Originally Posted by mpw
I can't recall ever being charged for an upgrade, obviously they've charged for new OSs like the jump from Tiger > Leopard, but I never paid for an upgrade; then again they don't usually give upgrade a name?? Sounds like marketing crap to me.
I don't know where you are getting your info but this is far from a simple upgrade or patch release. In many ways it represents more of an improvement than the move from Tiger to Leopard did. Can you as a user see all of those improvements, nope, but that doesn't mean they are significant.
In fact the changes in SL are so significant that it would be stupid on Apples part to not clearly distinguish between SL and Leopard. This is likely to be even more important to third party vendors that will leverage many of the new features in SL in their software. From a marketing standpoint it is far easier to say this package requires SL and above to operate. Because of the large increase in capability, this release needs a new designation to allow for clear communications of the level functionality.
Consider for a moment Linux. One could argue that Linux is nothing more than a continous upgrade of a bunch of software jumbled together. In a sense that is true, but you still have vendors packaging Linux up in tidy distributions with release numbers/names. Why do they do that, simply to have a check point of sorts that allows developers to market software against. It is far easier to say your software needs Ubuntu x.x.x to function correctly than to list all the required release numbers and patch sets. The same goes for Apple except for in this case more is happening to SL than you would get in any Ubuntu bump.
This is a key point the transition to SL is huge even if you don't notice on the surface. You are going to 64 bits, a new threading tech is coming online (GCD), a new acceleration facility comes online (OpenCL), Quicktime, Kernel improvements and massive improvements to apps throughout the system. It is assinine to call SL an upgrade, there is to much that is new. It doesn't matter that you don't grasp this either, Apple avoiding the point release is simply good communications for those that understand.