Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th May 2011 21:51 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Mac OS X "With the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion this summer, Apple will make the switch to a new kind of digital distribution for its operating system upgrades by releasing the software first through its new Mac App Store, AppleInsider has learned. The Mac App Store, available to all users running the most recent version of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, will become the de facto method for obtaining the Lion upgrade, people familiar with the matter have revealed. Users will be able to upgrade instantly without the need for physical media by purchasing Lion through the Mac App Store." The old-fashioned regular disc version (and hopefully, on a USB drive for Air owners such as myself) will still be available.
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Snow leopard upgrade was offered for close to $25. It said it "Required leopard" to work, but never checked. The "full version" was also available for $130 or so. I think the only difference was the packaging. If the upgrades are only distributed via the app store in the future, the problem goes away.

I'm not sure how much they care about the piracy of the os upgrades, but that could cut down on the desire for new hardware.

Snow Leopard was never released in a "Full Version" retail disc for $130. Their retail discs only comes as an "Upgrade Version" and comes in two flavors, a single user license for $29, or a "family pack" (5 user licenses) for $49. The retail discs don't check for Leopard pre-installed.

Apple also sold Snow Leopard for $9.95 through their Up-To-Date program for customer that bought their Macs between June to December of 2009. The discs purchased though the Up-To-Date program checks to make sure Leopard is pre-installed on the computer.

I don't think Apple really cares about piracy of their OS. They are a hardware company and that is where they make most of their money.

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