back to article 'Lion' Apple Mac OS X 10.7: Sneak Preview

The first major update to Apple's Mac operating system in some five years is nearly ready, and what has been removed is as significant as its improvements. Mac OS X 10.7, known informally as Lion, continues the trend of removing "legacy" components and technologies from OS X with a zeal that would leave Microsoft quivering in …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe you should let the past go. If you have a computer that is five years or older, or are using a word processor from 2004, then maybe you should spend some dosh trying to keep up with the times. On the other hand, Apple probably reckons these people aren't going to spend any coin getting the latest and greatest.

    Also, I would be curious(-ish) to see how many LibreOffice users are running Macs. What? All six of them would need to download Java before they can save their Magnum Opus?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Actually, no

      I can't actually see why we MUST drop older computers. It's exactly the "must always update" approach that is filling landfills. A further issue is that whenever we get better hardware, software quickly catches up to remove all those extra cycles, usually for crap you don't need.

      I'm pretty sure that if I could use a platform working 10 years ago it would absolutely fly on today's hardware and honestly not lose that much in the way of functionality. But hey, that wouldn't make anyone money except the actual owner..

      As for keeping apps open whilst upgrading an OS, you must be a complete moron to do so but I agree that it can happen because Apple makes it "easy" which will lure the average user into a false sense of security. To do a proper point upgrade you'd do a restart, make a full bare metal backup, then let lose whatever update process exists.

      Personally I hope there will be disks somewhere as I want to take this opportunity to do a completely new install..

      1. Dan Wilkinson


        Not sure I get you. Downloaded software can't fill a landfill, so you must mean hardware, and yet you want to run old software on new hardware for the performance increase? As for money, It makes plenty of money to sell hardware, but with it will always come new software - that's why we didn't stop at Office XP, because they have to sell you a new one every few years or go bust.

        When you download, you can burn a disc from the image.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Title

          "Not sure I get you. Downloaded software can't fill a landfill, so you must mean hardware"

          Of course they meant hardware. Sheesh: you just have to read the first two sentences while keeping your brain in gear.

          "and yet you want to run old software on new hardware for the performance increase?"

          It's all about *choosing* to be able to do so, not being forced to upgrade *both* hardware and software in some kind of "good cop, bad cop" vendor role-play.

          "As for money, It makes plenty of money to sell hardware, but with it will always come new software - that's why we didn't stop at Office XP, because they have to sell you a new one every few years or go bust."

          Ah, it's the parade of shiny. What with the illegal bundling of Microsoft products, Microsoft selling people the same products again because of a configuration change, and Microsoft squeezing update revenues out of the punter, plus "you need the latest version of XYZ to run this new version of ABC" shenanigans, I wouldn't worry about Microsoft's revenues or margins (nor those of Apple, who control both sides of the shakedown) if I were you.

      2. Ammaross Danan

        @Fred Flintstone:

        "I'm pretty sure that if I could use a platform working 10 years ago it would absolutely fly on today's hardware and honestly not lose that much in the way of functionality."

        You do realize that 10 years ago, you barely had USB support in Windows, you definately didn't support TRIM, SATA 2/3, PCIe, effective multi-cpu computing (no, most programs were, and some still are, single threaded), and Windows 2000 had a nasty 128GB(ish) hard drive limitation requiring a hack (to enable LBA) to work around. And yes, this is the same 10-year-old equipment you're speaking of.

        One other thing to mention, "I could use a platform working 10 years ago it would absolutely fly on today's hardware" sorry, no you can't. Just try installing Win98/2k native on the metal. You'll quickly realize that your 10yr-old "platform" is now relegated to VM-only status. Might as well claim that playing the original Super Mario World is all you need, because the graphics were good enough and would simply fly if played on a Wii.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          @Ammaross Danan

          I think you will find the nasty 128GB limit was an IDE issue (which has a LONG history of being crap and incrementally fixed to a new level of crappyness) as it worked fine if you had a SCSI disk (or hardware RAID controller that presented disks as SCSI volumes).

          Oh and I have installed w2k on 2008 metal, all it needed was a floppy with the disk controller driver!

          But you are right that running legacy stuff in a VM is the way forward. In fact, running today's stuff in a VM has lots of advantages (other than speed and convenience). Easy of migrating from machine to machine without a re-install is one of them...

          1. JEDIDIAH

            Whining about stuff that Apple does poorly anyway...

            As far as the 128G limit goes, this is a silly thing to whine about since most Macs have rather meagre laptop drives anyways. This means that Macs always have a smaller hard drive than whatever is typical for any sort of PC. Been this way since the 68k days. Once you've booted the system, the BIOS likely doesn't matter so much anymore.

        2. JEDIDIAH

          ...don't understand tech well enough to pick it apart.

          >> You do realize that 10 years ago, you barely had USB support in Windows, you definately didn't support TRIM, SATA 2/3, PCIe, effective multi-cpu computing (no, most programs were, and some still are, single threaded), and Windows 2000 had a nasty 128GB(ish) hard drive limitation requiring <<

's funny that you mention these sorts of things since it's Macs mostly that are limited in this manner now. TRIM and SATA are both things that you can either take or leave. So is any form of internal expansion bus (esp. for a Mac). And "multi-cpu" computing only really requires a good OS level scheduler in order to get some benefit from. A lot of what you are whining about is really nothing to be fixated on. Certainly not worth limiting yourself in terms of upgrades.

          I created my first fanboy style ugly cable octopus with such a machine.

          ...and I had a ~ 10 year old PC laptop that I put a 100G hard drive into. Was very effective thing for helping to improve the longevity of the thing (along with the memory upgrade). That machine is not far off of a modern netbook or macbook air really.

