Reasons to Hold Off on Upgrading to OS X 10.7 Lion

Making the decision to upgrade from Snow Leopard to OS X 10.7 Lion at this point means a little more than spending $30 on a few new features. You’re making the decision to accept changes to how you interact with your computer, and in some cases how your software works. Here are a few reasons to wait on upgrading to OS X 10.7 Lion:

Believe it or not, some developers are slower than others when it comes up updating their apps to work with the new operating system. One of the most widely noted incompatibilities came from some installations of earlier versions of Microsoft Office for the Mac, which failed to load under Lion. Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac appears to be working just fine, according to reports form the LockerGnome community.

This is the same problem PC users face when they move from one version of Windows or Linux to another and some resources programs tap in to change enough to break functionality. Make sure your software is ready for the upgrade by checking the developer’s site or an online app compatibility table like the one provided by RoaringApps.

Before considering the upgrade, you also want to make sure your Mac is physically ready for the new version of OS X. While the core requirements haven’t changed all that much, it’s worth taking a look before dropping the $30.

Here are some of the system requirements listed by Apple:

  • Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
  • 2GB of memory
  • OS X v10.6.6 or later (v10.6.8 recommended)
  • 7GB of available space

With the software and hardware both ready for the upgrade, are you? Touch-pad users will notice an immediate change in how OS X interprets gestures. For most users, the new gestures will be pretty natural and easy to figure out while others may find themselves pulling their hair out at how frustrating things like natural scrolling can be. Thankfully, you can reverse many of these changes.

If you’re a fan of Front Row or Rosetta, you will need to say goodbye to these apps as they are no longer present in OS X Lion. AirPrint also appears to be missing from Lion leaving some users needing to seek out third-party solutions.

There is also the industry-wide rule that early adopters face every time they jump on board something new. If you don’t want to deal with bugs and security issues, it’s probably a good idea to hold off on a major upgrade for at least a few weeks as Apple and third-party developers get the kinks worked out in their software. Let the early adopters step on the land mines so you can enjoy a smooth experience from day one.

If you use your Mac for work, the decision to upgrade early can affect your productivity. It’s best to make sure your hardware, software, and needs are covered before taking the leap. OS X Lion has a lot to love and the improvements made to several key programs (like Mail) will make it a worthwhile upgrade for anyone that decides to take the leap. It just makes things more fun when there’s a net waiting.