Apple Launches OS X Mavericks, Now Available for Free

 In Mac w/ Mac OS X 1, Mobile Industry

Apple finally revealed its new desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks, is available for free download starting on Tuesday.

OS X Mavericks is available for free for all machines back to 2007. UPDATE, Oct. 22, 3:10 p.m. ET: Click here [Mac App Store link] to download it now.

“Today we announce a new era for the Mavericks because today we are announcing Mavericks is free,” said senior VP of software engineering Craig Federighi. “Free is good.”

The news came during the company’s iPad launch event on Tuesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Although the company first announced the new software in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, it was only available for developers.

Earlier this month, Apple released a Golden Master version of Mavericks — also known as OS X 10.9 — which is typically the same software released to the public and signaled the official launch date was inching closer.

For the first time in nine iterations, the company steered away from giving the new software a cat-themed name. In the past, names have ranged from Cheetah and Jaguar to, most recently, Mountain Lion. Now, Apple is embracing a California-based naming scheme; Mavericks is a popular surfing locale in Northern California.

Federighi demoed the new OS X Mavericks on stage, which comes with many new features and improvements, particularly in terms of battery life. While many advanced software programs tend to drain the battery, the features reduce CPU activity by 72% so MacBooks offer better performance. A feature called App Nap determines which apps are in use and which are idle, and won’t allow the dormant ones to drain power. In addition, compressed memory also received a boost, allowing apps to load faster.

But perhaps the most prominent new features of Mavericks are the multiple finder tabs, allowing tabs to show up in one window; tagging functionality to keep files organized; and multiple displays, which let you to run each display as its own system with individual menus. You longer need to flag one display as primary and the other as secondary.

Other key additions include iCloud Keychain — which stores, encrypts and automatically enters your passwords — and a more responsive Safari browser with a new sidebar and homepage lists from sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Mavericks also boasts an improved notifications system, so you don’t need to leave the app you’re already in.

Original article from mashable.com, written by Samantha Murphy.

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