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Mac OS X Lion Position Paper

Background

Apple released OS X 10.7 Lion on July 20, 2011, as an update to OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). This is the 8th version of Apple’s OS X operating system, and it attempts to offer new services and standardize some user-experience elements with Apple’s iOS operating system (iPad, iPhone, etc.). OS X 10.7 includes minor improvements in various applications, new features, and new user interface tweaks.

Features

OS X 10.7 contains many new features; some of the most significant include:

  • Air Drop
  • Apple Push Notification Service
  • Auto Correction
  • FileVault now supports full disk encryption
  • Full Screen Apps
  • Launchpad
  • Mac App Store
  • Mail 5
  • Mission Control
  • Multi-User Screen Sharing
  • Natural Scrolling
  • Recovery Partition
  • Resume on log-in
  • Versions

Removed Features

OS X 10.7 no longer has the following features:

  • Front Row
  • Rosetta
  • Adobe Flash Player (embedded version removed, Flash can still be downloaded and installed)
  • JRE Java (embedded version removed, Java can still be downloaded and installed)
  • iSync
  • Remote install

Position

For the following reasons, IMT will not upgrade any faculty or staff computers to OS X 10.7 until at least fall of 2012:

  1. New features such as Air Drop have not been tested and may prove to be security concerns.
  2. New software updates have not been thoroughly tested for compatibility with APU systems and services. (Active Directory Logins, APU WIFI, Network folders, etc.)
  3. Compatibility for old software and hardware has been removed from OS X 10.7, which may not allow users to function the way they used to (see the iOS compatability table at www.roaringapps.com for list of apps)
  4. Apple has not yet provided alternate install options for mass deployment in a business environment. Current installation options are only via a recovery partition that ships with new Macs or via Apple’s App Store.
  5. Removed features such as Rosetta (software compatibility layer for running applications designed for older versions of OS X), Front Row, and iSync may impact users who used this software.

Action

APU needs to verify software compatibility with all supported OS X software and services and possibly pay to have versions upgraded from developers.

Deployment Plan

  • 2011 Q3
    IMT began testing OS X 10.7
  • 2012 Q2
    IMT will complete testing OS X 10.7
  • 2012 Q3
    If testing was successful, IMT will roll out OS X 10.7 to refreshed laptops/desktops.
  • 2012 Q4
    - IMT will not actively deploy OS X 10.7 on nonrefreshed computers, due to the increased minimum hardware requirements and possible driver compatibility issues.
    - OS X 10.7 will be deployed as laptops/desktops are due for refreshing, unless otherwise requested.

Additional Notes

  1. APU usually will wait for the *.3 release of new OS X operating systems to ensure bugs and security have had ample time to mature.
  2. Some Apple computers may be deployed early with OS X 10.7 due to new Apple hardware specs that don’t function properly with previous versions of OS X.