back to article Mac OS X Lion debuts in July as $29.99 upgrade

Mac OS X Lion – the next incarnation of Apple's desktop, notebook, and server operating system – will go on sale in July at a price of $29.99. According to Apple, the OS will offer 250 new features and 3,000 new developer APIs. This includes the multi-touch touchscreen technology popularized by the iPhone and the iPad; the Mac …


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  1. ceebee

    is Apple serious?

    Oh let's just spend a week or two trying to get the 4gb download! It may be fine for some Apple fanboi in Palo Alto but has Apple any idea of real world connection speeds?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Okay, maybe a 700 MB CD is a bit squashed... but 4GB can easily fit on a DVD.

      They sold me 10.6.3 on a DVD no problems, why does 10.7 present such an issue? 5GB is half our monthly quota... and I've got no way of paying for things on the App Store. What do I do, feed notes/coins into the DVD drive?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        OS X 10.6.3 was shipped on a dual-layer DVD, but it's still a DVD nontheless. Also, what about those wanting to nuke the Mac's hard drive and do a ground-up upgrade? You can't be serious about needing to install 10.6, then downloading a 4GB upgrade package every time?

        Facepalm. I've a headache just thinking about it.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Don't worry...

          Inside the package that's downloaded, you right click, 'View package contents' and inside a folder there's a .dmg which you can happily burn to DVD and install as normal.

    2. mraak


      I'm sure they'll be glad to help you at your local Apple Store, even let you connect to their wireless network while you have a coffee. Why inventing problems even before they appear just to be able to whine?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So tempted to see if they'll let me do this with my aspire one.

        Running osx.

        I foresee being chased out the shop, possibly with brooms.

      2. The Bug

        Re: whine

        What about those of us with 10GB allowances with no Apple Stores in the country? At least give us the option of buying it on DVD!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        My local Apple store... 80 miles miles away.

        Not very local, and a very real problem. I don't need to invent any new ones.

        I want proper install media!

      4. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        @mraak - Wtf are you on?

        So to upgrade my box I have to log a call with Apple Support, make an appointment, box up the machine, lug it to the Apple store ( my nearest is on Regent Street in London, so that's a 90 min trip on trains and tubes ), then wait 90 mins while they upgrade it and then lug the f**king thing all the way home on trains and tubes?!

        You may love Apple enough to develop a hernia for them, I have better things to do with my time and health. Looks like I'm stuck with 10.6.x then!

      5. CADmonkey

        Re: Why inventing problems even before they appear just to be able to whine?

        Welcome to the internet.

      6. Graeme 7

        RE: Whine

        Sure thing I'll drag my 24" imac 100miles to my nearest apple store and spend the entire day, quite a lot of effort and money doing so. What a good idea!

        I was going to upgrade to Lion but now I think I'll be keeping it on Leopard and whine all I want while doing so.

      7. That Awful Puppy

        Re: Whine

        While I'm an absolutely huge and drooling Apple fanboi, I just can't imagine dragging my iMac to the nearest Apple dealer to let me upgrade to 10.7, and nobody else should have to. Electronic distribution is all nice and good, but physical media have their advantages, too. Such as being to get where the interwebs don't.

      8. Anonymous Coward


        Going to an Apple Store?!! As an Mac user I had the misfortune to have to do that. Never seen so many arrogant geeks in one place... Of the worst kind... Geniuses? Give me a break!!... I will try to stay away from any Apple Stores for as long as I am a user of their products. If I remain a user of their products, that is. They seem to slowly remove the reasons I went for an Apple product, one by one...

        As for Lion - I will upgrade only after reading the reviews to check how many restrictions they will add... Snow Leopard works just fine for now.

    3. StooMonster

      Faster than you think

      The latest OFCOM report of May 2011 reports average wired broadband speed in UK as being 6.2Mbps and for wireless broadband over phone network 1.5 (and 2.5 in "areas of good 3G coverage").

      So, for the average British customer it's not going to take a week or two at 6.2Mbps -- and at the other end of the scale, those of us with 50 or 100Mbps it will take barely any time at all.

      Once downloaded the image can be shred with all the Macs in a household, so doesn't need to be downloaded multiple times.

      Still, I would prefer the ability to burn a disc for vanilla installs and at this time it's unknown whether you can do this.

