7th version of Mac OS X goes on sale today

OS X Lion, the seventh version of Mac’s operating system will go on sale today for $29.99. Lion will be the first in the OS X family to be available exclusively as a digital download via Apple’s Itunes App Store.

This will also be the first Apple product that will play down the relevance of the Apple Stores, and will definitely not generate lines of faithful trying to score copies of the OS upgrade.

In the real world, though, some fundamental changes to OS X 10.7 Lion will sever the ties with its software and hardware legacy. Rosetta says goodbye and so does 32-bit processor support. This means that no more PowerPC apps will run on the new OS and neither will it support any 32-bit Intel processors such as the Core Duo and Core Solo.

Most changes to this version of OS X reflect advances in the user interaction with hardware, as well as chipset and CPU features. These include things such as Ipad-like touch interfaces, improved virtualization, direct file sharing and hardware disk encryption, amongst others. Like in some PC notebooks, the OS X Lion installation will create a recovery partition from which you can restore your operating system in case of a critical error. Apple has also discovered the wonders of “auto-save”, and has tweaked Aqua GUI refinements and general interaction, but to a lesser extent.

Lion also adds TRIM support, vital for SSDs, which, considering the popularity of that storage technology and its increasing relevance in Apple’s product portfolio, becomes absolutely necessary to avoid performance degradation over time.

Together with the OS launch, a product refresh is expected as newer computers and accessories are launched to match and take advantage of the new OS X features. Amongst these are the Thunderbolt driven Apple displays and a refresh of Macbook Air products, which stand to make the most out of the OS.

 

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