It's the time of year when announcements about new devices are starting to come out fast and furious to capitalize on the holiday shopping rush. Apple kicked the season off with the introduction of the iPad Air that is 20% smaller than the company's current generation of tablets (because tablets weren't small and light enough?). The iPad Air is also faster than the old tablets. But the real surprise came when Apple also announced it will now give away its Mac OS and iWorks suite to users for free.
The iPad Air will cost $499 for the 16 GB model. "This is the clearest statement Apple could have made that it is only interested in competing in the premium tablet space," said Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum, in a statement. But the announcement also takes aim at Microsoft--just not on the tablet front. While the Apple OS has gotten more attention as it has proliferated across devices, making it--and its Office rival suite of iWorks products--freely available to users is a shot across the bow at Microsoft's PC dominating software.