Apple started using the Core i3/i5/i7 processors in late 2009, when an iMac refresh first sported the i5 and i7 in high-end models.
How many machines do I get to put Lion on for my $30? All your personally-authorized Macs, as per the usual Mac App Store guidelines, says Apple.
If you have five Macs assigned to your iTunes account -- and thus to the Mac App Store -- you will be able to download and install Lion on all five machines.
In other words, say "good-bye" to the Family Pack, the pricier multi-license bundle Apple used to sell. With Snow Leopard, you paid $49 for the Pack, or just under $10 each to outfit five Macs. Leopard's Family Pack ran $199, or $39.80 per system. Lion drops that per-Mac price to $6.
To upgrade three Windows PCs to Windows 7 via Microsoft's $150 Family Pack would end up costing $50 per machine.
I have scores of Macs in my business ... how to I upgrade to Lion? We don't know. And Apple's not saying.
Although we asked Apple to clarify several aspects of the Lion upgrade process -- including whether it will make available an alternative upgrade path to businesses, organizations and schools that could have hundreds of Macs, the company didn't immediately respond.
Some users anticipated major problems if all that was available was the Mac App Store.
"ABSOLUTE BLEEDIN' NIGHTMARE!" said someone identified as Peter Vandoorn today on an Apple support forum . "Come on Apple -- you HAVE to release the Lion installer on DVD!"
Others couldn't believe the company would leave them in the lurch without means of making physical media that could conceivably be used to install Lion.
"Just because Apple has not announced a particular set of licensing terms for its release date, does not mean it won't have any," countered "a brody" on the same thread.
I have to have Snow Leopard on my Mac(s) before I can upgrade to Lion? Yes, that's what Apple says. "Get up to date with the latest version of OS X Snow Leopard to purchase OS X Lion from the Mac App Store," Apple advises on its site.
That requirement stems from Lion's Mac App Store distribution; Snow Leopard is the only Mac OS X edition that supports the e-mart. (Apple updated Snow Leopard Jan. 6 2011 to add the Mac App Store.)
I'm still running Leopard.... What do I do to get Lion? We don't know, yet. This was another question we asked Apple. Again, no reply.
If your Mac supports Lion -- meaning it has a Core 2 Duo or later processor -- you could conceivably do a two-step upgrade, to Snow Leopard now (for $29), then to Lion (for $30) next month.