      1. Alan Mackenzie

        A new Mac capability

        I didn't know a gang of Macs could shred disk images. You learn something new every day.

      2. kinrossian
        Thumb Down


        Statistics can be easily used to mislead an opinion.

        Since the era of iPlayer, 4OD and the like started, getting that kind of speed on a 20 century line (old BT line) is impossible. How many people can really expect that kind of speed? The best you can expect and still call it broadband is around 3Mbps... and many households will start struggling with that as more and more of the above services become the norm for TV watching. First step for justifying a multi-tier internet? Maybe...

        Then The Man has won!

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge


      50MB cable. I can get that in no time.

      You might want to live somewhere with a better broadband speed?

      1. Sartori

        @Girles Jones

        Awesome, looks like the options are either go to an Apple Store (which may be extremely far away) or move house and if you aren't prepared to do either, you're a whiner. Brilliant, good to see people showing the Jobs reality distortion field to be a myth after all.

        1. Sean Baggaley 1


          The App Store download for the OS includes a DMG (i.e. disc image file) inside it. You can burn it just fine. Hell, you can even "restore" it onto a USB stick or media card and install from that—the Mac won't mind.

          If your broadband sucks, I suggest you complain about *that*; contrary to popular belief, British Telecom and their friends are not Apple's fault. Seriously, 4GB is—as Jobs himself pointed out—about the size of an HD movie download. If downloading this amount of data over a broadband connection is a problem for you in 2011, perhaps you need to seriously reconsider your choice of ecosystem.

          Apple have been banging on about their kit's internet connectivity since the very first Bondi iMacs; what the hell were you expecting? It's not as if nobody could see this coming a mile away.

          1. The Bug


            It may surprise you to find out that not everywhere in the world is like the UK. Some countries, for example, are a relatively long way away from anywhere else and so building infrastructure to connect those places to the internet is reasonably pricey. Add in low population, and low population density and you get a great place to live and, unfortunately, a small number of people to pay for that pricey infrastructure.

            So, whilst I am able to connect to the net through fast VDSL, I am unable to download a great deal without hitting my broadband limit and thus having to either pay large amounts of money for overage or having my connection speed dialed down to dial up speeds.

            Having to use half of my download cap on upgrading the operating system isn't my prefered option. So instead I will be forced to buy a dodgy copy on a DVD from a local market. Which seems a little like shooting yourself in the foot when, if Apple were to sell me the DVD instead, they would be the ones getting the money!

      2. Francis Boyle

        Is that

        some kind of Steve Job's impression? If so, fail. If not, well, fail.

    5. Dan Wilkinson

      You managed to get the first post in pretty fast...

      ...for one with such a shit internet connection...

    6. Anonymous Coward

      No kidding!

      I couldn't agree more. I just consider this as being inconsiderate and arrogant -- until, of course, we all have a direct fibre optic feed into our gear. (LOL)

  2. Greg J Preece

    Some interesting stuff

    I like the sound of LaunchPad, and as a developer new APIs are always welcome. Listing the App Store as a new feature is a bit rich though, given not only that it's in Snow Leopard, but that you use it to run the upgrade.

    The touchscreen blah-blah was inevitable - it's one of the computing industry's current gimmicks, after all. In about 5-10 years Apple will bring out a device with amazing new tactile response technology, called iButtons, and everyone will go mental for them.

    Overall, it's likely that I'll upgrade anyway for the new developer kit, but it sounds interesting enough to be worth £30. When it comes to software, you can pay a lot more for a lot less.

  3. Robert E A Harvey


    3000 new apis? whot?

    I can almost swallow 3000 new & updated system calls, but psurely an API is whole bundle of system calls giving access to a something?

    3000 new system calls would be a pointless encumberance. 3000 complete APIs would be be programmer overload.

    Sounds like bollox to me.

    1. Dan Wilkinson


      so whichever is it, 3000 new ones, be it individual calls or whole groups of functions will be either an encumbrance or overload eh?

      Enlighten us, how many would be acceptable. Say, 30 new groups of 25 calls each? More? Less?

      Honestly, what a stupid thing to complain about. They are there to be used if you have a use for them. Better to have a million calls available so long as they are all independently useful, even if you personally only need a couple of hundred.

