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Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion 10.7 as Download

Apple today released it next version of its Mac OS X operating system, 10.7, which it also calls Lion.

Rather than distributing on a disc, Lion bypasses traditional distribution and is sold through the Mac App Store for $29.99. Some of the new features in Lion include: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, a new view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

"Lion is the best version of OS X yet, and we're thrilled that users around the world can download it starting today," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Lion makes upgrading a Mac easier than ever before; just launch the Mac App Store, buy Lion with your iTunes account, and the download and install process will begin automatically."

Additional new features in Lion include: Resume, which brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app; Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work; Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions; and AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.

Mac OS X Lion is available as a 4GB upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6.6 Snow Leopard from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (US). Users who do not have broadband access at home, work or school can download Lion at Apple retail stores.

For those who don't want anything to do with the Mac App Store upgrade, Lion will be made available later this August on a USB thumb drive through the Apple Store for $69 (US). Mac OS X Lion Server requires Lion and is available from the Mac App Store for $49.99 (US).

Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. Lion is an upgrade and can be installed on all your authorized personal Macs.

The OS X Lion Up-to-Date upgrade will be available through the Mac App Store at no additional charge to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchased a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and July 20, 2011 will have until August 19, 2011 to make a request.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • decembermouse
    Wonder how long until people get this to work on Intel and AMD Hackintoshes.
    Reply
  • sundragon
    wow, the entire blogesphere had this story plus the release of new Airs, Minis and a screen that costs $949 and Tom's puts just the Lion news online at 12:20PM??? Please, give up on giving us all the news and focus on getting it on time.

    3 days from now you'll put up the news that Lion has "Internet Recovery"... I mean this was one of the best blogs on the web, I have been in this industry for over 15 years - I love this blog, but if this doesn't change in the next few months - I'm giving up...
    Reply
  • wildwell
    Ok early adopters, test the waters and tell us what you think before the rest of us decide to get into the pool.
    Reply
  • Wow, so they aren't distributing a physical copy of it but are still charging the same price? I think they should charge less. Basically, they're just making more money.
    Reply
  • sunflier
    janella15I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BidsNew.comNot quite sure what that has to do with this article...but thank you for that.
    Reply
  • frozenlead
    Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.
    ??????? That sounds secure. Gotta read up on this one..
    Reply
  • hellwig
    Download only, sooo, what happens if the harddrive dies and you have to replace it? Sure, you'll probably take it to an Apple store, and they might replace the whole machine or something (especially if it's a macbook air), but if you only replace the harddrive, how do you get Lion back onto the machine? Do you have to use the restoration USB stick from the version that came with the computer, then re-download the Lion installation, that sounds like too much hassle. They should allow people to download Lion to a USB stick. That way, you can purchase Lion in the Apple store, download it to your own USB stick (no $40 mark up a month from now), and install it at home. That beats lugging-in your MacPro, 28-inch widescreen monitor, keyboard and mouse in to an Apple store just to install the new OS. I mean, really, if you are one of the few companies that uses Macs, would you want to download the new OS to each computer? There must be a friendly way of distributing the new OS. Downloading is the modern method, but that doesn't mean it's the best method for everyone.

    No different than re-installing Windows 7 from the upgrade version, but that's Microsoft. I expect Apple to be smarter, why else pay them so much money (for the computer, I wouldn't mind $30 Windows upgrades)?
    Reply
  • bourgeoisdude
    sunflierNot quite sure what that has to do with this article...but thank you for that.
    They called it "spam".
    Reply
  • CyberAngel
    Just bring in your hard drive and give your specs to the iStore, they will take care of the rest...or as a typical iUser: just bring your main unit to the iStore and leave mouse, keyboard, display, even power cord, etc at home...
    Reply
  • thebigt42
    hellwigDownload only, sooo, what happens if the harddrive dies and you have to replace it? Sure, you'll probably take it to an Apple store, and they might replace the whole machine or something (especially if it's a macbook air), but if you only replace the harddrive, how do you get Lion back onto the machine? Do you have to use the restoration USB stick from the version that came with the computer, then re-download the Lion installation, that sounds like too much hassle. They should allow people to download Lion to a USB stick. That way, you can purchase Lion in the Apple store, download it to your own USB stick (no $40 mark up a month from now), and install it at home. That beats lugging-in your MacPro, 28-inch widescreen monitor, keyboard and mouse in to an Apple store just to install the new OS. I mean, really, if you are one of the few companies that uses Macs, would you want to download the new OS to each computer? There must be a friendly way of distributing the new OS. Downloading is the modern method, but that doesn't mean it's the best method for everyone.No different than re-installing Windows 7 from the upgrade version, but that's Microsoft. I expect Apple to be smarter, why else pay them so much money (for the computer, I wouldn't mind $30 Windows upgrades)?I purchased the "upgrade only" version of snow leopard for 29.99 when it came out and it installed on a blank hard drive with no problem. Even though the Apple Geniuses said it would not work. maybe this one will be the same.
    Reply