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Apple outlines Lion upgrade path for business and education customers

While Apple announced on June 6 that consumers would be able to purchase and download Mac OS X Lion from the Mac App Store in July, there was no word on how businesses or schools would purchase and deploy the next-generation operating system. An Apple Sales Web document released today is clearing up the confusion, with details on licensing and deployment.

Starting when Lion is actually released, business customers can purchase Lion and Lion Server from Apple by calling 1-800-854-3680 or by entering the Business Store at http://store.apple.com. Volume license contracts are $29.99 per license with a minimum purchase requirement of 20 licenses. Maintenance contracts, which ensure that the next version of OS X is available at no cost, are available for $49.99, once again with a minimum purchase of 20 licenses.

Education customers will contact their Apple Education Account Representatives or buy through the Education Store. Schools get Lion as part of the Apple Software Collection -- Mac OS, iLife, and iWork -- with prices starting at $39 per license for a minimum order quantity of 25 licenses.

Existing Volume License, Maintenance, and Apple Education Licensing Program customers will receive one redemption code for each contract that can be used to download Lion from the Mac App Store. That single copy of the Install Mac OS X Lion application is used to install Lion on other Mac systems at the school or business.

Once the install app has been downloaded, administrators just copy it to the target systems and run the installer. Administrators can use the System Image Utility in OS X Lion Server to build NetInstall (link to PDF) or NetRestore images to assist in performing mass deployments.

Through the OS X Lion Up-to-Date program, customers who purchased a Mac from Apple or an authorized reseller on or after June 6 will get the operating system for free. The Up-to-Date upgrade must be requested within 30 days of the official Lion release date, whenever that may be.

TUAW readers who are business or education customers and have additional questions should contact their Apple account representatives for further details.

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