      And, for info (straight outta Wikipedia..) API may be used to refer to a complete interface, a single function, or even a set of APIs provided by an organization. Thus, the scope of meaning is usually determined by the context of usage. In this context, I would suggest it means individual calls, as anyone who is vaguely familiar with Apple dev speak knows that the APIs when referred to as a set are given names like CoreImage etc, which was mentioned in some form as part of the keynote.

  4. largeduck

    The beginning of the end?

    4Gb and no cd/dvd? WTF.

    I have two powermacs, an Imac plus a macbook pro so at least 16Gb to down load which will take about a fortnight to download with the flakey internet connection I have. Also my one and only attempt at using the new mac app store (t download xtools 4) failed completely so I do not hold out much hope for this download only BS.

    Why the beginning of the end? Well if Apple carry on like this I might have to bite the bullet and go down the dark and mysterious linux path.

    1. Nick Fisher

      Not quite

      It's a 4Gb download. Unpleasant, yes, but you can install on it all machines which use the same AppleStore ID. Make a disk image on a DVD (or memory stick) for future use.

      (and given that Apple rely on the honesty of its users with regards to OS installs - no licence code or serial number shenanigans here - you could probably install it on as many machines in your household as you care to)

      I'm puzzled why your XTools d/l failed. You can break/resume Apple Store downloads ad infinitum.

      1. largeduck

        xtools and other failed downloads

        Hopefully not a glimpse of the future .. xtools is a 4.36Gb download (which I had to pay for still a bit miffed about that) when installing it does 269.57Mb then bombs out. All attempts at retrying just repeats this pattern.

        Two things bother me about this, firstly it failed, secondly I had to pay for it and it failed, thirdly (sorry three things that bother me about this ..) apple support for the app store is practically non existent, and fourthly (four, there are four things that bother me about this..) can I trust it again particularly for something complex like an OS install.

        My gravest concern is that apple seems to be converting MAC/OSX into a closed system like the Ipad which leaves slightly oddball developers (robotics and A.I systems in Fortran on a MAc .. yes I really am that masochistic like me out in the cold.


      Cart before the horse.

      > 4Gb and no cd/dvd? WTF.

      You mention the "dark and mysterious path" of Linux.

      If I were taking a Debian approach to this problem I might create a local package repository on one machine and point the rest of them to that "cache" rather than having each of them suck down 4G in network bandwidth.

      I've always found it somewhat bogus that MacOS can't do online updates like pretty much any other Unix.

      1. Dan Wilkinson

        Bogus eh?

        Last time I looked, all updates were done online...?

      2. Jean-Paul

        @Jedidiah - Ofcourse you can

        I think you are just demonstrating your lack of understanding on how OSX works. This method of updating is exactly what I use in the country side on our crappy broadband link. My mini doesnloads all the updates, and my Pro, MBP, MBA, iMac all grab their updates from the mini.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Wait and see?

      Once downloaded you may be able to copy the setup app to all the other machines and run it.

    4. Steen Hive


      Good luck installing an Intel-only OS on those.

    5. Lance 3

      At most 8GB

      It will be at most 8GB, you need OS X Snow Leopard and the PowerMac is PowerPC based. Snow Leopard required an Intel processor, just as Lion does. So if the iMac is Intel based, then all you have to upgrade is the Macbook Pro and the iMac.

    6. envmod


      how can you fuck up downloading something from the app store? it's the easiest thing ever. you must be really fucking dumb. OR PERHAPS cutting off your nose to spite your face because you personally don't like the changes apple are making.

    7. SharkNose

      Re The beginning of the end?

      Ok, so when you go down the "dark and mysterious Linux path", will you not have to download the CD / DVD images to install said "dark and mysterious linux"? In my general experience with Linux, ever since I acquired broadband internet that has been the general means of obtaining installation and update media.

      Presumably, if the download package is burnable to a DVD as someone suggested, I can quickly imagine a fairly lucrative black market opening up to provide copies to those who are unencumbered with modestly fast broadband.

      Still don't think 4Gb is a ridiculous download though, we only have a medium speed Sky ADSL connection and I managed to download the entire 8 CDs to install CentOS in a few hours.

      Also, I imagine a DVD is relatively useless to those people with a Macbook Air...seems a waste of time to go buy an external DVD drive just for this...

