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Apple - Over 1 Million Lion Downloads

Apple's Mac App store became a reality with the launch of OS X lion. As the first version of the OS available primarily as a digital download, early indications are that Apple's bet is going to pay off.

Want to take over the desktop of a fellow Mac user from a remote location? Instantly transfer files to other Mac users within 10 meters or less of you? These are just two of the additional features that Apple has packed into the next iteration of its desktop OS, OS X Lion. The new features seem to be doing the trick, as the new Mac App Store has served more than 1 million download requests in its first day, Apple reported this past Thursday.

OS X 10.7 also features new multi-touch gestures, VoiceOver Gestures, and, as mentioned, access to the Mac App Store. However, the entire story is not without some cons to the aforementioned pros. Many Adobe applications have serious issues when running under Lion. The primary break involves the fact that support for PowerPC applications has been dropped.

It is a trend that the average Mac user does not upgrade, neither hardware nor software, as frequently as the average Windows user. This could mean that there are many Mac users, especially graphics and video professionals, who might still be using legacy Adobe products. The issues with several Adobe applications may cause some of these users to hold off on making the step up to 10.7.

Even regular users could be impacted by one of the more general issues, in which the Safari browser is no longer compatible with the Adobe Reader or Acrobat. This will mean that PDFs opened through HTML links will not open in Adobe, although both Reader and Acrobat still work as stand-alone applications under Lion.

These issues do not appear to be having a major impact on the adoption rate of Lion. Nor is the delivery model of the upgrade. The size of the download, 3.5GB, apparently has not turned a lot of people away from grabbing the upgrade from the App Store. One thing this shift to digital-only availability might do is make the general user community much more comfortable with the concept of receiving major applications and software upgrades from the cloud. This could parlay further into a general increase in the delivery of software content as digital-only purchases across the software industry in general.

A study from earlier this year claimed that one-third of the country does not have broadband connectivity. Still, if only two-thirds of the country formed the potential customer base, that could be enough to drive a robust business model that Apple might own significant market-space in. 

It should be noted that Microsoft has been selling Windows 7 as a digital download since that OS' launch in October of 2009. Some differences are that the upgrade package for Windows 7 Home Premium costs $119.99, while the Lion upgrade is $29.99. The x64 version of Windows 7 reportedly runs around 3GB, and customers can order a backup disc with their purchase. A backup disc is not available for Lion, although you can create a disc of your own, or make an installable USB drive with a work-around.

OS X Lion's Launch Control


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Jerry Myers, 2011-07-23 (Update: 2012-05-26)