Will Jaguar be paid or will it be free? Many, enthusiastic about the news of the new operating system, are asking for it insistently. The answer, for now, is not there even if the past could suggest that Apple this time will not grant the update without applying a markup.
As long as Mac OS classic had been the main operating system and since the return of Jobs on the dashboard, Apple has always followed a very specific policy in the release of operating systems. The launch of a paid version was followed by a free update after about six months; after 14/16 months from the presentation of the new OS, a deeper restyling was launched, usually with "half" numbering (like Mac OS 7.5, Mac OS 8.5) for a fee. A free update followed a few months later and then, after a few more months, a "whole" update (Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9).
So far, politics have been the same. Mac OS X 10.0 was followed six months later with a free update and now Apple announces a new update that could be a 10.5 version. If the story is worth anything, then, Jaguar could be put up for sale.
But unlike in the past, when Mac OS was, despite well-known defects, a mature system, the same cannot be said for Mac OS X. It seems difficult that users who purchased the first Mac OS of the new millennium in the March 2001 and have not yet been able to exploit it for what it is worth (and for what they paid for it, if we want), they can easily be convinced to spend another 150 euros to buy a new version of the operating system. The same can be said of those who bought a machine with built-in Mac OS X but perhaps continue to look at it with suspicion or even do not use it at all.
The risk would be to see a scarce diffusion of the new OS and a consequent freezing of investments by third parties that have to invest in it.
It seems to us equally improbable that Cupertino can afford to give this version even after having done the same with Mac OS 10.1. At first glance it appears that the research and development costs for Jaguar are quite high.
Hence the hypothesis that Apple may launch a version 10.5 of Mac OS X following an upgrading principle that it has never used in the past (if not for some specific cases), allowing Mac OS X owners to buy at a discounted price. update by reloading the full cost only on those who for the first time approach the new OS.
A hypothesis that I will be curious to verify later, perhaps on the occasion of the Macworld Expo in New York during which Mac OS X 10.2 (or 10.5) will certainly be one of the protagonists, in anticipation of its release which could take place in the context of Apple Expo in September