Apple to offer beta version of OS X Yosemite

Apple Inc. won’t officially release its OS X Yosemite desktop software until this fall, but on Thursday, the Cupertino, California, company will give 1 million users early access to a beta version of the operating system.

The last time Apple gave the public beta access to a new desktop operating system was in 2000, when it charged $29.95 to try out the first version of OS X. This time, the beta version is free. Apple said it wants users to test drive the software and give feedback. “Your comments will help us make OS X better for all Mac users,” Apple said on the Web page where people can go to sign up for the beta program.

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