    8. dssf

      Forcing people into the Apple Stores...

      By doing this, Apple can get near absolutely correct numbers of users vs machines UPGRADEd. However, I don't know why they cannot be satisfied with the number of downloads if there is not serial number issues. I imagine, too, that those owning multiple Apple machines awaiting updates/upgrades, it would be much better if Apple offered media devices/sticks to ship out. Wouldn't the install/update go much faster, then?

      OTOH, by forcing people into the stores, there is probably a much greater chance of complete, correct, full updating rather than flaky connections bombing the experience for users who'll then angrily hit the web blogs.

      Now, if you're paranoid, you'll wonder what those Geniouses will be looking at during some part of that 90 minutes your machine is on ThEiR side of the counter... Or, you may be wondering whether it is an attempt to put something ELSE into the machine, like a new, hidden chip (anti-theft/theft-recovery/DOD/NSA/CIS/MI5/MI6 directives related stuff?) (Yeh, that part is conspiracy theory minded, i know...)

  5. Mikel

    Wait. Stop. Did i miss something?

    Since when does Apple sell their OS for installation on any old pc? I've known it could be done but this is the first I've heard of Apple selling it to that purpose.

    1. lurker


      What makes you think they are? I don't read that in the article anywhere. I strongly suspect that installing on any non-sanctified hardware will still be against the EULA. Although that won't stop people of course, since it's very questionable whether or not that is in any way legally enforceable.

    2. John I'm only dancing

      Quite a lot really

      Not to any old PC, just to Macs

      Jaguar - Panther

      Panther - Tiger

      Tiger - Leopard

      Then removing PPC code

      Leopard - Snow Leopard

      And now Snow Leopard to Lion. The last two OS upgrades have been cheap.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Could this be an attempt by Apple to remove the market for non-apple machine builds? The App Store checks that your machine is a valid Apple device before allowing the install to occur. An interesting, if somewhat annoying, turn of events.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Online upgrade, no thanks.

    "from the Mac App Store, not on CDs"

    Dream on! No way I buy and O/S upgrade online, I want the discs Apple, for I dunno.....when I rebuild the flipping thing from scratch! No doubt if I did buy the online upgrade you wouldn't allow me to download it again and again each time I rebuild.

    I rebuild my Mac and Macbook at least once every 6 months as I am too bloody lazy to clean it up, just simplier to blow it away and reinstall to clean up, for that I will need the discs Apple!

    Strangely I have no problem with upgrading my Ubuntu box online, but I know it's always available without hoops to jump through as Apple app store would make me do.

    1. envmod


      you rebuild your mac and macbook every six months? are you fucking mental?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        No.... I said above, just absolutely staggeringly lazy! You would not believe how lazy I can be! I could spend 2 hours cleaning up or even better keeping it clean and tidy on a day-to-day basis, but it's only 45 mins to rebuild the O/S and 30 mins to put my docs back off the time machine, job done!

        It's not like you have reinstall drivers on a Mac, like you do with other O/S's on commodity hardware. I rebuild OSX more often than I used with Windows, for the very reason it's so easy to do!

        I could write more but...ah sod it too much work!

        1. ThomH


          If it follows the normal App Store rules, then you can have unlimited downloads for as long as the product is available. Which, I appreciate, answers only one of your very minor concerns, but there you go.

          Might be smart to do a completely clean install, grab a Time Machine backup right then, and any time you want to refresh just chose 'restore from Time Machine backup' via the recovery disk that came with your machine (which was also the OS disk, at least up until now).

  8. Tim Walker

    I'd better upgrade to Snow Leopard pronto...

    Call it a combination of "I never got around to it" and "I heard too many horror stories of borked Macs in the early days", but methinks it's time to grab hold of the handrails as the train pulls out of the station...

  9. JDX Gold badge


    Yes of course it's no problem to drive to my nearest shop and waste several hours, pay for parking, etc.

    And of course you realise that Macs aren't all MacBooks, right? No doubt you'll be lugging your 28" monster through a mall to the store.

    1. That Awful Puppy

      Ooh err

      I lug my 28" monster with me everywhere. My iMac, on the other hand, is a paltry 27 inch affair.

