Apple to offer Mac OS X Lion volume licensing

Even though Apple is officially mum on the details, Erik Eckel did some digging and is fairly certain that volume licensing for Mac OS X Lion will be available for larger organizations. Here's what he found out.

One of the most innovative Mac OS X Lion features is the manner in which the upgrade is distributed. Most users will purchase, download and install the new OS using Apple's App store. However, not everyone is a fan of the idea, particularly some larger business users. Big organizations need not worry, however. I have a well-placed inside source who confirmed on June 29th that Apple will offer larger organizations volume license options for deploying Mac OS X Lion.

Details are still understandably sketchy; the OS is yet to be released. Apple is only committed to releasing the OS in July and won't commit beyond that. Regardless, rumors are rampant that volume licensing will be offered.

While many sites are reporting the release of an "official" Apple PDF explaining large business and education Mac OS X Lion volume licensing terms, I couldn't find any trace of the document on Apple's actual website, nor did multiple Apple staff bother returning numerous telephone or email inquiries requesting clarification of the supposed volume licensing document. A local Apple retail store's official public pronouncement on June 29th was that Apple's corporate officials had not yet officially announced or released any volume licensing terms.

But it's a safe bet they're coming. My source confirmed Apple will announce volume licensing terms that are consistent with the leaked PDF. Here are the likely details:

  • Larger organizations will be able to purchase Mac OS X Lion volume licenses for $29.99 each.
  • A minimum of 20 licenses must be purchased.
  • Maintenance contracts will be available for $49.99.
  • A minimum purchase of 20 maintenance contracts will be required.
  • When a larger organization makes a purchase, the organization will receive a redemption code.
  • Organizations leveraging volume licensing will enter their redemption code once to download the Lion install application from the App store.
  • Volume license holders will be able to leverage the same mass distribution methods used previously (copy the install application to target systems over the local network or utilize System Image Utility to create NetInstall or NetRestore images).

When pressed to provide more details regarding supported mass distribution methods, my source wanted to prove helpful and divulge more information; he/she simply didn't know because Apple hasn't yet let insiders know specifics. Even Apple employees didn't know the distribution details as of June 29, I was told.

Mac OS X Lion Server should be available through the App store, too. I believe it will sell for $49.99. But again, details are still sketchy even among Apple insiders.