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Monday, January 19, 2009

Mac Mini and Missing iLife '09

When I walked into the Apple Store to consider purchasing my first Mac, the poster on the easel as I entered was that for the new iLife '09. Seeing additional advertising throughout the store, I was thinking -- wow, what great timing -- I bet my Mac Mini will come with the new version of iLife with all the upgrades to the latest versions: iDVD '09, iPhoto '09, iMovie '09, GarageBand '09, and iWeb '09.

When I purchased the Mac Mini, nothing was mentioned at checkout so I figured I was good. I arrived home and fired up the Mac Mini and almost immediately noticed that the version of iPhoto did not have the latest bells and whistles that were promised as part of iLife '09. Big surprise, iLife '09 was not installed or included with the computer.

For anyone who bought a Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or Macbook Air on or after January 6th, 2009 -- you too are entitled to an upgrade of iLife '09 to your computer for only $10, err...$9.95.  All you need to do is go to this site, fill out the forms that include the serial number for your Apple Mac and you will receive the CD towards the end of the month.  I filled out the forms and it went flawlessly.
Then I visited the Apple Store online and could only find mention of an upgrade for $79. I thought to myself -- I just paid $650 for this and the software was already out. Why was it not included on my Mac Mini? Or at least a coupon included for a free upgrade. Why was I expected to spend $79 on a brand new machine to upgrade to the software that should have been included with it?

Annoyed enough by the outdated software that only 3-4 hours into the new machine I was seriously considering returning it.

I decided I should probably call Apple Support before fuming too much about the situation. I placed a call to Apple Support and while the agent tried to find out the details on the machine. After a few minutes and conferencing me in with the Thousand Oaks Apple Store, it was determined I purchased my Mac Mini after the launch date of January 6th, 2009 -- so I could make an appointment at the Genius Bar and bring it in to have it updated for $10. The only catch was that the CD's were not widely available, so I would need to wait until the end of the month.

Less annoyed at the prospect of paying $10 for the upgrade, I was reasonably satisfied by the resolution and the effort that the phone support representative went to in resolving the situation. In fact, I would not be returning my Mac Mini. Whew. But, I was still uncomfortable with the idea of someone else installing software on my Mac, I guess I would have to get comfortable with it over the next 3 weeks.

And over the next couple of days, I learned a little more...

For anyone who bought a Mac Mini, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or Macbook Air on or after January 6th, 2009 -- you too are entitled to an upgrade of iLife '09 to your computer for only $10, err...$9.95. All you need to do is go to this site, fill out the forms that include the serial number for your Apple Mac and you will receive the CD towards the end of the month. I filled out the forms and it went flawlessly.

What I think happened -- because I looked at the Apple site when I discovered the missing iLife '09 -- is that the upgrade information for recent buyers of Mac machines was not published. The recent purchase upgrades were not mentioned in the press release, so perhaps they were added afterwards. Plus, I remember searching the Apple site only to find nothing on the evening on the 9th, only to find it show up sometime afterwards until when I filled out the form the week of the 12th.

Still, overall it is a very good outcome! I will have to let you know when the update arrives and how the process goes.

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