Upgrading to OS X Mountain Lion – The Cheap Way!

Mac Software Update Icon - ThumbnailApple’s 2012 World Wide Development Conference kicked off today. And overall, the news was impressive. If you have $2199 to spend on a laptop, the 2880 x 1800 retina display of the new MacBook Pro might interest you. Meanwhile, iOS is getting upgraded with anti-Google technology — like maps and improved Siri responses. Yet, I was most excited by a fairly minor announcement. OS X Mountain Lion is releasing next month… for $19.99.

That news alone wasn’t the cause of my excitement. It was already common knowledge that Mountain Lion would arrive in the summer. The unknown was the upgrade path. Apparently, I can upgrade straight from Snow Leopard (10.6) to Mountain Lion (10.8). While I speculated that skipping a version was possible, Apple made it official today. Instead of upgrading my Mac Mini to Lion, I decided to save $29.99! I didn’t see a reason to upgrade to Lion. Somehow, I managed without features like fullscreen chess.

With Mountain Lion, it’s the opposite. I’m looking forward to the upgrade. There’s a bunch of great features: Game Center, iMessage, AirPlay Mirroring, Dictation, and iCloud apps (Reminders & Notes). It’s $10 cheaper than Lion, but I think Mountain Lion is the better value. Regardless, I’m getting the features of both for just $19.99*.

*plus New York state sales tax :D

And yet, that’s not the end of the savings. Because I knew Mountain Lion was on the way… and that it would be sold through the Mac App Store… I decided to pick up an iTunes gift card. Best Buy was having a sale. I put a $50 credit on my account for only $40. That’s a 20% discount! Instead of spending $59.98 (plus tax) on the two upgrades for my Mac Mini,     I’m getting Mountain Lion for much less. It’s basically a triple saving day!

  • I thought Mountain Lion (10.8) would be $29.99 instead of $19.99
  • I didn’t have to buy Lion (10.7)
  • I saved money by getting a 20% discount on an iTunes Gift card

If I keep saving money like this, I might be able to afford one of those Retina display MacBook Pros one day. My Mac Mini (the early 2009 model) just barely meets the system requirements for Mountain Lion. Apple is not well known for showing mercy on older hardware. This might be the last major upgrade for my Mac Mini.

So now, the waiting begins. Mountain Lion is scheduled to launch in July.