Tiger Users Can Get a Cheap Upgrade to Snow Leopard

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Still using Tiger, the older version of Mac OSX? You may be able to cheat Apple and pay only $29 to upgrade to the latest Snow Leopard operating system, says Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal.

Tiger, which was launched in 2005, was Apple's longest-running version of Mac OSX. It was also the first Apple operating system to run on both the old PowerPC architecture and on Intel-based Macs, introduced in 2006. Tiger ran on all Intel-based Macs until 2007, when Apple launched Mac OSX Leopard. Approximately 20 percent of Mac users are still running Tiger, according to recent estimates.

And, now, some of those Tiger users may be able to upgrade directly to Snow Leopard (out on Friday) -- at a lower price. Apple is charging $169 for Tiger users to make the upgrade, requiring them to purchase the Mac Box Set, which includes Snow Leopard, iLife 09 and the iWork 09 productivity suite. Leopard users, however, only have to pay $29 to upgrade to Snow Leopard.

But the WSJ's Mossberg has discovered that "the $29 Mac OS X Snow Leopard upgrade will work properly on these Tiger-equipped Macs, so you can save the extra $140." Anther confirmations of this possibility came from Wired's Brian X Chen. If you're running Tiger on a non-Intel Mac though, then you're out of luck; Snow Leopard works only with Intel-based Apple hardware.

The problem with using the $29 Snow Leopard disc to upgrade from Tiger is that is violates Apple's end user license agreement. In other words: it's illegal. But unlike Microsoft's Windows install discs, Apple's discs do not require a CD key when installing the OS. They also don't require registration after installation. And as the whole Snow Leopard OS comes on the Leopard upgrade disc, without any built-in software restrictions, Apple makes cheating easy.

Meanwhile Amazon has cut prices of the Mac Box Set today, from $169 to $149.99 and also for the Snow Leopard upgrade disc, from $29 to $25. If you pre-ordered your Snow Leopard by now, Apple started sending out e-mails already, letting customers know the discs are on the way.

In anticipation of the Snow Leopard discs arriving in your post on Friday, you might want to read our review of Snow Leopard and find out how it stacks up against Windows 7.

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