macOS has been free since the arrival of OS X Mavericks (version 10.9), with Apple absorbing the costs of developing the system with the price of its hardware. Additionally, all systems can be updated through the Mac App Store itself or the operating system’s preference panel.

Even with these installations, Apple continues to have even older versions of the system available for download on its official website, but the surprise comes when licenses for these operating systems continue to cost money.

I’ll sell it to you, but if you want I’ll give it to you for free

This is what happens with OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion: both versions of the system cost 21.99 euros. You get the licenses by email and in the form of a code, which you redeem in the Mac App Store to download the systems. Apple even warns that the code is not received instantly after purchase: it may take a day or more.

We’re talking about 10 and 11 year old versions of macOS, which should only be used on very old Macs that can’t work with newer versions. The sale of these items is a mere curiosity for the general user, although it can be a lifesaver for technicians and hobbyists who work with old machines.

Best of all? From Apple’s support website, you can download installers for OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion for free. Yes, he sells it and at the same time gives it away. It should be noted that the maintainers have not updated the store, because on the purchase page it is still mentioned that the “most modern” version of macOS is Catalina.

Thankfully, there’s no sign of a return to licensing fees on Apple’s operating systems. What is more profitable for the company is not to sell operating systems, but to sell devices and motivate users to subscribe to the services they integrate.