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Apple gives away Snow Leopard to boost iCloud migration

It realizes that many MobileMe users will be running systems without the newer OS X Lion, which is required for iCloud access, so it's helping users take the first step.

Apple's Snow Leopard offer. MacGasm

Apple has a plan to nudge more MobileMe users on to iCloud.

The cloud-based storage service will replace MobileMe in June, but only users running OS X Lion (version 10.7) will have access to iCloud. Apple has realized that many MobileMe users are probably running an older OS and may be left behind by the cost of upgrading their systems.

So Apple is giving users of older operating systems a gentle push by making the first step toward upgrading easy: the company is giving away Snow Leopard -- the 10.6 version of OS X -- to MobileMe users, which will allow them to upgrade to Lion from the Mac App Store for $30. MacGasm reports that Apple has begun notifying MobileMe holdouts that they can receive a free Snow Leopard DVD, but they have only until June 15 to take advantage of the offer.

Apple has also set up a page where MobileMe users can request their free copy of Snow Leopard. Those who don't upgrade will be out of luck on June 30, the official end of life for Mobile Me.