In a significant departure from the past, Apple is making OS X Lion available via paid download from the Mac App Store. Further, Apple will not be offering physical discs of its latest OS for the first time in company history.
This has naturally raised a number of interesting questions. For instance, what about computers without Internet access – say secure Government computers, for example. Or, what about a school with a fleet of Macs, will they have to go through the download process time and time again? And another one – what if a user wants to do a clean install of OS X Lion?
Earlier this week, an Apple user emailed Steve Jobs that very question.
I’m really exited about Lion, but I’m a bit anxious about the absence of any physical media in the event of a crash where I need to do a clean install. Will Lion still provide a way to make a bootable image in the event that I need to start from scratch?
Expectedly, Jobs’ response was brief:
From: Steve Jobs
Subject: Re: Lion clean install
Date: June 21, 2011 7:55:05 AM PDT
You can clean install Snow Leopaard [sic] first.
So basically, here’s what we’ve gleaned.
First, Apple will most likely continue selling Snow Leopard as users won’t be able to jump from Tiger or even the original Leopard to Lion.
Two, this blows for Leopard users who will essentially have to purchase two new OS’s and complete two OS installs. At the very least we can be thankful that both Snow Leopard and OS X Lion upgrades are both only priced at $29.
But what about brand new Macs that ship exclusively with Lion – will Apple provide those users with a method to restore their OS? We imagine that they’d have to, with Mac Rumors speculating that they might offer a USB key solution as they currently do with the MacBook Air.