Does Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion fulfill the promise of OS X Lion?

“Although over 40% of Mac users have already migrated to Lion, that OS hasn’t exactly gotten the love,” Gene Steinberg writes for Tech Night Owl. “A fair number of people won’t upgrade simply because they need to run PowerPC software, and Apple removed the Rosetta translation capability from 10.7. This makes Lion a non-starter to them, and it’s clear Apple has no intention of restoring Rosetta in 10.8 Mountain Lion.”

“I also get the impression that some of you are put off by the iOS-inspired elements of Lion, particularly Launchpad, the app launch system that, of course, you never have to launch,” Steinberg writes. “A couple of interface elements, such as scrollbars that require a mouseover to appear, and reversing the direction of scrolling, are readily disabled in System Preferences. I do suppose there’s some reason to be concerned about Lion’s Auto Save system, since the cherished Save As feature was removed. But it’s restored under Mountain Lion with a new keystroke (Command-Option-Shift-S). The real issue of Auto Save is that few apps really support the feature, other than Apple’s. Eleven months after the debut of Lion, neither Microsoft nor Adobe seem to have come aboard, although a number of simpler third-party apps have gotten with the program.”

“My impression of Lion is that it was somewhat unfinished, as if Apple ran out of time to add and perfect new features, so they simply set them aside for Mountain Lion,” Steinberg writes. “The buzz from the developer community and others who have worked with the prerelease versions is extremely positive. For the most part, Mountain Lion appears to be a credible and compelling upgrade. It’s good to see the enhanced security and direct support for social networking. For any Lion user that has a compatible Mac, I don’t see any significant downsides. And, assuming the final release is stable and snappy, the $19.99 purchase price would seem to make it an upgrade that vindicates the promise of Lion and makes OS X a lot more useful.

Read more in the full article here.

40 Comments

  1. I have Lion on my 24in iMac but run Snow Leo on my other Macs (17in MBP, 13in MBP for my wife) – I’m not bowled over by Lion, it too makes an unfinished impression on me.

    I will upgrade to Mountain Lion immediately, hoping that some of its weirder effects are fixed (for example my mouse is not working in the bottom 5 cm of the screen so windows don’t react to mouse clicks there, but it works just fine in the dock).

  2. Lion = Vista
    ML = ..I would say Win 7..but it’s much better.

    You get the point.. That’s my opinion having used both extensively. ML fixes, no..refines..Lion at a level we expect from the Mac OS.

    1. No OSX Version was as bad as Vista, I completely dropped Mirosoft after that fiascal.

      Lion is fine, I see some just wanting to make an excuse due to changes in the evolution of the OS but never has any version of OSX been as bad as Windows legacy 16 year old code.

  3. I didn’t read the original article, so perhaps this is addressed, but the bit about Rosetta not being restored doesn’t seem to fit. He’s saying “Well, most people didn’t upgrade to Lion because they need Rosetta and that won’t be back in Mountain Lion. All in all it seems like it’s a good upgrade!”.

    Just feels like disjointed and kind of shoddy writing; although I’m not really sure why I expect anything else these days.

  4. Most people didn’t migrate to Lion because Snow Leopard was great! I didn’t want to migrate but needed iCloud.

    I don’t want many of the graphical features of Lion nor do I like autosave or how it sorts file icons.

    1. Absolutely – like it or not, I have to keep my main computer on Snow Leopard simply to retain the functionality that that the cute-but-crap Lion has tossed aside.

    2. The new ideas in Lion are great, but it’s just not enough to shake the reality how awesome Snow Leopard is.

      Lion feels incomplete and is reaching end-of-life, and Mountain Lion is unproven. I see no downside to sticking with Snow Leopard – at least until there’s an OS that thoroughly trumps it.

  5. The negative feedback on MDN and other sites held me back from upgrading.

    Add in the lack of Rosetta, I’m not spending 2-3 thousand per machine to upgrade software just to run the latest OS that no one likes.

    My current setup is just fine for another 2-3 years if needed.

    1. The Lion haters are a very vocal minority. I didn’t find Lion to be bad at all although some of the big changes seemed a little rough around the edges I’m using the developer preview of Mountain Lion now and it is very, very good. It is becoming clear the Apple is harmonizing the software feature set of Macs and iDevices to make the most out of iCloud’s services. This is really great. Cloud tabs in Safari alone make iOS6 and ML must have upgrades.

      1. “Hater” is a strong word, and 60% of Mac users who do not run Mtn Lion is a MAJORITY.

        We didn’t find any compelling reason to upgrade any of our legacy machines to OS 10.7. Don’t need cutesy iOS-isms for productivity, and we are not (and will not be) iCloud users. Got our own server, thank you very much.

        … and really, Apple, what’s with “Command-Option-Shift-S” This is a “solution” that reeks of Microsoft-level committee-think. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

        1. I had no choice but the use Lion on our new Mac Mini Server. We tried to install Snow Leopard on the machine but installation would hang because of hardware changes not supported by Snow Leopard. There are some things I find really good with Lion, but it does have a feeling of “unfinished business” about it.
          Removing the command for “save as” in Lion was just stupid. And no MDN, it isn’t still there as a keystroke command, I’ve tried and I get a variety of random outcomes, only occasionally actually being “save as”.
          I will upgrade all my machines to Mountain Lion and bite the bullet and upgrade CS3 to the latest version.

      2. Lion’s not bad at all, but Snow Leopard is flawless. I would be more than willing to put up with Lion’s minor flaws if Snow Leopard didn’t exist.

  6. I’m running Lion on my MacBook Air, which is just a glorified remote control for me.

    I run Snow Leopard on my production MacBook Pro as I simply don’t feel like upgrading a whole slew of software for Lion.

    I run Leopard on my old Power Mac G5 which I use as a server, which is going to be a lot less useful on Friday when Apple kills Mobile Me without allowing old OSes access to iCloud.

  7. My biggest complaint about Lion is the destroyed Spotlight feature. It is almost unusable. I hope ML fixes it.

    I actually like the reversed scrolling and have to think twice on my old Macs.

    Remind me how to change the scroll setting?

  8. I have no issues with Lion and I don’t see it as unfinished. I run it on 3 machines.

    I have many others that don’t support Lion Intel and PPC; life in the computer age moves on.

    1. I am with you. I have no issue with Lion and I ditched everything related to PPC code when I moved to an Intel based Mac. So no issues for me. The only thing the did kill me was having to burn an installer disk to be able to swap HD’s on my wife’s Macbook.

  9. I upgraded to Lion only a month ago on my early 2010 MacBook Pro 15 inch and what a difficult time it has been. The damn thing runs so hot that it shuts down about once a week due to heat.

    Yes, I’ve done the fan stand plugged into the USB, installed the monitoring software, upgraded the RAM to 8GB – all to no avail.

    What was a stable and useful computer under Snow Leopard is now a cranky and slow minefield waiting to hang and lose data. I don’t trust it anymore.

    Love Apple. Love OSx. Bought the first gooseneck iMac in April 2001, dumped Windows and never went back. Switched my entire business over to OSx by the end of 2003 and currently operate 10 Macs including that first iMac that serves as an email machine in the reception area.

    You might say I’m a fan of Mac and OSx – but Lion let me down big time.

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