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Summary:

While many of us had suspected it to be the case, Walt Mossberg of All Things Digital in his review of Snow Leopard has confirmed it: The 10.6 upgrade will work with 10.4 Tiger. Which means that if you’re not keen on iLife or iWork ’09, […]

snow_leopardWhile many of us had suspected it to be the case, Walt Mossberg of All Things Digital in his review of Snow Leopard has confirmed it: The 10.6 upgrade will work with 10.4 Tiger. Which means that if you’re not keen on iLife or iWork ’09, you can skip the full version included in the box set and save yourself a cool $140.

Of course, while Tiger users are probably pleased as punch, it’s unclear how Apple’s going to feel about this. On the one hand, Mossberg has let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, and advised users of a course of action that could deprive the company of a lot of potential revenue. Not to mention that those who do use this upgrade method will be in clear violation of Apple’s licensing agreement.

On the other hand, Walt’s exact words are:

[H]ere’s a tip: Apple concedes that the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade will work properly on these Tiger-equipped Macs, so you can save the extra $140.

That “Apple concedes” bit makes it sound like Cupertino had a hand in this particular revelation, which could mean the company expects to make more off of Tiger users buying the upgrade at a discounted price than it would from straight-up sales of the box set. Which makes sense, since why would you pay $169 for an update when your machine is humming along fine without it? A $30 price point, by contrast, will convince an awful lot of fence-sitters.

It remains unclear whether the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade disc (or $49 family pack) will work for standalone (ie. clean slate) installations, though it seems likely that it will, at least according to Lifehacker’s review of the software. Snow Leopard goes on sale tomorrow, Aug. 28th; the NYT and USA Today have interesting reviews as well.

  1. Ummm, I wouldn’t say “ALL,” as you did in your headline. I’m still smarting because my original Mac Mini PowerPC can’t run it.

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  2. If anything, we should thank Apple for not being draconian on its users. Imagine the headache that would occur if Apple sells “Snow Leopard Clean Slate Version”, “Snow Leopard Up-to-date version”, “Snow Leopard Leopard Upgrade Version”, “Snow Leopard Tiger Upgrade Version” and a few other editions of its server software. This is not Windows and its crazy upgrade chart. There are only two Snow Leopards: a home and a server version.

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  3. [...] systems. Will users need to install Leopard first when swapping in a new hard drive, for example? Recent evidence points to no, but we won’t know for sure until [...]

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  4. I’m not happy about it. Why should someone that *didn’t* pay for the Leopard upgrade benefit?

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    1. Really……why should you care…….care about something more worthy.

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    2. I agree. Don’t complain just because you apparently upgraded to leopard as well. I almost did, but then decided it just wasn’t a worthwhile switch.

      I’m still not sure I’ll upgrade to 10.6 either, and I might wait until I get a new laptop. But then I’m not really sure I need to do that either…

      It costs $$ to play with the latest stuff, so don’t be bitter because you couldn’t wait and other could and might still continue to…

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    3. stupid

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    4. you bloody bustard.ha,ha, just a joke er….

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  5. I suspect the disc for Snow Leopard is the same no matter what. No serial number is required. Apple’s Family Packs are on the “honor system”, and the box set and SL packages probably are, too. This wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    I don’t think Apple has any desire (nor should they) of setting up “Apple Genuine Advantage” (as if!) to police this process. More trouble than it’s worth.

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  6. While I am plunking my $30 down gladly, my money is on Snow Leopard having some unannounced functionality that is important to the Tablet and/or new ways that Apple will better bridge the distinctions between MacOS and iPhoneOS computing models

    The assumption here is that Apple wants/hopes/needs everyone to upgrade to take advantage of something unannounced, and are pricing the upgrade accordingly.

    Here’s a post on my analysis:

    Analysis: Apple June Quarter Earnings Call
    http://bit.ly/vbi9q

    Check it out if interested.

    Mark

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  7. [...] systems. Will users need to install Leopard first when swapping in a new hard drive, for example? Recent evidence points to no, but we won’t know for sure until [...]

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  8. [...] to buy your copy. And why not – it’s cheap. If you are upgrading from Leopard (and maybe even if not), a single-installation license will cost only $29. For a five-license Family Pack, it’s just [...]

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  9. mac mini core REJOICE!
    mac mini G4 (2005) YEAH! I LIKE THAT!
    mac mini G4 (original) HOW ABOUT ME!

    sorry panther. i just cant

    from: steve

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  10. [...] systems. Will users need to install Leopard first when swapping in a new hard drive, for example? Recent evidence points to no, but we won’t know for sure until [...]

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