Apple has been pushing out preview builds of its upcoming Mac OS X "Lion" update through the Mac App Store since late February, and that distribution method could remain when the software is released to the public later this year, according to a new report.
Citing "people familiar with the matter," AppleInsider reports that Apple plans to offer Lion as an update through the Mac App Store, giving those upgrading a chance to skip buying a disc from Apple or another retailer to get the new software.
Apple has already taken numerous steps at cutting optical discs out of the world, both through digital content offerings on iTunes, and the full-on removal of optical drives in notebooks like the MacBook Air series. More recently, the company has been scaling back boxed software in its retail stores--including its own applications--favoring Mac App Store placement and distribution instead. The company pushed a similar, though more drastic strategy in phasing out floppy drives in the 1990s.
AppleInsider's source says the company still plans to offer discs for those on slower connections. The company is also likely to offer such an option for those on Leopard, who therefore aren't able to run and install the Snow Leopard exclusive Mac App Store to grab the update.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. … Read more