The other day I received a letter from a reader wondering whether heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d get a discount on Mac OS 10.5 Leopard if he bought a new Mac for Christmas. He hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been following the news lately, so he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t aware that it wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t actually ship until the spring of next year.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I told him, even though I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like the answer: Apple is very stingy in its operating system update policies. If you buy a new Mac after an Mac OS X upgrade ships, you can usually get the upgrade for a modest shipping and handling fee. Otherwise you pay the full price, even if you bought the previous operating system version the day before.
To be fair, Apple has occasionally instituted a somewhat more liberal policy, where the mere announcement of an actual shipping date is enough to trigger the upgrade discount, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see things moving in that direction.
In fact, I fully expect Leopard will cost more, partly because I expect youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get a lot more bundled applications. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get to that shortly, but I am certainly not happy about the whole thing.