Apple's Lion in the Tall Grass

I know many of you are excited about Apple's impending release of the next Mac OS X version, 10.7 or Lion, as it's called. Lion is scheduled for release this month, but no specific date has been announced.

I'm a registered developer with Apple and I've been using Lion for months and I'm very excited to share it with you, but there are some important considerations that will affect when you update. I'm writing this to help you make a good decision about when you upgrade your Mac(s).

Lion changes some underlying core ways in which the OS works and chief among these changes is that Rosetta will no longer be part of the codebase that makes up the OS. Rosetta was an emulator that allowed code written for older PowerPC machines to run on Intel computers. It's been years since Apple sold PowerPC machines, but some developers have not chosen to update the code for the applications (even though they've had years to do it). What matters about this is that those applications will not function in Lion, and some of these applications may be key to your work.

Some applications that will NOT function under Lion include Quicken 2007, older versions of FileMaker Pro, some versions of Microsoft Office, AppleWorks, and lots of others. There are several ways you can check on which applications won't run, but two easy ones:

1. Under the Apple menu choose About this Mac..., click on More Info..., then click on Applications under the Software heading in System Profiler. Click on Kind at the top of the list and it will sort by kind. Find the group labeled PowerPC. Those applications will not work under Lion.

2. Go to and look for your apps in the table. All of them are listed with notes about their compatibility.

Additionally there are some hardware requirements to run Lion.

Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor

2GB of RAM

Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later with Mac App Store installed

At least 4GB of additional disk space

Beyond these basic requirements there are quite a number of things I recommend and would implement to ease your upgrade path. Please don't hesitate to call me with your concerns or to schedule time to make sure your upgrade goes smoothly and delivers the exciting user experience that Lion offers

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