Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Apple releases OS X Lion through the Mac App Store

This morning released the latest version of its Mac operating system, code named Lion. Mac users will be able to download the new OS through the Mac App Store for $29.99.
The new operating system has its share of new features – multi-touch gestures, full-screen apps, Launchpad and Mission Control, as well as Resume, Auto Save and Version – but the two big features here are the way users upgrade, and the low price.

The upgrade process is certainly a bit different: rather than buying a CD in a box, users will simply download the OS through the Mac App Store. Mac users will need to make sure they have installed the latest version of Snow Leopard before upgrading, and that their Macs have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor.

The price is something that will not make Microsoft happy, as traditionally an OS upgrade is a big revenue driver. This will continue the trend of lower prices on OS upgrades, putting more pressure on Microsoft to discount Windows.

I haven't upgraded to Lion this morning simply to let the early adopters have the bandwidth. For me the new features are nice but hardly essential, and the desktop/laptop has reached a point in their development where it is difficult to get me excited about upgrading.

I still have a ten year old Macbook Pro that is working fine, though I believe will no longer will be able to be upgraded. My mini is now one generation behind, but at least it comes with an optical drive – yes, Apple has dumped the optical drives of its new desktop computers – and has enough RAM to handle Photoshop and some video editing.

As a result, I get more excited by iOS updates – iOS 5 is coming in a couple of months – and the thought of a new iPad with a super-high resolution display.