        3. Anonymous Coward

          VMs to the rescue :)

          That it is why VMWare is worth the money :) You can run Win98SE software and not worry about IDE limitations in a nice VM, alongside your DOS programs (wordstar still runs circles around Word for text editing on a current machine), and Win 2000 programs which will not run under Win 7, plus, of course, OSx in another virtual machine if you really want to. You can do it all with cut and paste from apps run different OSes, shared local folders, network access, and fairly small speed penalty.

          As for bare metal support, my quad core AMD w 8GB of RAM boots DOS 5.0 just fine from a 1TB SATA disk drive (2GB partition) :)

          I recently re-installed Win 2000 Pro for some older CAD programs on a 3GHz AMD quad core machine with a SATA drive, with no issues. Yes, you need to slipstream SP4 and install third party drivers for USB 2.0 support, and you are limited by DirectX 9.0x and your driver support for video and peripherals. On the plus side, it runs very fast, and have not seen any issues. I see no reason why SSDs would have issues either, if you use models which do garbage collection in the background, when the disk is idle (see Agility-1 drives from OCZ, with no TRIM support needed at the OS level for firmware v 1.6 or later, I use one for XP).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      LibreOffice just fine, thanks

      I've been using OpenOffice for many years now (alongside MS Office and iWork - I switch depending on the requirements). When the site went down recently, I downloaded the latest LibreOffice instead. Seems to be work fine.

      I also recollect that the latest features notes for LibreOffice stated that the code for saving/loading files had been rewritten in C++, so I suspect the Java problem has disappeared anyway. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that point.

    3. RachelG

      Actually I use LibreOffice on my mac...

      but as I'm a Java developer I'm likely to have Java well and truly installed long before I first need to even view something someone sends me in LibreOffice, let alone want to save something. :-)

      1. Volker Hett

        Yes, me too

        and that's why I download my JavaVM on Windows and even Linux, can't see the problem in doing the same thing on OS X.

        Instead of some Apple JVM they have now OpenJava, sounds good to me.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ... or maybe not

      > On the other hand, Apple probably reckons these people aren't going to spend any coin getting the latest and greatest.

      Perhaps but not necessarily. On average I've bought one Apple desktop or notebook computer every year since 2002 (either for home or business use) and upgraded OS as soon as it's become available. I have two copies of Microsoft Office 2011 home and business edition installed and a couple of thousand pounds worth of licences for other software, but also have LibreOffice installed on my main work and home machines.

      I won't be upgrading to Lion on my latest i7 iMac home machine though because there's a certain game dating from 2002 that was only ever released for PPC to which I'm quite attached. It will also probably mean that I'll hold off updating hardware at home as long as possible as all the new hardware will have Lion installed. So Apple may end up losing an admittedly small amount of business, but perhaps for reasons other than you had in mind.

      1. John 62

        Game in VirtualBox?

        Apple doesn't like people running VMs of OS X on non-Apple hardware, but could you run an old version of OS X in a VM for you game?

    5. Joe Cooper

      Old is good

      I loved old systems, I kept my dual Pentium III (with ECC!) around til about 2009 when I zapped it on accident. Windows 2000, Word 97, it was beautiful. Begrudginly updated...

      Not that I don't love my new Macbook and iPad.

      I will say this though; I can see why Apple would focus on the new. Obviously you can't sell to someone who isn't buying, right? If one wants to use old software, Apple isn't forcing anyone to upgrade anything.

      And if you really want to go hardcore, you can just fire up Qemu for Mac and install Windows 3.11 like I have :)

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        I can beat that one, I think..

        Still have a couple of Psion Organiser II's around, complete with peripherals and software libraries. Must dig up a few 9v batteries..

        As for hardcore, Im saddened to see that in Windows 7 EDLIN has finally been left out from command line, but that's for pussies anyway. Real men use "copy con someprogram.exe" :-).

        Joking aside, I'm not stating that I have anything against new stuff (hardware or software), I just seem to have more and more problems with the seeming waste of resources we're required to accept. I'm not a fan of anything other than usefulness. I have an iPhone because I have use for it, and I bought a MacBook for research, and it proved to be so much better that I ditched everything I had on Windows, leaving a WinXP and an OpenSUSE partition in Parallels.

        The promise is always faster and more efficient, yet I see that never delivered. Well, switching to Mac made that come closer, but there too waiting is required - hence my desire to rebuild from scratch when OSX 10.7 is here. I want SPEED, and not the snorty stuff. Hence my aim to slap an SSD into the Mac in a few months (first need to do some Filevault testing).

        So there. Old is good, and new isn't always automatically better :-).

        1. xenny


          Is there in 32 bit Win 7, but not in 64 bit, as the 64 bitversion can't run 16 bit apps.

        2. Kevin Montgomery

          EDLIN ..... and Telnet

          I realise you're probably kidding on the EDLIN one but I am still wondering which Brainiac decided to leave telnet out of the command line in Windows 7 by default. I realise you can add it in but it's a pain in the arse dropping to a command prompt and finding it's not there....

          Some of us *like* command lines... hufff....

    6. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Down

      Maybe not.

      I'm driving a 16 year old Alfa romeo. It is 2 litres, makes me smile, and goes from A to B in something approximating a straight line (depending on enthusiasm)

      I could perhaps save a small amount of CO2 by changing it, at the expense of the huge amounts needed to molish a new car.

      My 16 year old indesit washes my shirts.

      I've been married to the same wonderful woman for 32 years.

      My house was built in 1969, and apart from a bit of extra insulation has needed nothing doing to it since.

      I don't believe I need to replace all those things just because newer ones are available.

      Same with 'puters. Word 2K and 2003 were no better than W97. In fact they introduced autonumbering and style handling bugs. I've kept away from the two latest versions as though they have plague. XP is good enough, and as long as I don't use IE and have my smoothwall box on the router, I don't get any problems with it. So I see no point spending money and time on an upgrade-for-the-sake-of-it.

