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Operating Systems

Apple OS X Mavericks available today. And it's free!

The latest update to Apple's OS X operating system, Mavericks, will be made available today for free to all Mac users with a Mac new enough to handle the upgrade.

The latest update to Apple's OS X operating system, Mavericks, will be made available today for free to all Mac users with a Mac new enough to handle the upgrade.

Mavericks available today. For free! (Credit: Apple)

Apple made the big step of making its next major OS X upgrade, Mavericks, available for free to existing OS X users. The upgrade will be available sometime later today through the Mac App Store.

Mavericks introduces a number of major low-level upgrades to improve battery performance, as well as general performance of foremost tasks, by reducing the impact of background processing. There are also a large number of upgrades to Apple's built-in software offerings, including a shift to free availability for all of Apple's iLife and iWork software.

Craig Federighi stated that the improvements would add over one hour of general battery life to the latest 13-inch MacBook Air.

In making the announcement, Apple took a swipe at competitor Microsoft for the price of its operating system upgrades, showing recent versions and the price tags of each. Apple's Craig Federighi said that this was the beginning of a new era in OS updates, signalling this may be a long-term plan for Apple's upgrade program.

The one set of users who will be required to pay to upgrade are users who are still operating on OS X Leopard. They will need to purchase an upgrade to Snow Leopard before they can upgrade to Mavericks.

Mavericks is suitable for all Macs from the 2007 iMac and MacBook Pro, 2008 MacBook (Aluminium), MacBook Air and Mac Pro, 2009 MacBook, Mac mini and Xserve.