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Apple on Tuesday launched a Mac OS X Lion thumb drive for people who wanted to uncage their own copy but didn’t have a strong enough Internet connection or capped bandwidth.
When Apple released Lion back in July, the decision to only offer Lion as a 4GB download was seen as groundbreaking and a new standard for future software releases. But it peeved some customers who don’t have fast Internet or use an ISP with bandwidth limitations. Apple’s only solution to that problem was to let customers download it using a Wi-Fi connection at the Apple Store. Of course, not everyone lives near an Apple Store.
The thumb drive ships in between one and three business days and you must have at least 7GB of free hard drive space to install it. Users that install with the thumb drive will not have access to the Lion Recovery option and will need to re-install the OS with thumb drive if they run into problems.
While I appreciate Apple trying to provide its customers with an alternate option for installing Lion, the $69 price tag for the drive seems a little high. The OS costs $29.99 to download directly from the Mac App Store. Because it’s a direct software download, there’s no materials cost and no chance you’ll be re-installing the OS. But making customers who can’t download it pay more than double for the OS is a tad unfair.
Still, OS X Lion adds in more than 250 new features including native full-screen applications, multi-touch gestures, an improved mail client, Mission Control, Launchpad and a resume function. For more info and some impressions of Mac OS X Lion, check out our Top 10 reasons to upgrade to Lion and Hands On with Lion.
Have you upgraded to Lion yet? What are your impressions of the OS?