  2. Jonathan White


    if you haven't upgraded you app software in seven years, it strikes me you're not the kind of person to jump straight onto a new version of the OS either to be honest with you...

    1. Chris 3

      Not really

      Oddly enough I Am someone who usually dives straight in for Apple OS uodates - they usually have functionality I desire and they're resobnable priced.

      On the other hand, I'm still using Office v.X has my workhorse productivity suite - and why not, it's fast, and does everything I need. I also have old (legal) copies of Photoshop, Quark Xpress & Dreamweaver that I have absolutely no intention of upgrading since I only use them about twice a year.

      I agree I'm probably atypical, but the lack of Rosetta is a pain. I suspect I'll probably have to update office and work out some kind of dual-boot system for the other stuff in the long term.

      1. StooMonster

        Blizzard games

        Yes, not looking forward to not being able to play Diablo 2 et al.

        Shame about the dropping of Rosetta.

        If I was Steve Jobs, and wanted to get rid of legacy but still wanted to make a few quid, I would include it as optional purchase from the App Store.

        1. Giles Jones Gold badge

          Dual boot

          You can always partition the drive and boot into an older copy of OSX?

        2. jai

          Diablo 2

          so just wait until Diablo 3 comes out at the end of the year

        3. John Molloy
          Thumb Down


          Thing is no one is forcing you to upgrade...

          Just because Apple are releasing Lion - you don't HAVE to upgrade.

  3. Dilbert1969

    What about my scanner?

    Canoscan LIDE 30 - Pretty sure the scan software is run through rosetta - and I got that when I moved to MacOSX

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hardly Apples fault...

      if Canon refuse to upgrade drivers for perfectly serviceable hardware in the vain hope that we'll all go out and buy the newer one. FWIW, I have the same scanner and use VueScan on Snow Leopard without the need for Rosetta.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Hardly cannon's fault

        Apple refuses to support their arcitecture. Apple has a long history of dropping platforms. If you want to have continued support, you buy (insert anyone but apple here), if you want pretty shinies, you buy apple.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Utter rot. That's architecture that was dropped 6 years ago and a scanner that was released over 9 years ago. Thing is Microsoft did similar with Vista and Window 7, and I said exactly the same then. It's up to the manufacturer to support their hardware, not the OS developer.

          "If you want to have continued support, you buy (insert anyone but apple here), if you want pretty shinies, you buy apple." Boilerplate fuckwittery as per usual from a habitual troll. Bored of ZDnet and Gizmodo?

          1. Mark 65

            Canon and/or scanners etc

            When windows 7 came out everyone used the opportunity to no longer update the drivers for old peripherals - I have a Minolta Dual Scan III that's in the same boat although I haven't tried installing in compatibility mode. Seems the same will no doubt happen for the removal of Rosetta. I believe that VueScan ( is an ideal replacement for anyone in this boat. Haven't tried it yet but then since getting a DSLR I can't muster the enthusiasm to carry on scanning all those old negatives.

            1. Hugh McIntyre

              Re: Canon and/or scanners etc

              Nikon are just as bad or worse for scanners. Nikon never released an Intel Mac version of "Nikon Scan", which means you can't run this in Rosetta as a plug-in under an x86 version of Photoshop. And the old standalone version in Rosetta stopped working completely in Snow Leopard to be greeted by "no plan to fix". Instead they just recommend you get Vuescan or similar 3rd party product.

              I can confirm Vuescan seems to work, and has the advantage of batch scanning and auto-crop when processing batches. I have had one problem with the auto-exposure being off, but I'm not sure if this is the scanner or Vuescan...

              PS: Generally the camera stores seem to be recommending the film attachment on something like the Epson V700 nowadays, for scanning film as well as it being a flatbed scanner as well.

              1. Volker Hett


                It's not easy to get the negs flat, especially when shooting classic B/W stock like Addox and Efke.

            2. Volker Hett

              same here with Canon

              Canoscan 2720F, runs fine with VUEscan on OpenSuSe, even in 64bit now.

              The last Windows where I got it working was XP with old Adaptec drivers.

              It's just like that, there comes the time when you either get rid of your old stuff or keep it running.

          2. Oninoshiko


            Is someone pretending to me on ZDNet and Gizmodo? I wont say I never post there, but it's not common.

            But to your point (I'll be charitable here), "a scanner that was released over 9 years ago" you seriously expect Cannon to keep supporting it? For how long? Should I still be able to get support on SCSI scanners? But if anyone is to blame Cannon isn't continuing to sell you anything, Apple is, and Apple is discontinuing an API.

            It's up the the OS manufacturer to support their APIs

        2. Jean-Luc

          @"Hardly cannon's fault" - Whose fault is it then?

          I had a LIDE 30 and it never came close to working on OSX or on Linux. I looked at the various Linux compatibility info and Canon's stuff is barely on it. Bottom line: _no_ more Canon peripherals for me, quite happy with my Epson V300 instead.

          Don't blame Apple in this case. Reserve that for their lack of support for Blu-Ray which is most irritating.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            "I had a LIDE 30 and it never came close to working on OSX or on Linux." Well, you didn't try particularly hard then. Canon LiDE 30 was released around 2002 and stopped selling around 2005 and is supported by all versions of OS X up to 10.4. It is also supported, and has been supported by SANE on Linux for a number of years too; it works beautifully on the Ubuntu partition of my laptop. In fact you can use SANE to run the device under Snow Leopard too. It works under Windows 7 as well (not with SANE), however for some reason (which, naïvety aside, we all know) Canon do not fully support it. To reiterate; device support shouldn't be down to the OS developer.

            Blu-ray? Meh. The quality is superb and it can store a large amount of data, but it isn't as compelling as DVD when that format was first released way back when. Sony have done their usual and in doing so made companies like Apple look positively generous with their various licensing terms.

            1. Jean-Luc


              "Well, you didn't try particularly hard then."