      1. Cazzo Enorme

        Re: Ooh err

        That Awful Puppy? You win the Interwebs with that comment.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      For goodness sake.

      Just buy a new Mac with Lion installed and have it delivered.

      No big deal.

  10. JonathanH

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Im sure it will only be a matter of time before someone finds a way to create a DVD from the download...

    I wonder if this is more in an effort to try and stop people buying the disk once and installing it on all their (and their friends) machines, without going down the Microsoft product key and activation route?

    Either way, if a 4GB download is required each time, with my connection speeds I'll not be upgrading...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I believe from what others are saying you can simply open the downloaded package and extract the DMG ( ISO ) and burn it ready to go.

  11. Slap

    Unanswered questions

    Well as usual Apple has left more questions unanswered than answered.

    For instance what is the exact mechanism of the installer? Does actually preform this major update on a live running system? Having played with the beta I noticed that an extra recovery partition was created during the install (completely buggering GRUB and bricking my bootcamped Ubuntu in the process). Hence my pet theory is that the install process will create a new partition on the fly, copy the install to that partition, reboot from that partition, and then perform the install. If that's the case then it may be possible to image this partition to a DVD for purposed of future installs, or a least have a bootable DVD to be able to perform disk repair/initialisations and timemachine restores.

    However, the big question really lies with the inevitable event of a disk failure. Am I really going to have to reinstall SL and then go through the hassle of re-downloading and reinstalling Lion? If that's the case then a 60min job has turned into one of several hours which is bad news for me because I have to do quite a number HD replacements in an average week.

    For my personal use I've been testing Ubuntu for the last 6 months, mainly because I've been afraid of this particular scenario, and now that I'm happy that it can do everything I need it to do, I'm going to start migrating away from apple.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      To be fair to Apple....

      It was a marketing event (whatever the title implies to the contrary). Marketing events don't set out to answer all the questions.


    2. Dan Wilkinson

      Titles titles, lord of the Andals and all that

      However, the big question really lies with the inevitable event of a disk failure. Am I really going to have to reinstall SL and then go through the hassle of re-downloading and reinstalling Lion? If that's the case then a 60min job has turned into one of several hours "

      You have a mac? Then you have a DVD burner. Use it. You don't have a DVD burner? Then you have an Air, and therefore cannot convince me you cannot afford a £10 8Gb thumbstick.

      "For my personal use I've been testing Ubuntu for the last 6 months, mainly because I've been afraid of this particular scenario, and now that I'm happy that it can do everything I need it to do, I'm going to start migrating away from apple."

      I call bullshit. I think you are merely happy to show your current opinion of apple by attaching it to any nugget than you can cast in a bad light, regardless of completeness or accuracy.

  12. Guy Randall

    @largeduck - Updating his machines

    Since when will PowerMacs be getting access to Lion or the apple store. Maybe you mean Mac Pro's? PowerPC support stopped at 10.5 (Leopard).

    Have a great day! I myself am feeling a bit of a pedantic iFanBoi this morning!

    1. largeduck


      Good Grief, make one little slip up and call a MAC Pro a PowerMac and every one thinks you are an idiot, well I may be an idiot but made the slip up because my loverly G5 was used for ages and I got used to the name, the Intel contraption is new, and I know it is new as it cost me a small fortune to change all the compilers over (something I have not quite forgiven Apple for yet).

      Mines the one with the Fortran 90 programming guide in the pocket.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who said it is download only?

    The presentation is clear. That price is for download only, who ruled out buying able to buy it on DVD?

    At US$29.99 (and at £20.99 inc VAT actually cheaper in the UK!) it is a great price.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    1. Anonymous Coward

      WE ARE!

      But all they keep doing is moaning and arguing amongst themselves about the lack of physical media!

  15. Giacomo Bruzzo
    Thumb Up

    Most important new feature

    Windows will be resizable from every side/vertex. Finally...

  16. Dana W

    No. Just no.

    I've been a staunch Apple Defender for some years, but this is unacceptable. I have no bandwidth issues with a 4 gig download, "an online install of World of Warcraft is far larger" I DO have an issue with paying for an OS I do not have a hard copy of.

