Yes, OS X Mavericks Is Free. Wait, No It Isn’t — Or Is It?

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The last half-dozen times I’ve updated OS X between hardware upgrades, I’ve paid money. Not money built into the price of each system — I’ve paid that, too. But like any self-respecting OS-maker, Apple’s charged a fee to upgrade, and I’ve been paying it for years.

Apple, of course, has software engineers and designers and project managers who work year in, year out to refine OS X, layering in new features, performance improvements, overhauling the interface and so forth. These people need to be paid, and Apple itself needs to take its piece for investing substantial time to advance the Mac platform. Upgrade fees have been Apple’s way to recoup some of that investment. None of that’s rocket science.

But with OS X Mavericks, Apple finally eliminated that upgrade fee, making OS X Mavericks free for existing Mac owners. If you own a Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or later, you…

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