Apple officially released their new version of Mac OS X this morning. Lion, version 10.7 of the operating system, represents a first for Apple as it is only available for download through the Mac App Store and not on disc. The OS will also ship on updated versions of the company’s MacBook Air notebook and Mac mini desktop computer as of today.
The OS includes a number of features that were cribbed from iOS, including native support for the App Store, Launchpad – an iPhone-esque application launcher, FaceTime and visual enhancements to the Mail and Address Book applications to bring them more in line with their iPad counterparts.
It remains to be seen what the iOS-ification of the Mac experience will mean. While the iPhone and iPad interface is an easy one to use, there are some concerns that Apple is dumbing down computing by introducing elements more common in smartphones and tablets. But since a popular 4GB download is guaranteed to take a while, I won’t know for sure until later this afternoon.
Apple also announced that the OS will be available to download at Apple Stores and will be sold on a USB thumb drive at a premium next month. Until then, time to use that broadband connection you’re paying good bucks for.
Until Lion finishes downloading, Don will be tweeting from Linux @UnwinnableDonB