In a sign of the times, Apple will be distributing the latest version of its Mac OS X operating system, 10.7 aka Lion, via the Mac App Store as a digital download.
Apple overnight announced that the latest version of its Mac OS X operating system, Lion, will be available next month as a download from the Mac App Store, priced at $31.99. Lion, also known as Mac OS X 10.7, is the eighth version of Apple's Mac OS X operating system and includes more than 250 new features.
Mission Control provides an overview of what's running on your system.
Prominent among these are: a new range of Multi-Touch gestures, designed to give the user a more fluid control experience; native full-screen support for apps (although Windows users will rightfully chortle at "maximise window" being considered a new feature); Mission Control, which provides a high-level overview of all apps, windows and widgets open or running; revised versions of the Mac App Store and Mail; Launchpad, a smartphone-like presentation of apps on your system; and Versions, which provides Time Machine-like multi-iteration restore functionality to documents.
Launchpad gives an iPhone/iPad-style view of your apps.
While the bargain pricing of Lion might at first seem to indicate Apple is trying to severely undercut its traditional OS rival Microsoft (whose Windows 7 pricing
in Australia at launch was significantly more costly), the more strident competition Apple is facing these days is likely to come from Google.
Versions provides a Time Machine-like functionality for your documents.
Google's Chrome OS and its recently announced Chromebooks
threaten to markedly redefine the conventional computer and OS market by introducing a free lightweight web-based OS tailored to run on notebooks from a number of manufacturers, including Samsung and Acer.
Some of the new Multi-Touch gestures supported by Lion.
to Lion from 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac users running Intel CPUs can simply download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store on the day it becomes available. Controversially, it seems that the software will not be available to purchase separately on disc (which means the user must have an internet connection), and nor will the upgrade path be available to users running Mac OS X 10.5 or earlier (which means those users will need to upgrade to Snow Leopard in order to upgrade to Lion).