Even though Apple suggests Mac users without Leopard buy the $169 Mac box set to get Snow Leopard, anyone can purchase the $29 Snow Leopard disc and install Snow Leopard in its entirety without having already installed Leopard.
This means the $29 Snow Leopard DVD isn’t an “upgrade” at all; it’s the full-on Mac OS X operating system for 30 bucks. (Something we missed yesterday when we told you how to prep your mac for Snow Leopard and have since corrected.)
I suspected this was the case, since it is with the developer build I’m running, but The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg confirms it’s true for the final release as well:
For owners of Intel-based Macs who are still using the older Tiger version of the Mac OS, Apple is officially making Snow Leopard available only in a “boxed set” that includes other software and costs $169. The reasoning is that these folks never paid the $129 back in 2007 to upgrade to Leopard. But here’s a tip: Apple concedes that the $29 Snow Leopard upgrade will work properly on these Tiger-equipped Macs, so you can save the extra $140.
So if you’re jumping from Tiger to Snow Leopard, you saved $129 bucks never purchasing Leopard and you can save $140 skipping the box set. Guess being a late adopter does pay off.
Smarterware is Lifehacker editor emeritus Gina Trapani’s new home away from ‘hacker. To get all of the latest from Smarterware, be sure to subscribe to the Smarterware RSS feed. For more, check out Gina’s weekly Smarterware feature here on Lifehacker.