Apple Driving iCloud Conversions with Free Copies of Snow Leopard for MobileMe Users
As noted by Macgasm, Apple has begun notifying at least some MobileMe users of a new upgrade program offering a free copy of Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The offer is being made to provide users of machines running older versions of Mac OS X with a reduced-cost pathway to upgrade to OS X Lion, which is required to take full advantage of the features of iCloud.
With OS X Lion being distributed via the Mac App Store, users need to have Mac OS X Snow Leopard installed on their systems in order to access the store. Consequently, users still on Mac OS X Leopard or earlier would have to pay $29 to upgrade to Snow Leopard via disc and then an additional $29.99 to upgrade to Lion via the Mac App Store in the absence of the new upgrade program. With MobileMe set to be discontinued in favor of iCloud as of June 30, Apple is clearly seeking to encourage MobileMe users to move their accounts to iCloud.
In an article sent to MobileMe customers, Apple has recommended that potential customers get in touch with Apple to receive a free DVD of Snow Leopard so that users can upgrade to Lion, and move to iCloud. All you have to do is follow this link, log in to MobileMe with your Mobile Me account, and fill out your mailing information. Apple will then send you a Snow Leopard DVD for free.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard remains available in the Apple online store for $29, suggesting that the offer is a targeted program intended for MobileMe members who need to upgrade their systems in order to move to iCloud rather than a general price cut for all purchasers of Snow Leopard.