Apple takes page from Microsoft with massive public beta for OS X Yosemite
Apple yesterday unveiled the next version of its operating system for Mac computers at its WWDC 2014 event for developers. OS X Yosemite is a replacement for OS X Mavericks from last year, and offers a substantial user interface redesign, iCloud Drive for cloud storage and multiple tweaks including major new features that offer better integration between Mac and iOS devices.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) also introduced new pricing for iCloud with the debut of iCloud Drive, with an emphasis on getting credit card numbers on file. The first 5GB of iCloud storage is free, with a rock bottom price of $0.99 per month for 20GB. The 200GB storage costs slightly more at $3.99 per month, with tiers of up to 1TB also available.
Registered developers have immediate access to OS X Yosemite, which will be released as a free upgrade for all users in fall. And taking a page from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Apple says the new version of its OS X operating system will be available as a public open beta--though limited to the first million users. Only users running on Mavericks are eligible for the Yosemite beta program.
When Microsoft made the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 available for download in 2012, the company hit a million downloads within the first 24 hours. Despite the presence of a cap, the fact that Apple thinks at least a million customer will download the beta of OS X Yosemite is a massive show of confidence by the company, despite the fact that its market share of OS X stands at less than 10 percent for computers.
For now, users who are interested can preregister for the beta using their Apple ID here.