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Longtime Apple aficionados may also find it somewhat of a revelation that Mac OS X Lion now allows for “Full Screen Apps” -- in that it allows for an application to be expanded to take over the entire display real estate. Previously, an application would only fill about 85 percent or 90 percent of a display area which isn’t ideal particularly for those with smaller displays. In fact, Microsoft’s Word for Mac provides a nice, straightforward ribbon at the top of the screen when that’s put into Full Screen mode; that’s an indication that developers for the Mac OS X platform will find new ways to extend existing applications to take advantage of the operating system, as well as build new software that does just that. It’s a very nice touch.
For individuals, the Mac OS X Lion update is no more difficult than paying the Mac App Store and following the onscreen instructions. Major applications we looked at, including Office for Mac 2011, and current versions of Adobe Acrobat Pro and Camtasia, are all perfectly compatible from the previous version of the OS to Lion.
There were reports, though, from others on social networking sites of major disappointment because they were attempting to upgrade from earlier versions of the OS than Snow Leopard. Those systems, or any system that’s not running an Intel processor, will not support Mac OS X Lion.
For enterprise deployment as an upgrade: inventory and checklist management will be key, as will application compatibility testing (as it is in every platform upgrade.)
There are many advantages to upgrading to this version, in particular the influence that iOS, iPhone and iPad have had on Apple’s product-development process. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has done so much with its mobile devices to change use patterns that crafting changes to its flagship platform, Mac OS X, to leverage those new use patterns was very smart. It was also very natural.
While there are some complaints here and there about changes to the scrolling behavior that Apple has included in this version of the OS, the overwhelming majority of changes to Mac OS X here will make navigation between Mac, iPhone and iPad about as seamless as you could get.
For the cost of a $29.99 upgrade, Apple is opening the door a little wider to the next generation of computing and communication. It’s a door into which competitors including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and others will undoubtedly be peering as they begin to juggle their desktop and mobile platforms over the course of the coming months and years.