June 14, 2011, 11:00 AM — The last time Apple updated the Mac operating system—2009’s Snow Leopard release—the most noteworthy changes happened under the hood. That’s not the case with Lion, the next major version of Mac OS X. Apple has been gradually pulling back the curtain on its latest and greatest cat, first at a preview event last October and then this week at the Worldwide Developers Conference. And what we’ve seen thus far is a pretty significant shift for the Mac OS, influenced in large part by Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS.
Big changes like the ones introduced by Mac OS X Lion produce big questions: What’s really new in Lion? How does it work? How can you get it? We’ve spent some time going over what Apple has disclosed about the Mac OS X update, and we’re ready to answer those questions—along with any others you might have about Lion.
What’s Lion going to cost me?
Would you believe $30? For long-time OS X users, that’s not an insignificant point. Four years ago when Mac OS X 10.5 came out, it cost $129 to install Leopard on your Mac. Now you’ll be able to upgrade to Lion for approximately a quarter of the cost. (And that’s assuming you install it on only one computer—more on that below.) With its approach to Lion pricing, Apple seems intent on redefining what software costs.
When can I get my hands on Lion?
Apple says the update will be available in July, and that’s about as specific as the company is willing to get at this point. The company may provide a more specific release date in the coming weeks, but it’s just as possible that Lion might simply appear on the Mac App Store one day next month, and that will be that.
Wait—the Mac App Store? I can download Lion from there?
In fact, the Mac App Store will be the only place where you can download Lion. There won’t be any option to order it on CD, or from brick-and-mortar retail stores.
What if I have multiple Macs? Can I install it on each one?