What (else) prevents you from upgrading to Lion?

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I appear to have unsettled reader William Dunn when discussing the inability for Lion to run applications that rely on the Rosetta technology. He writes:

Earlier this week you wrote about some older applications not working with Lion. This came as a surprise to me as I depend on programs like Quicken 2007 and AppleWorks. Are there other upgrade pitfalls I should be aware of?

Let’s start with your Mac. Does it meet these requirements?

  • 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 the Mac App Store installed

The deal-killer is the processor. PowerPC processors are obviously dead-in-the-water, which shouldn’t be a surprise given that Snow Leopard wouldn’t run on these Macs either. But if you have an Intel Core Solo or Core Duo (without the 2), Lion won’t work with your Mac either (unless someone comes up with a hack for that). If you purchased your Mac in or after mid-2007, you’re fine, but some Intel Macs produced between 2006 and mid-2007 are incompatible with Lion.

If your processor’s up to snuff but you’re thin on RAM, you can always upgrade that. If you haven’t upgraded to Snow Leopard you’ll need to find a way to do that because without it, you don’t have access to the Mac App Store, which is how Lion will be distributed. And, of course, that also means getting an Apple ID (the same ID you use for the iTunes, iBooks, and App Stores) if you don’t have one.

And then there’s MobileMe. As you’re likely aware, MobileMe will die a year from now. In its stead there will be iCloud, which will be unleashed sometime this fall. My colleague Jonathan Seff recently penned What Does iCloud Mean for MobileMe Subscribers and it's worth a read. In that piece he mentioned that there are some questions about what will happen to such MobileMe services as iDisk, Galleries, and Web hosting.

It has been rumored that iWeb in regard to Web hosting via MobileMe is dead. If you rely on iWeb and MobileMe for your personal website then you should start making plans for the future. That doesn’t mean leaving iWeb completely behind. You can use iWeb to publish not only to MobileMe but also a local folder or FTP site. So, find a Web hosting site and make the transition, with your iWeb-based designs intact. If you want to move from iWeb because you, like me, think Apple will devote nary another thought to it, you can use other easy-to-use tools such as RapidWeaver 5 and Sandvox 2 to design and publish your site.

If you’re going to miss the 20GB of storage that comes with your MobileMe account, it’s possible that Apple will allow you to purchase more than the 5GB of storage that comes for free with iCloud. If you don’t have a Dropbox account, you should. Although you get only 2GB for free, sharing files with it couldn’t be much easier. Another great sharing option is the free CloudApp.

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At a Glance
  • At $30 for all of your Macs, the only reason not to upgrade to Lion is because you rely on old PowerPC-based apps that won’t run on it. Otherwise, it’s a great price for a major upgrade.

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