Apple hasn't exhausted its supply of Yosemite betas

Million-copy cap hasn't been reached yet; still time to grab the preview

Apple still has redemption codes available for its public beta of OS X Yosemite, signaling that it hasn't reached the 1 million mark it said earlier would be the cap on participants.

Computerworld today confirmed that Apple was still handing out Yosemite betas by requesting download codes from several Apple ID accounts. Apple served up the codes.

When Apple unveiled the free beta program -- the company's first for an upcoming version of OS X in 14 years -- it said the deal "is limited to the first one million people who sign up, so join today."

Some observers had predicted that the codes would be snapped up quickly, even before the beta became available. Apple started serving up the preview Thursday.

Because Apple has no recent history of offering OS X previews to the public, it's impossible to characterize the fact that there are codes still remaining as a problem, although the fact that Apple set a cap suggests that the company was confident it would convince that many customers to participate in the beta program.

Microsoft, whose Windows has market share that exceeds that of OS X by a huge margin, regularly serves up millions of previews to its enormous customer base. Windows powers about 1.5 billion PCs, while about 80 million Macs are in use, according to recent claims by each company. That's 19:1 in favor of Windows.

But Apple's Redmond, Wash.-based rival hasn't always been as successful as it wanted in pulling in testers. In January 2009, after Microsoft said it would cap the Windows 7 beta at 2.5 million activation keys, it first discarded the cap and next extended the download deadline.

At the time, Microsoft declined to say whether the 2.5 million cap had been reached or surpassed, nor did it disclose how many copies it had provided to users.

Three years later, Microsoft crowed that customers had downloaded more than 1 million copies of the Windows 8 Customer Preview in its first 24 hours of availability. Microsoft did not set any limit on the number who could download and activate the Windows 8 sneak peek.

Interested Mac owners who want to try the Yosemite preview can obtain a redemption code from Apple's website. An Apple ID is required.

Yosemite beta email
Apple is still sending email notifications inviting people to register for its Yosemite beta program, signaling that it hasn't exhausted its self-set cap of 1 million copies of the operating system.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter, at  @gkeizer, and on Google+, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

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