Thomas Brand explains why the next version of OS X should be free:
Every major release of iOS has been free. And free has drastically accelerated the adoption rate of iOS. An accelerated adoption rate is good for customers because it puts the latest technology into their hands, and provides them with the latest bug fixes. An accelerated adoption rate is good for developers because it reduces the complexity of supporting multiple operating systems, and decreases support requests. An accelerated adoption rate is good for Apple because it keeps them looking forward.…
During his 2013 WWDC Keynote address, Tim Cook revealed that 93% of all iOS users were using iOS 6, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. But only 35% of all Mac users had upgraded to 10.8 Mountain Lion, the latest version of OS X.…
Just three weeks ago, Apple released a security update for Snow Leopard, alongside a similar update for Lion, and Mountain Lion. Normally Apple only provides software updates for the two most recent versions of OS X, but they are forced to continue to support Snow Leopard due to its popularity.
And then, confusingly, predicts that it won’t be free:
A free Mavericks sounds temping to encourage adoption, but I suspect Apple won’t change the price of the next version of OS X. As John points out, any price above free can still be seen as an obstacle, and although Apple doesn’t need the money, there is no point leaving it on the table.
There are at least three points for leaving that money on the table, and Thomas listed them. Apple makes its huge profits from hardware sales, no OS X sales. It’s in Apple’s best interests to encourage wide adoption of Mavericks, and I expect it to be the first free release of OS X.