Apple piggybacks off Microsoft’s free Windows 8.1 update model, consumers win!


Windows 8.1 pro update - image via The Verge

See that image above? It was shown during Apple’s iPad event today. Apple unveiled their new OSX 10.9 Mavericks operating system update, in which the company has begun to offer the update for free. Microsoft just recently did that with the Windows 8.1 update for Windows 8 users.

An interesting thing to note is that Apple showcased the image seen above downplaying Microsoft’s free Windows 8.1 update as costing users $199. What Apple fails to mention is that this price includes Windows 8 with the Windows 8.1 update, so users can do a clean install of Windows 8.1 Pro rather than having to update from the Windows Store.

Apple’s boss Craig Federighi also spoke about OSX’s free update as being revolutionary, a radical change in the PC industry. Unfortunately, he didn’t mention that other platforms, including Microsoft, have already jumped on board that bandwagon. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook even took a shot at Microsoft’s recently released Surface 2 device, stating that Microsoft is “confused” because they “tried to make tablets into PCs and PCs into tablets.” According to Cook, Microsoft has no clear idea of where they want to go.

OS X Mavericks obviously boasts new features, just like Windows 8.1 boasts new and improved features based on consumer feedback. But we won’t go into OSX’s new features, as this is a Microsoft oriented website.

Regardless of how Apple is downplaying Windows 8.1, when you look at the big picture, we as consumers ultimately win. It seems that Apple has taken a page out of their primary competitor’s book by offering an OS update for free. As Microsoft begins to be “seen” by Apple, consumers will be treated to some healthy competition. After all, who can say no to a free operating system update?