              Probably not, but I did try. SANE did not seem to help me out, as I recall and the information on the LIDE 30 at the time was too limited to give me much trust that it was well-supported. I don't pretend to be great at admin and installing exotic hardware on 'nix. I am just a developer. In fact, that is precisely why I moved to OSX. If 3-4 hours of work does not result in success and if the subject does not hold great interest for me, I will move on.

              Some people may care to put in hours to tweak a $80 scanner to work on Linux, with no help from the manufacturer. Personally, I'd rather get hardware with at least some level of vendor support, so Canon is on my s*** list from now on. I didn't bin the LIDE 30, but put it in our common thrash room, with a note that it worked fine on Windows. Sure somebody picked it up.

              After reading this article, I checked Epson about the V300 and yes, they support it on OS X Lion and have updated drivers. Contrast that with Canon who clearly doesn't want my business :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Canon are a bunch of ****ts for deliberately not supporting older, perfectly fine hardware by not releasing drivers. I have a little Canon LiDE scanner which is great but drivers are not available for Snow Leopard. I only occasionally use it so I can't justify buying a new one and would not want to throw it away just for want of a driver.

      It *does* work perfectly fine under Ubuntu however (go figure) so I simply run a virtual Ubuntu install using Virtual Box for times when I need to scan.

      I see virtualisation as it becomes more common solving more problems like this.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The resume feature cuts both ways.

    Sometimes at work I leave my Windows desktop on standby (yes yes I know not environmentally friendly etc), but next day come in to find it has rebooted itself. All of my windows gone - VPN, email, spreadsheets, documents.

    (After this I learnt the hard way to save documents before sneaking home!)

    So resume would be handy.

    However, at home, I often have a lot of nonsense open, browsers and applications etc. that a reboot can be refreshing to just clear everything back to an empty desktop.

    Perhaps the best compromise would be a Firefox-style "Restore / Start New Session" choice.

    How long before Jobs bans JVMs and Flash players from the desktop?

    1. Dan Wilkinson

      Lucky You

      You get an option that says "re-open windows on startup".

    2. tony


      Resume... Wonder how many arguments that will cause when people are exploring the seedier side of the internet and quickly kill the app on interruption....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm a bit confused about Resume

      To me it sounds exactly the same as hibernate. If you hibernate a windows computer (just realised I've never actually used it on my ubuntu laptop) the next time you start up all your programs and documents should be there just how you left them.

      1. jubtastic1

        @a bit confused about resume

        They already do hibernate, including support for power outage, resume is more akin to the firefox feature which reopens all your tabs when you relaunch it but it's system wide and works across reboots.

    4. JonHendry

      "Quit and discard windows"

      If you hold down the option key when clicking on, say, the Safari menu, the Quit option becomes "Quit and discard windows". You can also press Command-option-Q to do this.

      After doing so, the next restart of the app doesn't open any earlier windows.

      As someone else noted, when rebooting or shutting down you get an option to remember open things.

    5. Volker Hett

      As far as flash is concerned

      No need to wait for Jobs, I did it myself.

      Windows comes without flash, OS X still contains it and you have to remove it yourself.

  5. Fat Jez

    call me pedantic but...

    Office 2008 didn't feature the ribbon interface. 2011 does, but all the menus are still present, so you don't have to use it.

    Oh and Tiger was released in 2005, Leopard in 2007 and Snow Leopard in 2009.

    1. SuccessCase

      And also the comment about cursing

      when the continual save function overwrites your good file, straight after remarking how the feature is remodelled on time machine !!! Er missing the entire point of what Time Machine is about !!!

      And the "It's not all bad news" comment. FFS Register, it's almost as though the loss of some legacy features support is what you were most eager to talk about (when all users can stay put with Snow Leopard if they wish) and the actual long list of great new features is of little significance to you, except to provide a platform to seek out where the OS has adopted Windows or Ubuntu features, with one sentence descriptions of all the superbly implemented and well executed new stuff.

    2. Michael 36

      You are pedantic

      You did ask....

  6. Kevin Reilly
    Thumb Up


    I have a intel core solo Mac Mini. The upgrade path is assured simply because it dual boots Linux Mint Debian Edition & Snow Leopard vie Bootcamp & rEFIt. You could probably do the same with Ubuntu but there is no need to reinstall ever with LMDE

  7. Andrew Hart
    Thumb Up

    @Sir Wiggum You have a choice

    When you click Shutdown/Restart the normal 'Are you sure you want to Shutdown, if you don't do anything for a minute I'll shutdown on my own' dialoge box pops up but there's a new option (ticked by default) that says 'Reopen windows when logging back in'. It works very well!

  8. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Office 2008 for Mac doesn't have the ribbon - thankfully

    I'm so glad I bought Office 2008, because right after that MS Office became infested with the ribbon. So, upgraders with Office 2008 will still be safe for a while.

    Maybe worth noting I don't use it much - most of my work is in OpenOffice or any of its derivative as it gives me document fidelity across any platform I care to use (provided I keep the fonts the same) - and it doesn't do such INCREDIBLY stupid things as change spreadsheet function names when you change language. My UK English spreadsheets work just fine on a German copy.

    Waiting for upgrade - backup already done..

  9. Neil Brown

    you'll need a fast, unmetered connection

    Apparently - and I cannot find the source for verification - you wil be able to take your Mac to the nearest Apple store, and use their connection to download, if you so wish.

    Of course, depending on where you live, this might not be an option, and it would be rather less than fun to lug iMac to the middle of a shopping centre to get some new software, but I seem to recall that the option will be there...

