Apple marks schools with free Jaguar

The Mac maker says kindergarten through 12th grade teachers will be able to get free copies of its OS X version 10.2 operating system, as well as training tools and other applications.

Apple Computer is giving away copies of its latest operating system to school teachers, the company said Thursday.

The Mac maker said Thursday that kindergarten through 12th grade teachers will be able to get free copies of its OS X version 10.2 operating system, code-named Jaguar, as well as training tools and copies of its iMovie, iPhoto and iTunes applications.

The offer runs through Dec. 31.

The company has historically been dominant in the education market, but that hold has been slipping. In its report report Wednesday, Apple noted that weak education sales were a factor in its fourth-quarter net loss.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dell Computer now claims the top spot in the education market; according to research firm IDC, Dell controlled 33 percent of the market in first quarter of the year, compared with Apple's 14 percent.

Apple has fought back, and recently cut the price of its .Mac suite of online services for the education market.

While giving software away to teachers may help Apple win back its place in educators' hearts, there is a touch of irony about the move. Microsoft was recently forced to amend a class-action settlement that involved donating about $1 billion in money, software, services and training over a five-year period to schools.

Apple was one of the critics of that deal, saying it was anticompetitive.

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