    I won't be upgrading to Lion until I see a physical Media DISK!. I have three Macs, one of which runs Linux. If I cannot get a real disk of the OS before Snow Leopard updates they will ALL run Linux, and glowing fruit computers will not be a future purchase in my household.

    1. Dan Wilkinson



      Or, alternatively tell me you have a household full of airs, and cannot afford a £10 8Gb thumbdrive.

    2. Dan Wilkinson

      more NNNGGG!!!!

      Future purchases will come with the OS on a thumbstick. Do you think they will arrive blank, and ask you to install them from the App Store which won't be on it or something? Please.

      Also, because an update won't come on the media you require, you will replace the existing OS to something else as some form of protest? Get real. Either they do what you want now, or they don't, and as you still have 2 macs running Mac OS then clearly they do what you want better than linux or you would already have switched.

      While we're at it, tell me, is all your WOW on original media? Nothing downloaded? No DLC, no updates, no new levels, expansions - everything straight of the silvery platter? Best get back to Baldurs Gate or something then, by your logic...

      1. Dana W

        Yes I do have all my WOW media.

        I'll happily accept Lion on a stick, I've been installing Linux that way for ages.

        You are right, I PREFER to use Mac OS. That's why I have not fully changed over. But I like Linux as well. I prefer OSX for two things, support of my pod and my phone. But the only program I really need OSX for is WOW, and it runs fine under wine. So its not that big a deal. Not everyone with a Mac is a Jobs cultist.

        And I personally don't use the app store, I do not LIKE the app store. I've bought five apps for my phone, ONE of which I actually use.

        I fix people's Macs, I swap out drives, I want to be able to work on Apple equipment without having to download the OS every time I need it. I need media, not another way to have the app store forced down my throat.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Dan Wilkinson

    Quick, think of a complaint!

    Hmmm, an OS upgrade for 30 sheets with effectively a site license for home users, this on top of the last OS upgrade at 30 sheets - damn, download only? FUCK YOU CAPITALIST PIGS!

    Honestly, some sense of perspective here:

    1) Be honest, how many of the people on here haven't got broadband of at least 1Mb? Mines 4/5Mb, and I downloaded the Dev preview in 3 hours. So call it a day at most for shit connections.

    2) Be honest, how many of you with slower broadband than this don,t have wifi access via some other means, like work etc

    3) 3/4 of Macs are laptops, so add the price of a starbucks or a trip to the apple store to steal their connection to your incredibly cheap upgrade

    4) All Macs except the Airs have DVD burners, download once, burn, use again - just like you can with the dev previews. Anyone with an Air that cannot justify the cost of a thumb drive set aside to hold the OS update is chinning you on.

    4) Got an iMac, shit broadband, no alternative access to the net at reasonable speed without having to lug your desktop around? Welcome to the 21st Century. Suck it. I feel for you. But I bet there is a USB stick version available to order for a small price premium later in the day, just expensive enough to justify people using the store instead. Willing to bet that the up-to-date program for new purchases will get one this way, just like they do with SL now.


  19. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Too many cats

    I wouldn't touch it until it reaches 10.7.5. I have no desire to debug Apple's operating system again. Past blunders included external drives which ejected on their own and wiped out all data on them. Or, firewire 400 drivers which were never tested or working.

    Who knows what horror awaits?

  20. Dan 55 Silver badge

    I was expecting this to happen in 10.8

    Man's got balls.

    Too bad he's just made Macs unsuitable for business/enterprise and anyone technically competent (or carrying on what he started a year or so ago). If it's not on DVD then none of these are interested.

    Then the self fulfilling prophesy of dumbing/locking down Mac OS X will happen in the next release.

    1. Dan Wilkinson


      You think that enterprise users individually install machines from a disc, one at a time? I would imagine that anyone with a sufficiently large enough estate to care would be imaging the machines, particularly on Mac where you don't have unique license keys. I would imagine that much like the ability in enterprise to rollout your own iOS gubbins, there will still surprisingly be a way to roll out stuff on a Mac, inc. the OS, without having to download and install individually. They are not going to be filling the keynote with these sorts of details tho, and you would be wise not to settle your opinion of these things on the basis of a limited presentation.

