For those of us in the media, and especially for those of us who have books shipping (“” and “ ”), last week’s release of  was the end to months of conversation and speculation about when Apple would release the new operating system to the public.
Well, that day arrived, and, which remains the only way to acquire Lion at the moment, for $29.99. Those without broadband access, or who have bandwidth caps that prevent the downloading of a 3.76 GB file, can download Lion at Apple retail stores (or anywhere else where high-speed Internet access is available; also see “ ,” 5 July 2011). Users in other countries are also reporting that Lion is appearing in the Mac App Store for them.
If the download option simply doesn’t work for you, you’re not out of luck, but you will need to wait a few more weeks. In August, Apple will also start selling Lion on a USB thumb drive through the Apple Store for $69. It’s a shame that Apple couldn’t have announced this option earlier, which would have saved much consternation among Mac users.
Despite the ease with which it seems you can install Lion over Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, we still recommend moving cautiously with the upgrade. In “,” Joe Kissell strongly recommends running Software Update to make sure you have the latest updates (see “ ,” 19 July 2011), making a duplicate before upgrading in case something goes horribly wrong during the installation process, and dealing with any Rosetta-dependent software conversions while it’s still possible under Snow Leopard. For instance, if you need to convert financial data from Quicken or email from Eudora, some conversion tools rely on Rosetta as well, and thus won’t function after you upgrade to Lion.