Today, Apple released a beta version of the next version of its Mac operating system, OS X Yosemite. Yosemite was announced and previewed at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in June; the official release is slated for sometime this fall.

As Information Week says:

Participating in Apple’s OS X Beta Program — which is distinct from the Beta Seed Program for Mavericks — is free, but there may be non-monetary costs, such as time or data lost due to crashed applications. Apple warns the OS X Yosemite Beta “may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software.”

Another cost comes in the form of silence: Apple considers its beta software confidential and forbids beta testers from posting screenshots or discussing the software publicly. By agreeing to Apple’s Beta Program terms, testers promise to take reasonable steps to keep Apple’s software confidential, such as shielding the screen of a Mac running OS X Yosemite from onlookers.

If, after all that, you’re still interested in participating in the development of the next generation of Mac operating systems, you can sign up for the public beta here.

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