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.

4 thoughts on “Reasons to Hold Off on Upgrading to OS X 10.7 Lion”

  1. I’ve been impressed with the stability of the release, being that it’s a pretty major upgrade and the first betas in the winter seemed like they had a LONG way to go.

    My only surprise was Adobe CS5 not launching because it was searching for a Java runtime, which OS X no longer includes as of Lion. It’s available at the Apple support site.Microsoft Office 2011 worked fine here after the upgrade.I updated my Crucial C300 SSD firmware beforehand as well, but I was late on doing that anyway and I’m not sure if it made any difference with regard to Lion. Still no TRIM support for it though since it’s apparently only supported on Apple OEM SSDs (the jury is still out on whether TRIM support is beneficial for this drive in Lion anyway).

    There were a ton of updates available via the “Software Updates” menu in finder as well as the Mac App Store in the days before Lion was released (even hours before). At the very least I would suggest updating EVERYTHING before you dive into Lion. Get your OS up to 10.6.8, iTunes to 10.4, and anything else you could think of. I did this and everything went smoother than I thought it would. In fact, there were some longstanding persistent crashes and syncing issues in my native Mac apps (Mail, iCal, etc.) even up until 10.6.8 which Lion has now seemed to have fixed.

    So I wouldn’t be afraid of suggesting Lion today as it truly feels like an upgrade despite the drastic interface changes.

  2. i dont have the problem with office 2011 for mac it works fine under lion for me, i was really Impressed with lion as it fixed all my problems with final cut pro x. it wouldn’t open even after trying all apparantly working fixes under snow leopard , so when i upgraded to lion i was very happy to find out that it started working and not getting stuck on restoring window layout. i obviously changed the scrolling and the only app that i have that is powerpc is the sims 1 and i never played it so i don’t mid about rossetta also front row was lame so all in all i love lion. also i just installed java and now all java apps are working.

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