updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed May 4, 2011
Apple to send Lion through own app store on launch
Apple may be the first to push a desktop OS to its end users through its own app store. Sources said Wednesday that the company's decision to offer the Developer Preview in the Mac App Store will extend to end users. AppleInsider in getting the details was told it would even be the first place to carry the download, with a DVD version only coming slightly afterwards.
It wasn't explained how much control customers would have over the install, such as making a bootable disc or USB drive. MacBook Air users in the past have often had upgrade trouble for OS X as they had to either use Remote Disc on a nearby computer or else buy an external optical drive. They get a USB drive with the stock OS but, with the Mac App Store option, might not have the choice of reinstalling Lion first.
A move to a Mac App Store download would help Apple move more of its systems away from depending on optical drives, if not using them entirely. The new MacBook Air was described on launch as the "future of MacBooks" for its mix of instant responsiveness and extremely portable profile.
The summer release of Lion would also at once catch up and pass Microsoft in offering OS releases online. Microsoft offers Windows 7 as a download for netbook owners and others, but getting it ready to use requires putting the image on a DVD or a USB drive, even if the install is an upgrade. Apple's approach just requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later.