In an announcement packed keynote at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple revealed that the next generation of Mac OS X 10.7 operating system code named Lion will cost just $30.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, sold as an upgrade of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow leopard, will be made available as a download from the Mac App Store and offers over 250 new features, the company said.
Among the new arrivals for Lion is a new multi-touch gestures system, support for full screen applications and a new Mission Control view of 'everything running' on the Mac. A new Launchpad 'home for all your apps' and an updated Mail application are also included.
"The Mac has outpaced the PC industry every quarter for five years running and with OS X Lion we plan to keep extending our lead," said Apple marketing boss Philip Schiller.
Lion also includes a new Resume feature which, the firm said, "conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac". Applications will also now auto-save documents and Lion also bundles the new Mac App Store.
$30 for a major OS update represents a new aggressive pricing strategy for Apple but with the inclusion of the Mac App Store, Apple has every reason to want as many Mac owners to upgrade as possible given the firm's 30 per cent commission of app sales.
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5 or i7 processor and 2GB of RAM. Apple published detaileds of the 250+ new features on the Mac OS X web site.