Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can business users update to Mac OS X 10.8 on existing machines? My question regards a business with about 2 dozen Macs currently running 10.6.8 in Germany. The licenses would need to be floating licenses, i.e., licensed per seat, not per user.

Similar issues have been discussed here and here, but the answers are not applicable to the German market.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Unless you cut a special deal with Apple, you will buy one single license for each Mac and you can circulate those machines sequentially to any number of employees. The last time I checked, you would need to purchase 100 OS licenses to get a floating license agreement with Apple.

There are two simple ways to get expert advice on the licensing terms of the Mac App store:

  1. Ask Apple - since you are in a country with Apple Retail presence you can call any of the stores and speak with a member of the Business team for advice, consultation and assistance. Next would be going to your online store and asking for pre-sales assistance. There is typically a toll free number with assistance in your native language(s) wherever Apple has an online store.

  2. Read the license for the software. In your case, Mountain Lion would come with a license if you purchased it in bulk from Apple directly so I presume you would know in that case what to do. Otherwise, the App Store terms/conditions take first precedence and secondly the Mountain Lion terms also apply.

The Mountain Lion terms appear to be unified for all regions here:

You can find the App Store terms at as well as from the App Store when you select your Account Information in the footer between the Privacy Policy and FAQ.

For you, the direct link is:

Most countries can substitute their two letter abbreviation for de above to get a localized and correct license for Mac App Store licenses for accounts based worldwide.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your detailed response. Could you add one clarification, please? How can I buy one single license for each Mac without each employee using her AppleID and credit card? As the licenses need to be tied to machines instead of users I am confused as how to buy the licenses without a collection of AppleIDs and associated credit cards. – user8472 Sep 1 '12 at 19:11
Most companies set up one account with a credit card from which to buy. Placing a corporate card on file or buying gift cards (stores can load up to $999 here in the US I believe). Then that account gifts the purchase to company owned Apple ID. Those Apple ID then belong to IT or can be renamed as employees move in/out. – bmike Sep 1 '12 at 21:38
Ah, I see! Thanks, that answers my question exactly! – user8472 Sep 2 '12 at 10:26

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.