      Also, you really think that using a DVD is the zenith of being technically competent? I rather think anyone who knows what they are doing will (shock!) have the skills to burn it to a DVD, or a thumbdrive? I for one will be upgrading, and creating a mirror image boot drive on an external disk, but then I am not technically competent...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Yes, I do

        I know what a disk image is and know that enterprises use them.But I want an officially supported way of booting up the machine without using the internal HD as will most techies or IT depts to resolve errors. A V1 Apple TV-style recovery partition doesn't cut it.

        Here's a simple example, the power goes off. When it comes back on you run Disc Utility which detects an error on the boot partition on the internal HD, but it won't fix it. To do that you need to boot from the the DVD or another drive so Disc Utility can write to the boot partition. My automatic reaction on a power cut is booting from DVD and running DU because it's simple and it works.

        I realise that it'll be on the pirate bay in .iso format on the day of release, but I don't like the way officially supported options are being taken away from people in the rush to be spangly and new.

        That's the conclusion I've jumped to on the scant evidence so far. I'm sure the conclusion you've jumped to will be the right one and St. Jobs has it all figured out and everything will be fine (just like Java and Mac OS X Server...).

        1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

          OSX Enterprise Deployment.

          I suspect that Apple will have some easy distribution method for osx in enterprises.

          Bear in mind that the US universities are some of their largest customers, and I should imagine they are going to have some concerns about distributing Lion to hundreds (if not thousands) of Macs if they have to download 4 gig for each.

          Also bear in mind that OSX has traditionally been quite easy to distribute to multiple macs, and the server side tools have made it quite easy to boot a Mac from a network drive.

        2. cloudgazer

          Actually it just got easier to manage Macs in the enterprise

          Between this and the new system whereby a local server can supply all software updates to your site's macs things got much simpler. As for needing a DVD in order to allow reinstalls, repairs etc - that's not a big deal for enterprises. Most big firms these days completely lock out the DVD drive - they don't want the average desktop user to be able to install stuff that easily. Any serious fault on a desktop machine means your old machine gets wheeled away and rebuilt, and a new machine dropped in - all your stuff is on network storage anyway.

          And as everybody is pointing out, just because Apple aren't supplying the OS on physical media doesn't mean you can't burn/copy the OS to physical media. I literally can't remember the last time I saw original install disks in a multinational. I think I was using NT4 though so probably last millenium.

  21. envmod

    you guys are worse than Daily Mail readers

    jumping to conclusions, scaremongering, making empty threats do move onto linux and a load of other reactionary nonsense. just wait to see what actually heppens before getting all hysterical.

    personally I think Apple will offer Lion on a DVD - they would be stupid not to. And they never said it was download only anyway - they just have only quoted the price for the downloadable version.

    1. guybles

      Best. Reg. Comment. EVAH!

      That is all.

      1. Jason Hall


        This sort of comment does happen sometimes. Just not very often and is usually overwhelmed by all the idiots shouting.

    2. cloudgazer

      they did say it was download only

      Watch the keynote address, at around 35:20 the guy says regarding optical disks:

      'No more, Lion will be available only from the Mac App Store'

      They may change their mind, but as it stands right now they have indeed said it's download only

  22. Trevor 3

    @Dan Wilkinson

    I understand what you're saying, but for the love of something, calm down or you won't see the upgrade.

    Have a beer and sit down.

    1. Dan Wilkinson

      True :)

      Just needing to vent, and there's no better place to find an asshat than the Reg forums. I've had my fill now...

  23. peter 62

    oz tax

    looking forward to paying AU$49.99 (currently US$53.66) for this $29.99 upgrade :/

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4GB download

    "Oh let's just spend a week or two trying to get the 4gb download! It may be fine for some Apple fanboi in Palo Alto but has Apple any idea of real world connection speeds?"

    Well better warn anyone trying to make use of the PS3 "welcome back" offers! ... I must have been lucky in that my PS3 managed to cope with ~11GB of downloads with no real issues! (actually was more as managed to queue infamous twice for download and intercepted 2nd dl half way through!) - it almost certainly triggered the VM throttling along the way but just set it up to do the downloads and went away for a few hours while it got on with it.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    So THIS is Cisco's payoff for licencing the iOS name to Apple!