    1. Mark 65


      I can just imagine the fun Mac Pro and iMac 27" users would have carting their kit to the apple store. How about a smarter alternative of heading to the apple store who just download it and burn it to a sodding disk or even, gasp, just issue disks? There are plenty of people out there who would be using a large portion or even more than their monthly bandwidth to download this. Apple needs to understand not everyone has BitTorrent sized limits on their net connectivity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        With Lion from the AppStore, assuming it's similar to a big download like XCode whereby it downloads the DMG first then installs, I don't see why there would be a problem taking a USB key into an Apple Store, signing into the App Store on one of their Macs, then downloading Lion's DMG to your USB key then taking that away with you to install.

        For example one of my Macs didn't have enough space to download and install XCode (which is a hefty download of an installer). My solution was to simply download it on one Mac then move it to another drive and install from there on the other. Don't see why you couldn't do this with Lion's DMG.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One thing that I haven't seen any mention of

    is whether or not Lion being download only spells the end of the line for Hackintoshers. It's not hard, after all, to imagine that being the point of the exercise

    1. John I'm only dancing

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

      I don't see why that should be the case, I'm sure the Hackintoshers will get their hands on a Lion installer and spoof the firmware.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Actually, I'm actually wondering that.

        I've looked at Lion server, but I don't have the budget yet to spring for a server, so I was wondering if I could set up a Linux VM on a spare PC and install Lion on it so I had something to test the server.

        If they have fixed the (rather depressingly large amount of) problems with the previous version it may just be the thing to break the Exchange/Outlook lock for offices. Would make migration a lot easier, and a shared WiKi and Groupware setup is a cool idea for SME size setups, especially with a VPN handler. Must check..

    2. Dale Richards


      Shouldn't think so. Snow Leopard and the Mac App Store both work fine on my Hackintosh, and that's pretty much all you need. A few things will probably need tweaking after the Lion install, but it doesn't sound like much of a barrier.

      Apple take legal action against companies selling Hackintoshes (probably seeing them as counterfeit Macs), but they don't seem to even try to stop home Hackintoshers. It's probably Not That Big of a Deal™ to them.

  11. Joey

    Dual boot

    I have four multi-partition 1.5 Gig hard drives in my MacPro. When a new OS comes out, I dupe my current main drive using SuperDuper into a fresh partition and then install the new one. I can always go back to the older system using Startup Disk. I still have a few apps/drivers/plugins that need Rosetta so I will need to go back to 10.6 occasionally. If you don't have multiple internal drives, you can still dupe onto an external and boot from that if you need to.

    1. proto-robbie


      Good luck with the installation!

  12. PaulR79
    Thumb Down

    If MS did this there'd be a massive uproar

    Effectively killing legacy apps like this for no real reason seems very harsh. Leaving out earlier dual-core CPUs too is equally harsh but it isn't unheard of for Apple to do this and still have people singing their praises.

    The whole apps suspending thing..... isn't that just Hibernate? I can't see it being used when the computer is still in use so that is what it sounds like to me. The only real thing that would appeal to me is the price. Download only? I doubt that'll stop people with Hackintosh computers since it'll still be an image you can burn.

    1. Eponymous Howard

      Not new, hence no shock

      Apple has had a pretty much "two generations and you're out of support" policy for ages (support for pre-OSX OS's was the only real exception - that went on until Leopard iirc). Mac users as a whole get this.

      Their basic approach is (usually) to back those minded to make an orderly but timely transition - but if people don't choose to, they get dumped. The handful always whine, but Apple doesn't really care about the handful (See FCPX for this approach in extremis). "We're building new. Feel free to keep your old house, but don't call us if it falls down".

      When Rosetta was available I took the deliberate decision NOT to use it - forced my self to decide what I needed to update and what was cruft.

    2. Mark 65


      I actually appreciate the way Apple does this so that you effectively get current plus previous support on the OS side. If Microsoft had done this maybe we wouldn't have had to wait so sodding long for 64-bit to become mainstream given you still get an x86 version of 7. The key difference I guess is that MS support the enterprise whereas Apple couldn't give a toss about it.

    3. JonHendry

      It's per-app.

      Resume is per-app, so if you quit TextEdit with some windows open, when you restart TextEdit it'll reopen whatever you had open.

      It's also works across restart or reboot.

      It isn't just dumping the memory contents to a file on disk and reloading that at boot. That's already done as part of the sleep process, so that if the power goes out or the battery dies during sleep, the system doesn't lose everything that was in memory.

      Many apps will have to be updated to take advantage of Resume. But any apps that use the NSDocument classes from Cocoa, I think should get the new behavior automatically when run on Lion without even being recompiled.

  13. Matthew 17

    Is there anyway to know what needs Rosetta?

    You can check individual apps but is there a way to check the lot.

    For example Native Instruments 'Komplete 7' music plug in is all Intel and (mostly (64-bit) but when I installed it, it asks to install Rosetta (don't know why, or if it would brake it I upgraded the OS), but if I install anything else it won't say anything as Rosetta is already installed, so I could upgrade and be fine or have to flatten the box and reinstall 10.6.8


    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Is there anyway to know what needs Rosetta?

      1, Click on the Apple icon on the LHS of the menu.

      2. Select "About This Mac"

      3. Click on "More info..."

      4. Select "Applications"

      All installed applications are listed. Check the "Kind" column for "PowerPC"

      This won't pick up installers which are PPC only. Some apps (e,g, CS4) also contain helper apps which are PPC only, and I don't think these helpers appear in the above list.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      System Profiler

      In /Applications/Utilities. System Profiler: select Applications in the left hand pane, then sort by Kind. Anything PPC only won't run without Rosetta.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Sounds as if the installer for your plug-in was a legacy app (VISE installer by any chance) rather than the plug-in itself.

      1. StooMonster

        VISE installer

        Don't Apple's Jam Packs for Garage Band use the VISE installer?

        Perhaps they'll go away too when Lion is released?

    4. NG

      How to see what is using Rosetta

      Have a look in the Activity Monitor and look at the "kind" column.

