand OS X Mavericks is an entirely new operating system upgrade... one that users would have had to pay for in the past. Mavericks is free, not just to users of the last operating system Mountain Lion, but also to users running older operating systems like Lion and Snow Leopard. Mavericks can also be installed for free on Mac computers that are more than 6 years old.
Michael Endler
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/1/2013 | 6:27:39 PM
re: Windows 8.1 vs. OS X Mavericks: Free Upgrade Showdown
Yep, Windows 8.1 is something like a service pack. That said, given the features Win 8.1 features it offers, the new delivery model it represents and its status in the Microsoft's evolving product line, I think it's a bit different than traditional service packs. It's not like OS X is going to threaten Windows in the enterprise, but both companies want as many of their customers as possible on the newest versions of their respective OS. Both companies are evolving more and more toward integrated service ecosystems that make customers the intersection of as many products as possible, and both OS X Mavericks and Windows 8.1 represent steps toward advancing this goal. PCs reinforce tablets that reinforce cloud services that reinforce app delivery models and so on. Lots of permutations for success if you get it right-- but it involves persuading your customers to move along.

In that regard, Apple seems to be coming out ahead, at least right out of the gate. Its PC numbers have trailed off the last few quarters, and it will be interesting to see how its new machines will be received. I think a lot of media and design professionals will like the Mac Pro, but it's too expensive to expand beyond niches. The MacBook Pro could be less "Pro" than ever, given that the most affordable configuration drops the discrete graphics card. That said, the jury is still out on the Iris Pro GPU, and with the new, lower price tag for the Retina, a lot of people in Apple's prime market might be persuaded. Anyway, as that back and forth shows, there are uncertainties for Apple just as there are encouraging signs. But if early OS X Mavericks enthusiasm carries over in any way to all the new devices Apple recently announced, or to the alleged ultra-thin 12-inch notebook some supply chain analysts say is coming next year, things could be interesting in consumer and BYOD PC markets.
User Rank: Strategist
11/4/2013 | 7:05:48 PM
re: Windows 8.1 vs. OS X Mavericks: Free Upgrade Showdown
Service packs are free. However, Windows 8.1 is not a service pack for 8. 8.1 requires a complete re-install of a new OS, unlike a service pack that is optional and just requires a reboot. It is free only for Win 8 licensed users. If you are a Win 7, Vista, or XP user it is a new OS which you must pay for, just like it was going from XP or Vista to Win 7.

Apple has done something different this time, as has Microsoft for Win 8 users only.
User Rank: Ninja
11/5/2013 | 12:05:07 PM
re: Windows 8.1 vs. OS X Mavericks: Free Upgrade Showdown
Neither one have much impact on the desktop market overall. Windows 7 will stay strong for years to come with XP probably remaining in second place for quite a while. Then follows OS X, Chrome OS, Linux, and Android (which really is just a heavily customized Linux variant).
Mavericks didn't really provide much and any version of Win 8.x is unusable right out of the box, requiring heavy customization as well. As far as Win 8.x goes, especially enterprises are not keen on dealing with it and users for the most part loathe it. Over all Win 8.x may add a few percentage points, but will stay with about 10% - 15% of the market.

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