    * note all calcs were done in my muddled dyslexic brain, but I'm pretty sure I'm within an order of magnitude.. ;)

    Ok, so how the *BLEEP* is this not going to be a frikkin' disaster? A quick google search shows Apple has sold something of the order of 24-25 MILLION Macs of one shape or another in 2009-2010. Add the first half of this year and we've got to be pushing 30 million machines by now.

    Taking a SWAG let's say half of them are running SnowLeopard and consequentially have the App store available to them. Which as a side note begs the question about how users who didn't make the pilgrimage to an Apple store, or other online Apple Temple to buy SL are going to get from their now isolated 10.5 installs to 10.7?

    Anyway, if you have the apps store then there is a better than even chance the constant nagging and need to not fall behind with the Joneses will trigger (guessing again) say 2/3 of the faithful to click on the little buy button and start to wait for their fix of Apple crack to come flying through the mighty Internet from the new super iCloud right to their machines.

    Unfortunately there's an oh so tiny problem with this scenario that I'm scratching my head how Apple is planning on getting around.

    30,000,000 x 0.5 x 0.66 = 10 MILLION Downloads

    10,000,000 x 4096 MB is over FORTY (frikkin') PETAbytes!

    Putting that in perspective, in 2009 The totally daily traffic for ATT was about 16PB a day (that's voice, data and a relatively tiny amount of 3G).

    If you streamed that over an OC-768 (40GB/sec) and did nothing else it would take about 12 days. So what you might say, there's a lot more than one OC-768 worth of bandwidth streaming this out. True, but once you get off the core backbone you quickly start to see cities interlinked with far less chunky pipes, and then when you start getting into the smaller carriers running 7-8 year old gear and "Paltry" OC-192 uplinks running north of 50% capacity on a normal day (because they're too expensive to have idle and businesses would really like to remain solvent).

    Practically every network operated by a carrier that's not running a massive deficit, or worse imploded under debt is built to cope with "average load" + room for a couple of years of incremental growth on the day it's installed. Now along comes Apple unleashing a literal tidal wave of data at a scale and intensity that's a reasonable fraction of the total global Internet traffic and (at least in the USA) not exactly PC to handle like the massive DDOS it effectively will be for at least a couple of days.

    Cue Akamai and friends to wave their wands, but dumping this amount of traffic in what will be a relatively short period of time onto transit networks that aren't exactly sat idle is a going to make the great iPhone fiasco look like a perfect rollout...

    Of course I'm assuming that the pattern will be wave, and not a torrent (for obvious reasons), but network engineers worrying about IP4 Vs IP6 is really kind of pointless for the next couple of weeks...

    Which (thanks for still reading!), brings me back to the subject of this post...

    There's too little lead time to do much to prep for this "Applegeddon", but I'd bet heavily that Cisco is warming up their sales team and predicting that they'll be selling a serious amount of their bigger gear to everyone who's going to get burned by one guy's fantasy...

    Sure, he's right that online distribution of software is the future, but I hope he's ready to eat crow about iCloud not sucking until the rest of the world has caught up by spending a few billion dollars to get their customers stop screaming about not being able to browse El Reg.*

    *Of course this is fiction; the customers will be unable to be heard screaming because their IP phones won't work too well for the same reason they can't browse the web.

    Yay for the 21CN!

    I'm going on vacation the week Lion is released. Not having access to the Internet because you're far from anything that uses electricity sound like a far more pleasant way to go off the grid for a while than staring at a progress bar...

    To wrap up, of course enduser experience is not likely to be anywhere as bad as I've described, but for that to happen there's going to be a mass breakout of insomnia and premature greying hair for countless network engineers.

    Please thank them in advance, or even after, but don't blame them if things go a little south for a while because of this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Net overload?

      It will probably peak at half the traffic generated by the latest American Idol torrent.

    2. JonHendry

      Uh, iTunes movie downloads?

      You forget that Apple's already serving apps, music, and movies every day to who knows how many people. Plus they've been ramping up their infrastructure for iCloud.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Regarding the OSX upgrade

    No doubt Apple will soon see sense when the corporates start demanding discs for their upgrades purely because App Store downloads are generally not possible with purchase orders.

    Considering that Lion's only a beta at this point, the purchasing options are possibly still going to change between now and July.

    I'd also prefer the disc, TBH, even if it costs me a wee bit more.



    Gonorrhea (Lion) $29.95; syphilis (Win 7) $97.00

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