      Obviously you need to be running the process you want to check.

  14. Wensleydale Cheese

    Legacy peripherals

    The dropping of Rosetta will almost certainly cause problems for those running older but still perfectly serviceable printers, scanners et al.

    Dual boot with the older OS is an option of course. So is accessing these peripherals from a VM or across a network to an older system.

    There are also apps which are going to cause trouble

    1. Rich 30


      A printer? A scanner?

      What are these things?

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Virtualisation can solve this problem.

  15. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    Java install, but from where?

    If Apple are dropping their JVM but Oracle doesn't have one for OS X yet, where does it get it from? OpenJDK?

    Anyone with this dev preview care to give us the output of "java -version"?

  16. Charles Calthrop


    OSX, for developing apps for iOS on...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The dogsbreakfastisation of the Mac continues

    God I hate these new interfaces. There's no reason to bring an interface designed for a handheld machine to a 29" iMac other than 'because you can'. Likewise, why on earth does a computer calendar need to look like a paper one? Apple seems to have relegated its interface design to the kiddies who used to skin WinAmp.

    1. sabba

      29" iMac...

      ...where'd ya get one of those from? Thought the biggest was 27"

    2. Rich 30


      I used to love skinning WinAmp. I was 12 though.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the LibreOffice tip.

    Auto-save is a pain in the arse though: I'll have to change workflows that are ingrained through years of use.

  19. Phil A.

    If you want to use Office 2008...

    Then you had better install it before upgrading to Lion: the app may support intel processors but the installer is PPC only, so whilst you can run Office 2008 und Lion, you can't install it

    1. Anonymous Coward


      how can this be? surely that can't be right...

      ..I skipped 2008 and went to 2011, so can't verify this.

      Sidenote: 2011 is a POS as well...I've even resorted to using Pages now, purely because 2011 runs like a dog on my 2.0ghz macbook.

  20. Marco van de Voort

    Diablo II

    Sorry, still playing Diablo II from time to time :-)

  21. sabba


    I was looking forward to Lion's release but there are a number of items here that will prevent me:

    1. Not being able to use Office 2004 - I hate the newer versions with that horrible ribbon interface and until such time as MS do away with it I am unlikely to update; plus I don't need any of the other features that newer versions introduced.

    2. Hardware - when I upgraded to Snow Leopard my two month old HP scanner stopped working; I waited over a year before HP decided that they wouldn't be releasing a workable driver (until that time they just kept pushing back the release date). In the end I just gave the scanner away. I don't want to risk going through that again.

    3. Dreamweaver Studio MX - does everything I need and I don't want to pay a grand to upgrade for no real reason other than the fact that it's a PowerPC app.

    1. sabba
      Thumb Down

      Oh, and the 4Gb download (WTF)

      See title.

    2. hexx

      re: 3

      can't you code normally? i mean, any text editor will do

      1. M Gale

        Why use DreamWeaver.

        Because some people are designers, not programmers?

        And vice versa, naturally.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          re: Why use DreamWeaver.

          That's no excuse to use DreamWeaver MX! Granted, DW has improved considerably since the MX release, but it is still an overprice, glorified text editor and there are better (and cheaper) tools available. If you need to use any version of DreamWeaver because you are "a designer", you may as well use InDesign or even Word to design and output your sites.

          Seriously, if you design websites on a Mac try Coda or Espresso. Most importantly, irrespective of what platform you choose to eulogise, learn HTML and CSS ant the very minimum. It's genuinely not that hard and can actually make tools like DreamWeaver more useful.

          1. sabba

            Regarding Dreamweaver...

            ...regardless of the relative merits, or otherwise, of the Dreamweaver package the fact of the matter is that I own it, I use it, and it does exactly what I want and very well. I don't see why I should need to fork out an exorbitant amount of money for a new version or swap to an alternative package and have to learn all the ins and outs all over again. And I am an architect / developer not a designer so with a singular lack of artistic capability I find DW provides just the right level of functionality to allow me to create relatively decent looking sites.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    MS has already killed support for 16-bit apps (and therefore 32-bit apps with 16-bit installers) on 64-bit Windows versions. Although that's a bigger generation gap.

    1. Piro Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Wait a minute

      Did you just compare the leaving out of support for original Core processors, to software that which was designed for hardware older than 1985, when the 386 came out?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        when the 386 came out?


  23. John Savard


    Upgrading a Windows machine to a newer version of the operating system is fraught with pitfalls, and so not allowing older machines to upgrade to this is not in itself a bad thing.

    Abandoning other legacy items, though, leaves people who own Windows computers shaking with terror - making them less likely to consider moving to the Mac platform. Pity Motorola stopped supporting the 680x0 platform with current implementations of the full architecture.

  24. Ilsa Loving

    Good and bad...

    Being forced to upgrade your stuff can be a bad thing, but in the grand scheme of things it's probably better this way. If you use your machine for simple office stuff and it's not hooked up to the internet, then it really doesn't matter. But if you have a windows 2000 or xp machine, then there's an exceedingly good chance that your machine is probably sending out spam (or worse!) as we speak. If Microsoft forced people to update their software at the same rate Apple does, I expect that we'd be seeing a lot less problems. One reason Apple is harder to target as a platform, is because it's constantly shifting.

    Of course, these benefits/problems are incidental. Apple forces upgrades because they want money. Microsoft didn't upgrade XP for 10 years not because they didn't want to, but because they were unable to. Vista was a testament to how badly they mangled everything internally.

    And as far as Office 2008 goes, ribbon or no, I couldn't stand it. Even on modern hardware it was slow, unreliable, and awkward to use. I went back to 2004 out of fear of developing PTSD. Even with the annoying ribbon Office 2011 is SO much better.

  25. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Conflicting features from iOS

    iOS didn't originally have multitasking so they put in auto-save (in case you exited the app to open another one or you turned it off or the battery died) and auto-restore on re-opening or turning back on.

