As promised: the newest Mac OS (operating system) will be released in July. The release was announced at the (Apple) World Wide Developer Conference today. As I have shared with you before, this is a MUST DO upgrade for all of your Intel Macs. This recommendation covers nearly all Macs sold since mid-2006, with the exception of the first generation of Mac Mini from that era.
1. Great news: the software itself will only cost $30. Apple is not following the $130 pricing model that they had used in the past or the $100 to $300 pricing model used by Microsoft.
2. Your Mac needs to be updated to OSX 10.6 prior to the 10.7 update. If your Mac was purchased prior to Sept. 2009 or have not upgraded to 10.6 on your own (or with my help), you need to buy the 10.6 disc. The good news is, this will only cost you $30. If you need the family pack, it is only $45. If applicable to you, please order from Mac Mall.
3. Before any major software upgrade, you will want to have your Mac backed up onto an external hard drive using the included Time Machine software. In recent times, I have always recommended the external hard drives from MacSales.com. The nice thing about an external hard drive, used with your Mac, is that it will back you up continuously. It is possible that multiple Macs in one household could share the same hard drive (however, there may be a better solution such as a model with wireless backup). For nearly all of you, this model will be sufficient
4. Good and Bad: Because not all Macs ship with a CD drive these days, OSX 10.7 cannot be installed via a CD. Flash drive: nope! This major operating system upgrade is going to be DOWNLOAD only. Wow! Talk about futuristic! And it will be 4GB in size. Cable internet customers, keep reading, you will be fine. If you have a DSL connection, you really need to have the 3.0 or greater speed package to make this work. Many of you do. If you are still on a 1.5 package with AT+T (or your Internet company), you should really think about upgrading and it will likely only cost you $5 more a month. Doing so would make a 7 hour download into a 3 to 4 hour download.
5. Due to the cost of the upgrade being so inexpensive, if you have an Intel Mac now that you were planning to replace in the next 6 to 8 months — you should upgrade your current model to 10.7. First of all, you will have a fine second computer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a computer for upstairs and downstairs? Second of all, it will really enhance the resale value should you intend to sell your current Mac when you buy your new one.
6. If you are currently using a Mac from 2006 to 2008 and only have 1 GB of RAM (unfortunately some Macs from that time only shipped with that spec) — you need to upgrade to at least 2 GB. The RAM can be purchased for only $50 or so and this can be done at the time of OS 10.7 installation. Please ask where to purchase.
** Should point out also that all new Macs being sold after July ____ , 2011 will include 10.7** So if you are looking to buy right now, hold off for 6 weeks.**