RUMOR: Apple to release Mac OS X Lion through Mac App Store

“With the release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion this summer, Apple will make the switch to a new kind of digital distribution for its operating system upgrades by releasing the software first through its new Mac App Store,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“The Mac App Store, available to all users running the most recent version of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, will become the de facto method for obtaining the Lion upgrade, people familiar with the matter have revealed,” Hughes reports. “Users will be able to upgrade instantly without the need for physical media by purchasing Lion through the Mac App Store.”

Hughes reports, “While the Mac App Store will be the preferred method for installing Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, set for release this summer, it’s logical to presume that Apple will also offer an optical disc for people who may not have broadband. At least person with knowledge of the situation claims that this will indeed be the case ‘for those with slower connections, or [for those who for whatever reason do] not want to download it.'”

Read more in the full article here.

43 Comments

      1. The installer runs from the disk image. It copies the installer media to the root directory of the selected disk (including the startup disk), then restarts the Mac to begin the actual install without the need for an optical disc.

        1. Lion now installs a recovery partition which you can reach by holding down option while booting the Mac.

          No need for optical media or otherwise, unless you want to keep a backup of the original installer for some reason.

          1. see i would NOT want to turn my iMac into a HP computer. THIS is what HP does… its a waste.

            HP laptop i worked on. 250 GB drive. 30GB partition for the install disk. the install side only needed like 8GB, but created a higher partition for “future” expansion. you lose 30gb of space.
            Granted we have 1TB+, but still.
            I want physical media of some sort, either the retail DVD/USB or ability to create one from the install and have ZERO partition made.

    1. time machine and/or a external drive would make a DVD pointless, and frankly is a better direction in many ways.

      Disc drives are a waste of space and energy.

  1. I’d guess there’d be a price difference and people would choose themselves. So let’s guess…

    How about $129 for physical media and $79 from the app store?

    Lion’s not to make money on itself, but to sell hardware, just like all of Apple’s software business. My guess is they just want it out there. Maybe $79 and $49, then? Less?

    Since it’ll no doubt be a big big file, I imagine it’ll be the first real download test for the NC datacenter.

    1. Strangely enough, there’s a minimum price that, if Lion falls below it, will lead Bubba to think there’s no inherent value. (Cf. the famous pricing experiment in the 60s for canned veggies.)

  2. Physical media, whether a DVD or USB key are just too useful. There are times when it is appropriate to boot from it and it is chock full of Utilities, Disk Utility foremost among them, that are essential for troubleshooting. All the goodies on that OS X DVD are one of the great distinguishing features of the Apple platform.

      1. Say what?
        There is plenty of room on USB sticks for the os to install from.
        You can fit an entire blu ray on a USB stick… All you need is a 64gb stick.
        And with flash costs coming down, easy to do.

        My preferred way, USB stick like the air has.
        Sell from app store, able to create a USB stick from the install dmg. THAT would be perfect. Hell, create USB dmg or DVD disk from app store purchase.

  3. If it were solely, or primarily, distributed via the App Store, it would be a great way to expand the introduction of the Store to more users, who might then be more apt to purchase other apps there. It should follow the other apps on the Store in allowing it to be installed on the up to 5 authorized computers on the iTunes account. This plus will also further encourage people to use the App Store version, and then later use it again. (I bought Billings software prior to the App Store, and it is only good for one computer, but the App Store is able to be used on multiple computers.). Also, once people see that the update system is very much like that on iOS devices, it will even be more attractive.

    1. I sincerely doubt that. Apple’s entire strategy for rolling out the Mac App Store ahead of Lion was, I believe, for this purpose – laying the groundwork for users to purchase downloadable OS upgrades.

      If they were going to give Lion away for free, they already had the System Update mechanism to do that, and there would have been no need for them to spend the time, effort and money required to get the Mac App Store into Snow Leopard.

  4. Not all of Apple’s customers are located in developed countries where 30 Mbps internet access is the norm. Besides, selling DVDs should offload a lot of traffic from the Internet.

    I trust Apple knows better than to kill Mac OS X install media.

    1. It’s not the norm in a lot of the geographical US. Especially among those who don’t or can’t get their access through cable. Also, what will happen with data caps from ISPs. Still need the physical media, just like NetFlix by mail.

  5. I say retail DVD as usual.
    Discounted on app store.

    Ability to create a bootable DVD or USB drive from an application inside lion, tied to your iTunes account.
    Use the DVD, need your iTunes password to verify it’s legit.

    App store is great for software, os can be done but.. Physical media has it’s benefits. They release it on the app store, we need some way to make a bootable disk of some kind as well.

  6. And what if one needs to do a clean install. Yeah, I know this is not Windows. But what if one’s disk drive fails and one must start from scratch?

    1. A 2TB time machine and regulat backup (every 5 days should mitigate that. Or just go with the time machines backup schedule. I just swapped out my 250 GB HD and replaced it with a 300GB flash drive from Intel on my 2008 Mac Book Al. I was able to Use my snow leopard CD to format the flash drive and restore my last time machine back up to repopulate the flash drive. Power consumption is down and drive read writes are wicked fast.

  7. DRM of App Store sales limits installation to a single machine. For someone like me with three or four Macs, having to pay for four separate OS downloads is prohibitive.

    1. Theyed probably detect that you’ve already paid, like with iphone apps. But yeah having to download it 3 or 4 times on different machines is silly. Surely you’d be able to download and pay once, burn a copy and install on other machines. We’ll see.

    2. This isn’t true – just log into the Mac App Store on the other Macs and download the software. I do it all the time. You aren’t limited to a single machine.

  8. BFD
    Big F***ing Download

    I’m sure you’ll be able to burn it to a disk. Would be good if it fits onto a standard DVD disk and not a dual layered one.

    Also will the price be lower? $79 seems a good number to me.

  9. Of course Lion will be available through the Mac App Store. That’s a “rumor” like the next iMac having Thunderbolt was a rumor. You can do everything with a downloadable installer that you can do with a physical disc, plus the downloadable installer runs faster and is more reliable. But that does not mean there will not be a DVD installation disc and maybe even a USB flash drive version (like the one that comes with current MacBook Air).

    Apple no longer cares about profiting from a Mac OS X release. The purpose of Mac OS X Lion is to help sell more NEW Macs. For existing Mac users (with supported hardware), Apple just wants them to upgrade to Lion as quickly as possible to have a better consolidated platform.

    low price = high adoption rate.

    My prediction on pricing. $29 for the downloadable installer. $39 for physical media in a shrink-wrapped box…

  10. Remember the old days when software update would detect an upgrade and you’d download and instal it? This will probably work in a similar way just prettier.

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