Many readers are already asking: "Should I upgrade from Mavericks to Mac OS X 10.10?" It's a good question, especially from those new to the Apple Mac operating system.

While Microsoft releases major updates every five years, Apple tends to release a new operating system every year. So if you have bought a new Apple Mac and are looking forward to the next system update, this Mac OS X 10.10 update feature tells you all you need to know. We will update this feature with new information regarding Mac OS X 10.10 as it becomes available.

This feature looks towards the next major update of the Mac OS X operating system, and looks at what you stand to gain by updating (and whether it's worth holding on for a while).

Here's how to get your Mac ready for OS X 10.10.

Mac OS X 10.10 new look interface

Here are the five things about Mac OS X 10.10 you need to know:

1. When can I download Mac OS X 10.10?

Apple is believed to be announcing the next generation of Mac OS X 10.10 at this year's WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) on 2 June. Mac OS X 10.10 will be available at some point after that, initially in Beta form to members of the Developer Program, and also to people in the new OS X Beta Seed Program.

Typically, Apple releases the final operating system two to four months after the initial announcement, so we think you can expect to install the final version of Mac OS X 10.10 sometime between August and October 2014.

See: How to join Apple's new OS X Beta Seed program

Mac OS X 10.10 Mail render

2. What new features will Mac OS X 10.10 have?

Apple is planning a Keynote speech at WWDC on 2 June where Tim Cook is likely to demonstrate the new features found in Mac OS X 10.10. Until then, any idea of new features is mostly speculation, although a new 'flat' design that brings the operating system more in line with iOS is on the cards.

On the whole' we are expecting some integration with Apple's planned new Healthbook app, and integration with any new devices (if Apple does release either a iWatch or Apple Television).

Apple is planning to focus on Mac OS X 10.10 at WWDC 2014, giving it a "larger presence than iOS 8," according to Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac.

Gurman states that OS X 10.10 will "feature an end-to-end redesign" which he likens to the extent of changes that came with iOS 7 last year. The redesign will feature "toggle designs" similar to iOS 7's, sharper window corners, more defined icons and more white space than OS X 10.9 Mavericks, but won't sway too far towards iOS, says Gurman, claiming that Apple is keen to keep its mobile and desktop operating systems separate.

Danny Giebe has created this rather stunning concept art for Mac OS X based upon the flat design ethos that we've seen in iOS.

 Mac OS X 10.10 Messages interface

See: What to expect from Apple at WWDC and Mac OS X 10.10 release date, rumours and images

3. Where can I get Mac OS X 10.10?

When Mac OS X 10.10 is publically available it will be installed via Software Update and the App Store.

Historically Apple has also charged much less to encourage all its users to move to the latest operating system q2uickly, and the Mac OS X Mavericks was free to upgrade. We feel that Apple will also make Mac OS X 10.10 a free update.

4. What is the Mac OS X Beta Seed Program and Developer Program?

We expect Apple to make an earlier version available in the Apple Developer Program and Mac OS X Beta Seed program. The Apple Developer Program is a paid-for service that enables developers to download pre-release software, along with offering access to SDK (Software Development Kit) materials.

Users interested in getting Mac OS X 10.10 early can sign up for the Beta Seed for OS X program, or for the Developer Connection.

Many non-developers were also joining the Apple Developer Program in order to access early software. Apple seems to have addressed this by releasing the Mac OS X Beta Seed program, this seems designed to enable individuals who are not developing software to download the latest edition of the software. We do not know yet whether the versions released to the Developer Program and Beta Seed for OS X will be the same, or whether they will be slightly different (or issued at a different time).

See: How to join Apple's new OS X Beta Seed program.

5. Can I install Mac OS X 10.10 on my Mac

We won't know the exact system requirements for the next edition of Mac OS X until Apple announces them.

Mavericks works on the following Apple Mac computers:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later),
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch or 17-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009) 

So Mavericks, release in 2013, was supported on Macs running back to 2007. That's a healthy six-year-old lifespan. We expect Mac OS X 10.10 to run on similar systems, although a machine that was released in 2007 or the MacBook Air 2008 models may not be supported. We will have a better idea on Mac OS X 10.10 system requirements when Apple announces the feature set, and releases the developer preview (note that the system requirements are likely to change even during the beta testing program).