Print 12 comment(s) - last by jconan.. on May 6 at 8:30 PM

Mac owners will reportedly be able to remotely purchase the upgrade to Lion via the Mac App Store.  (Source: Apple Insider)
Apple's thriving App Store may receive its most important package yet

From games to business, Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) Mac App Store follows in the footsteps of such Windows PC software markets as Valve Corp.'s STEAM engine (now available on Macs), making the push to digital distribution.  Despite an initial catalog of 1,000 apps and one million downloads in its first day of activity, the new App Store reportedly has seen slow sales [source] since its launch in January 2011.

Still, Apple is determined to see the new distribution format through to success.  According to a report by Apple Insider, it's prepared to show that commitment by making the Mac App Store the primary source of Mac OS X "Lion" 10.7 OS upgrade, set to launch this summer.

A source close to Apple says that the company will also be offering traditional optical media upgrades "for those with slower connections, or [for those who for whatever reason do] not want to download it."

The move to digital distribution will be a boon for the MacBook Air, which lacks a built in optical disk drive.  

Apple reportedly looks to gut the optical drive from the remaining members of its lineup including the MacBook Pro and MacBook within the next year to two years.  The removal will allow for slimmer designs and a larger battery.

Apple is also working to phase out the boxed software section of its stores, making room for more lucrative Mac accessories and repairs/service sections.  The company is reportedly contemplating a complete removal of boxed software from its store shelves in the near future.

The upcoming "Lion" OS is currently in beta.  It offers many new features that bring OS X more in line with iOS -- the mobile operating system used in Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPods.  In that regard this release is expected to be more pivotal than the standard short-cycle OS bump from Apple.

Snow Leopard and the Mac App Store both require an Intel-based processor, 1GB of system RAM, and 5GB of available disk space.  The original Intel Mac systems won't be upgradeable to Lion, though -- it requires a Core 2 Duo processor or better.

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By omnicronx on 5/5/2011 12:28:28 PM , Rating: 1
Now instead of two, maybe 3 clicks to update your OS (you know, the integrated feature on the main Apple menu), you now have many!

Thank god for innovation.

RE: Yay!
By ltcommanderdata on 5/5/2011 12:51:42 PM , Rating: 3
Updating and upgrading the OS aren't exactly the same thing. Seeing Apple hasn't previously done digital distribution of full new versions of OS X before, having something from nothing could be considered innovation. Even if as you say, the experience could be better.

RE: Yay!
By omnicronx on 5/5/2011 1:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yep I realized my mistake shortly after posting ;)

Incremental updates via normal update procedures, new full versions were all previously done via external media.

Makes sense, but I still don't see why it needs to be tied into the store unless ALL future updates will come through via this method.. both incremental and full updates. If the old update procedures still exist, it just makes little sense to me. Seems like it would be doing something similar to what MS does with Windows. Add a different way to access a feature that was already there without removing the former. (which in turn just makes things more confusing)

It really adds nothing to the OS other than to force users to use the store.

RE: Yay!
By Flunk on 5/6/2011 9:18:12 AM , Rating: 2
It really adds nothing to the OS other than to force users to use the store.

Sure it does, it saves Apple truckloads of cash on distribution. It's convenient too, but it's mostly the financial savings that Apple cares about.

RE: Yay!
By Drag0nFire on 5/5/2011 1:40:04 PM , Rating: 4
Windows has the functionality too. Except on a PC, they're called service packs and you don't have to pay for them.

RE: Yay!
By KoolAidMan1 on 5/5/2011 2:13:27 PM , Rating: 3
I paid for my upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 (aka Vista SP3), didn't you?

RE: Yay!
By StevoLincolnite on 5/5/2011 2:45:50 PM , Rating: 3
I paid for my upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 (aka Vista SP3), didn't you?

Nope. I pretend Windows M.E and Vista never existed. ;)

RE: Yay!
By nafhan on 5/5/2011 4:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
I skipped Vista...

Also, first thing that came to mind when reading this article was: Mac app store = Windows update :)

App Store = Bag of hurt
By xstylus on 5/5/2011 12:33:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not the least bit surprised the Mac App Store is off to a slow start. It's a pain to use.

Apple tried to make it a bit TOO simple this time. If I'm just browsing for new programs, I've got a large list of names and a price. No descriptions unless I click on the program to read more. I don't want to click on thousands of different programs' pages until I find one I like. And why isn't there a better way to price sort them, such as apps under $1, or better yet free apps only?

Though knowing Apple, you can bet that by 10.8 they'll force the issue in making it the only way you can get an app.

No optical
By cfaalm on 5/6/2011 6:06:48 AM , Rating: 2
Even my next desktop will rely on an external optical (the old one in an external housing). From a design point of view it makes sense too. Not the biggest Apple fan, but this looks like a good thing for all laptops and such.

By Paj on 5/6/2011 7:21:15 AM , Rating: 2
My only wish with Lion is that they might FINALLY improve Finder's performance when connecting to SMB volumes. On my Quad Core Xeon it still takes approx 5 seconds to list all the directories on the server. On the admin computer, a 5 year old P4 PC, it loads instantaneously.

By jconan on 5/6/2011 8:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think most consumers will rather have the physical media in hand. What happens when you are closed to maxing out on the data rate for the month? or an emergency reinstall is needed?

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