    Meanwhile in Mac OS X we do have multitasking, you can minimise the app window or close all windows yet have the app still running in the background and finally there's the sleep option, turn it back on and it's all there.

    Finally how does Time Machine work with auto-save? I can imagine the possibilities of losing something important with work in progress via user error being more than zero.

    I'm not sure if they've fully thought this through.

    1. JonHendry

      They've thought it through.

      They even handle the case where the changes haven't autosaved yet, but you use the Finder to copy the un-auto-saved file to, say, a thumb drive. The Right Thing happens.

      1. Goat Jam

        And the right thing is?

        It autosaves the file first so that you end up copying the modified version?

        What if you specifically don't want it to do that?

        I know on more than once I've opened up a document and made a bunch of changes only to think, "hmmm, maybe I should keep a copy of the old one before I save this . . . "

  26. Anonymous Coward

    32 bit EFI?

    My late-2006 Core 2 Duo MPB has 32 bit firmware (and is therefore unable to boot the 64-bit OS X kernel). According to Apple, it will run Lion, so unless they intend to provide an EFI update along with Lion, having 32-bit firmware is not in itself an issue.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do you upgrade if you have Tiger?

    If you only have tiger/leopard, do you have to buy a copy of snow leopard, install that and then buy the lion upgrade?

    Then if you want to reinstall, do you have to do the same again (install (snow)leopard and then install the lion update?)

    All seems a bit silly....

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: How do you upgrade if you have Tiger?

      "If you only have tiger/leopard, do you have to buy a copy of snow leopard, install that and then buy the lion upgrade?"

      A good question, however I believe the answer is quite simple (if unpleasant) - Tiger & Leopard cannot run the App Store so they cannot be used them to buy Lion.

      I am however wondering now what would happen if someone went into an Apple Store, signed into a Mac with their iTunes credentials, bought Lion in the store, downloaded it to a USB key then brought it home to install. Presumably there is a check to ensure it only installs on Snow Leopard, however where there is a will etc.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    The dealbreaker, ironically, is MS Office

    Do not underestimate the hatred for that ribbon. We don't use Macs here, but I can tell you we *still* use (the perfectly good) Office 2003 precisely because no-one, ever, wants to use that damn ribbon.

    Of course, in reality people will buy Lion not realising this, install it, then realise they are stuck and try to rationalise their enforced changes. It's the Apple way.

  29. Hugo CHAV
    Thumb Up

    20 Quid

    They got that bit right.

  30. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    What are the arguments for the install?

    1) This will leave me without a backup machine, currently a Mac Mini

    2) Neither my Canon scanner, nor my OKI printer will work

    3) I get some new eye candy and some more Apple lock in.

    Pretty compelling upgrade.

    1. Volker Hett

      If it works for you now

      why change it?

  31. Hugmup

    Terminology Problem

    The operating system on the Mac is not "Max OS X," it is "OS X." The names Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion are not written with quotation marks, because those are the official names under which the operating system is sold and identified. Now about the use of Microsoft 7 "Windows" in the "United Kingdom"...


      MS style English hijacking silliness.

      No. It's MacOS. It's MacOS version 10.x.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    1. Apple let you in for a sneak preview?

    2. How does this thing go performance wise?

    I've got an old core 2 duo lappie, still booting a 32 bit kernel. I am assuming Lion is now a full 64 bit kernel? As with any new OS release has the kruft made it even slower? What are boot up times, io etc.

    Ok, I know you won't have had time or the opportunity to do any in depth testing but what is your intuitive feel of the thing?

    3. DRM... implications etc? Becoming more like iOS?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Who is a lucky Liam then?

    Is it fast?

  34. Stephen 10

    Audio Producers/Engineers won't be in a hurry

    to upgrade to this - there are already alerts that it breaks a lot of commonly used plug-ins and Apple's reknowned lack of dev communication (Apple are very much in the shoot then ignore the messenger category) means that fixes will usually be a long way off, even years from past experience.

    That and we're all waiting to see what they do with Logic X - after the Final Cut Pro X fiasco it doesn't look promising and as Apple think a marketing surprise is more important than informing customers nobody can prepare - awesome thinking there Steve!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Audio Producers/Engineers won't be in a hurry

      Well not being funny or anything but if you are an audio producer (which I am) and you rush to upgrade to a new OS you are asking for trouble. Your Mac is not a toy if it is used for such work and any sensible producer will be keeping an eye on the forums for the major software. Steinberg already issued a warning not to upgrade until they have completed testing for example, and obviously they can't fully test how their products behave until Lion is released (however presumably they have been testing with developer builds).

      Then we have companies like TC Electronic who took almost a full year to produce a version of Powercore that ran on Snow Leopard.

      If you have to have the latest and greatest OSX bells and whistles, boot into another drive or partition, or get another Mac for general use.

    2. John Molloy

      Hmmm... Stephen, you are trolling...

      Firstly you make up a product called Logic X to instill, fear, uncertainty, doubt into the conversation.

      "there are already alerts that it breaks a lot of commonly used plug-ins"

      Link, please, because my Logic using friends have told me that they haven't had any major issues. Perhaps the plug-ins they use don't fall into the "broken" category.

      Perhaps we should wait and actually see what it does, and what the next version of Logic is and does before panicking...

  35. The Mighty Spang

    versions = legal nightmare. disable it.

    Why? FOI and data protection rules.

    Say I write something slanderous in an employee report. save document. come back from lunch and reconsider. delete offending remark. I've still got a saved copy of my slanderous document. sitting in versions.

    along comes johnny employee with a data protection request, where you have to give him everything you've got on him. including your slanderous document revision.

    i hope versions has a button to extract all versions of all files as well, otherwise some poor bastard is going to have to go through and save every version of every file.

    i think UK biz might need to know about this before using it.

