This is one of the biggest benefits of Mac App Store distribution: As with any applications you purchase from the Mac App Store, you’ll be able to install Lion on any Macs that are authorized with the Apple ID you used to purchase the OS. Which means that if your family has four, five, six, or more Macs, a single $30 payment will let you install Lion on every machine. With previous full-version upgrades of Mac OS X, $129 would get you a license for a single install, with a $199 Family Pack letting you install on up to five Macs. Apple never used DRM to enforce such rules with prior releases of OS X, but now you’ll be able to reuse your copy on multiple machines without the guilt and shame.
How about schools and businesses? Will they only be able to get the update through the Mac App Store? That seems inconvenient.
We agree: There’s probably another shoe to drop here in regards to schools and businesses. Chances are, while Apple will make hay with Mac App Store distribution of Lion for the average customer, the company will probably offer other avenues for those unable to install through anything other than traditional means. For what it’s worth, it’s also possible you may be able to download Lion from the Mac App Store, then burn a copy to DVD for installing on your other systems, though we’re not sure that’s going to be the upgrade advice Apple gives IT managers and system administrators.
What kind of Mac do I need to install Lion?
The processor powering your Mac is the best indicator of whether you’ve got Lion-friendly hardware. Apple says you’ll need a Mac with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run the new OS. (In case you haven’t committed your Mac’s processor to memory, just click the Apple icon on the top left of your screen and select About This Mac—you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about your Mac’s innards.)
Apple’s system requirements essentially draw a line in the sand at Mac models released in late 2006. (That’s when the first Core 2 Duo-based systems hit the market.) If you hopped on the Intel transition early, and you’re still using that five-year-old Core Duo (or Solo)-powered Mac, you’re going to have to upgrade your hardware—at least if you want to entertain any thoughts of running Lion.
Of course, just because early Core 2 Duo-based Macs are compatible with Lion, that doesn’t necessarily mean performance will be great on these Macs. We’ll have to wait and see if, as with previous Mac OS X upgrades, the oldest compatible systems offer lackluster performance under the latest OS.
I’m not running the latest incarnation of Snow Leopard. I don’t have the Mac App Store. How am I supposed to get Lion?