This is big: OS X Lion Update is App Store only

Phil Schiller - WWDC 2011 OS X Lion

Phil Schiller - WWDC 2011 OS X LionAs foreshadowed by Apple making many of its leading iWork and iLife products available in the Mac App Store, the next version of OS X will also be sold only through the Mac App Store. This is yet another step away from traditional media distribution as Apple will effectively be cutting out other means of software distribution like Amazon.  The update will be available for download in July for just $29.

Weighing in at just over 4 GB each download, this update will likely be a major contender with Netflix for internet bandwidth.  Especially as Apple’s 54 million Mac users begin to upgrade.  While priced the same as OS X Snow Leopard, this cat is no slouch.  With over 250 new features, Mac users will be more likely to want to update sooner rather than later.

What will be interesting this time around is how one performs this download-based upgrade. While users have gotten familiar with the upgrade process of the disk-based distribution, the Mac OS X upgrade path will likely be a little different; requiring enough free hard drive space for the download, the upgrade process, and the larger OS foot print that will likely result.  At a time when Mac users are opting for the faster yet smaller SSDs, extra hard drive space, like network bandwidth will be at a premium.

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