    1. JonHendry

      Save as PDF ought to do it

      Just save the final version as a PDF, and delete the original file. And delete it from any backups as well, unless you've stored it in a folder that isn't being backed up.

      1. The Mighty Spang

        yes of course

        but you've got to force everybody in your organisation to do this every single time somehow.

        just turn it off (if you can)

  36. Stuart Duel

    Core Solo/Duo has been dropped...

    ...probably because Lion (including the Finder) is 64 bit and requires a 64 bit processor. Hardly a surprise there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Which models does this affect?

      ...don't say mac mini 1.66ghz dual core...don't say mac mini 1.66ghz dual core...don't say...

      aw crap. Looks like Snow leopard for my media server for the foreseeable. Which is no bad thing, TBH - it runs a treat.

  37. magnetik


    As someone who's been using OS X since 10.1 I am more than a little disappointed by Lion. The new features are unimpressive. Launchpad seems particularly pointless to me - hardly any different from a Finder window rendering the applications folder in icon view. I'll stick to using QuickSilver or Spotlight to launch apps, thanks. But hey, at least I won't have to run a 3rd party program to make windows resizable from all corners, what a leap forward that is.

    Features added to previous versions like Spotlight, Automator, Expose etc. made huge improvements to the productivity of the OS. I just can't see anything in Lion that will make any significant improvement in my day-to-day use. C'mon Apple, you surely could do a lot better than this!

  38. Phlip

    Don't like the Ribbon UI... Office 2011? Turn it off then!

    The option is there.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How interesting

    I find it very interesting all the talk of ditching legacy platforms. As a software developer, I see it as a tension, between legacy and moving the platform forwards.

    MS chose to be backward compatible, this has rewards and costs, to my mind one of its biggest rewards for MS is lock in. Because a given version of software works across versions of the OS, the OS is perceived to have a longer life. The cost is that the OS has to continue to support features and API calls you would wish to deprecate. Or worse continue to support undocumented API because some whiz discovered just the right feature to make their software work (This is part of the reason you can use undocumented API calls in iOS apps).

    Apple chose a different route they have a generation, if its outside that its gone. Its harsh, but it means there is less crud in the OS, in theory it is cleaner, and thus more stable (notice I say in theory).

    On the other hand, I can run Leopard on old hardware, G4 hardware, and old CRT iMacs, that dont think you could do that with Vista.

    So to my mind you pick your lock in, not forgetting that choosing an OS, due to hoe applications are sold means you have chosen your lock in. Personally, and I doubt this would stand up in court, if you have brought a license to use a given software then if you change platforms that license should still be valid.

    As to Lion, well I dont know, I dont like the iOS features, the launcher or full window apps, i dont see the point. The resizing well thats nice, I have always considered it one of the UI things Apple has gotten wrong, but its no big improvement. The biggest downside for me, is the lack of a disc.

    The versions things seems like a great idea, and nice to have it at the os level, I hope you can turn it off, on a system, directory, application and file level.

    So while I wont be adapting it as soon as it is released I might in the future... I only adapted snow leopard this year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "if you change platforms that license should still be valid."

      It is still valid. it just ceases to have any value.

  40. ceebee

    hardly the cat's meow..

    I just do not understand Lion...

    Why remove Rosetta? A whole bag of pain for users for little or no gain... and a 4gb download??? Is Apple serious!!

    And for what? So my Mac can look like an iPad.

    I am aware of the advantages of a full 64bit OS but many of the enhancements seem relatively minor or debatable. The new scroll bars (or lack of them!) seem hardly a reason to upgrade... or the ability to set a single colour for your background ... WOW! ... system-wide autosave seems a nice idea but again hardly a reason to give up PPC support.

    Oh and I get to scroll like an iPhone? Full screen apps mean like System 1.0 of Macinstosh.

    Not sure I will be moving to Lion anytime soon.

  41. bazza Silver badge

    ARRRRGGHHH! More Creeping Tabletisation!

    Launchpad is definitely a lurch towards running on a tablet. It's a worrying trend, heed it well.

    Explanation - all the big development money in the industry seems to be going in to tablets and mobiles. Not that I care particularly for Apple, but the others (Ubuntu, Microsoft, etc) are all doing that too. Are we beginning to see the end of the line for making the life of the desktop / laptop user better?

    Us desktop users aren't necessesarily doing hip and trendy things - corporate droids mostly these days I'd guess - but we still like a nice working environment! Just because there isn't major profits to be made out of clear thinking hard nosed IT departments whose favourite line is "what do you need that for" doesn't mean that there aren't users desparate for an upgrade. Personally I find Win7 quite good, but I'd hate to think that that's the end of the line; actually got XP at work.

  42. CaptainBlue

    "...known informally as Lion..."

    Given that Apple call it "OS X Lion" on their website, I'd think that was pretty formal...

  43. Liam Proven Silver badge

    The author responds

    In response to a couple of the questions.

    [1] No, Apple did not let me in to the preview; my request for a (p)review copy was refused by Cupertino PR, so I got it elsewhere. Which does mean no NDA was violated, mind.

    [2] Performance: hard to tell. As it's unfinished, I did not attempt to benchmark it. However, my overall impression was that it felt fast. Quicker than Leopard, I'd say; as to whether it was quicker than Snow Leopard, I'm not sure. I had to buy a copy of Snow Leopard just to install it, update it to current and then immediately upgrade, as a bare-metal install did not work. This does mean it was a clean copy, with no added anything, and I only had an hour or so to play with it - so not a great basis for comparison.

    [3] Sadly, I can't do any further testing - the Mac mini used was a loaner & it has now been returned.

  44. Dana W

    Hardly the end for the Hackintoshers.

    Making full install media from the download is very, very easy.

    Just tried it with the new "Gold Master" It works fine. If I can do it I'm sure they can too.

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