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Wait before upgrading to Lion OS X 10.7!

I’ve just been speaking to a client in Marshfield who’s just bought a new iMac from the AppleStore in Bath. The sales person was enthusiastically telling them how they could get their free upgrade to Lion when it comes out in July. I’m here to tell you that any responsible person providing Mac support should be telling you quite clearly DO NOT upgrade to Lion for at least 3 months after July 2011, possibly more. Why?

Lion will have compatibility bugs…

Every time Apple release a major OS update, inevitably some programs will have problems working with it. If you use nothing but Apple provided software, you might find that you have no issues at all – but for the majority of that people that just isn’t true. They’ve got old versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, MYOB, Appleworks, Word, etc. that they still use for their day to day work and rely on.

Lion drops support for old PPC software

10.7 Lion is a massive change. It finally ditches all support for software written to run on the old PowerPC G4 and G5 processor families that you may remember from days of yore (well ok, 5 years ago). Apple created a technology called Rosetta that enabled new Intel powered Macs to run software that was written to run only on PPC machines. Since OS X 10.4, Rosetta has done a stirling job, letting your shiny new Intel Mac run your old software. Sure, they didn’t run as lightning quick as software optimised for Intel chips, but it got the job done. But no longer…

Before you even dream of upgrading to Lion, make sure you check each and every program that you use on a day to day basis is “Intel Native”. The easiest way to do this is to open System Profiler and click into the Software->Applications section. Wait for a few moments whilst the list gets populated. Then click on the “Kind” column. All the programs that are “PowerPC” will NOT work in Lion and you’ll need to find replacements or get upgrades.

Even if you find that there’s nothing that business critical, I still wouldn’t upgrade to Lion for at least 3 months, if not 6. Let the “early adopters” gnash their teeth with frustration – despite what the computer industry would like you to believe, it’s much more expensive and painful on the “bleeding edge” of technology.

Looking for unbiased, down to earth and sensible Mac support? Give Sweet-Apple a call on 01380 830224. We’re here to save your hair, sanity and wallet from making expensive Mac mistakes…

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One Response to Wait before upgrading to Lion OS X 10.7!

  1. Good advice, Sweet-Apple, and the advice I give my clients. Luckily, more than one of them will not heed my advice, will go ahead and install OS X 10.7.x, and that will give the rest of us news about what works and doesn’t.

    As for myself, I shall load OS X 10.7 on a separate disk and start to work with it as a non-critical installation for a few months.

    hugh browton
    the Mac Doctor