Apple has announced it will begin preinstalling Mac OS X on all new Macs, two months ahead of its proposed schedule.
The announcement is part of a raft of new product offerings from the vendor, and comes hot on the heels of the opening of its first direct retail stores in the United States.
All new Macs sold from now on will include Mac OS X and Mac 9.1 preinstalled. They will automatically boot to the Mac 9 OS but users will be able to interchange between operating systems using Apple's dual boot system, according to the vendor.
The announcement is two months ahead of the preinstallation schedule, according to Apple. The idea is to make way for software applications designed for the operating system, explained Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
"This will give all our customer's access to the world's most advanced operating system and ensure a ready and lucrative market for Mac OX X applications," he announced.
The offer is available on all iMac, iBook, PowerMac G4, PowerMac G4 Cube and PowerBook G4 configurations. Customers who buy Macs without the preinstalled Mac OS X will receive a copy of the operating system free of charge.
For computers purchased prior to May 21, Mac OS X retails for $229 as a software upgrade. The system has seen widespread take-up amongst Mac users, promptly selling out upon its release in late March.
Apple also introduced the Mac OS X Server, designed to run on Macintosh Server G3 and G4, PowerMac G3 and G4, PowerMac G4 Cube, iMac and Macintosh Server systems.