Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer announced yesterday during Apple’s earnings call that all future versions of Mac OS X will be free. This announcement comes on the heels of the free release of OS X Mavericks last week.
Apple surprised many users by offering OS X 10.9 Mavericks completely free, but Oppenheimer confirmed that this will not be a one-time only deal. For Apple, this new model will result in a $900 million increase in net revenue recorded as deferred revenue coming from these updates.
Microsoft, on the other hand, is in a very different position. While a consistently free upgrade to its operating system means Apple users will see the benefit of renewing their equipment more often, Microsoft offers almost no hardware, aside from its Surface and Surface Pro tablets. The release of Windows 8.1 was a free update for Windows 8 users, but the company would not be able to sustain free updates to its operating system without bundling it with hardware.