by Austin Carr
"For Apple, the benefits likely outweigh the downsides. While Apple generated revenue from selling OS X, it had been lowering the price of the product over the last few years in order to goose downloads. By offering it for free, Apple will potentially further mitigate issues of fragmentation. When more and more users upgrade to Mavericks, because it's free, Apple users will more and more operate on the same standard, enhancing the platform's security while boosting app compatibility.
"The largest benefit to Apple, however, could come through the disruption it might bring to Microsoft's business model. Last year, Redmond brought in $19.23 billion from the Windows division, with 65% of that coming from licensing its operating system to OEMs. With Apple offering its sleeker, better-reviewed operating system now for free, Microsoft's pricing for Windows--both to average consumers and enterprise customers, as well as possibly OEMs--will seem outlandishly high by comparison."