Friday, Jul 02, 2021, 15:00 Mac: Software

OS X Mountain Lion & Mac OS X Lion Are Now Free

Those who have wanted to or just been waiting for half a decade to update their almost fossilized older Mac due to the extremely high cost of US$20 can now do so for free. This week, Apple made an important decision and struck down the update fee for the two older operating systems. Although it may seem odd at first, there is a somewhat relevant background. Take for example an older Mac in an office building, perhaps even still running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6, and working as a server – it can now be updated easily and receive a few new important security features. Interestingly enough, Mountain Lion 10.7 and 10.8 are still available for purchase from the Apple Online Store although there are direct downloads available elsewhere on the site.

OS X Lion & Mountain Lion: Updates Downloadable For Free
The free downloadable installer for OS X Lion can be downloaded here and here. In terms of system requirements, at least a Core 2 Duo with 2 GB of RAM and 7 GB of free storage space is needed. Mountain Lion has similarly humble requirements, with at least one more gigabyte preferred. The two installation packets can only be run on a device with Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.6 or newer. Should the current Mac run on an OS newer than Lion, then the installer won't work.

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Upates From 2011 & 2012
OS X Lion appeared first in July 2011, effectively ending support for Intel Macs without 64-bit processors. This affected the MacBook Pro, first Mac mini, and the iMac with "Core Duo". OS X Mountain Lion came out a year later and marked the advent of Apple's now well-known yearly update cycle. At the time, the only subtle change of names (for example, Leopard to Snow Leopard, Lion to Mountain Lion) to the operating systems indicated that the operating systems wouldn't be differentiated by a major number of new features. In Mountain Lion, for example, Apple corrected a number of software errors and bugs leftover from Lion – which had the goal of bringing the iPhone and iPad experience to the Mac. OS X Lion missed the mark in many places. Paired with rather weak performance and numerous bugs, 10.7 can be counted as one of Apple's weakest releases.

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