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SAN FRANCISCO (USA TODAY) - Apple on Tuesday said that it is giving away its new Mavericks X operating system and chopped the prices of its new laptops.

Apple previously charged for OS updates, but executive Craig Federighi said the company wanted to get the system into as many customers' hands as possible.

"The days of spending hundred of dollars to get the most out of your computer are over," Federighi said.

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Mavericks X is available as of Tuesday and will work on iMacs and MacBook Pros dating back to 2007, the executive added, during an event in San Francisco.

Apple executive Phil Schiller also announced new lower prices for upgraded MacBook Pro laptops. The 13-inch model is now $1,299 and the 15-inch version is $1,999, he said.

Apple executive Eddie Cue also unveiled a new version of music-creation app GarageBand and said it will be free with new Macs.

Apple made all its iWork and iLife apps free on Tuesday too.

"Others would have to pay for these things," Cue said, as a picture of appeared on a screen behind him of Microsoft's Office 365 product suite.

"Apple is ratcheting up the competition by making the OS and apps free," Van Baker, Gartner's lead Apple analyst, wrote on Twitter. "Simply put, software sells hardware for Apple."

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