By Yvonne Johnson
The short answer is "most definitely!" The long answer is "How can you resist such a bargain? With more than 250 new features in Mac OS X Lion, that comes out to less than 12 cents a piece."
Every time a new version of any application comes out, the question about whether it's worth it to upgrade always circulates through the computer magazines and over the Internet. You'll always find supporters on both sides of the question.
My philosophy is that it is always best to upgrade to the newest version of anything as soon as you can. There are exceptions to this rule, which is why I skipped Vista and waited for Windows 7, but in general I feel you will be better off in the long run to have the most current version of almost any software.
It doesn't take long to get left behind in technology. Eventually you can find yourself in an unsupported position with a lot of ground to cover to catch up if you don't keep up with upgrades.
Some people view new versions of software suspiciously because they think it's just a way for the software companies to make money. Well, welcome to planet earth! We aren't all still driving the first car we ever bought, are we?
New versions of software are like new cars. They are better looking, faster, more efficient, more reliable, and they have more features. So the benefits substantiate the expense of upgrading. Lion meets all these criteria.
Other people deem a new version to be worth the price of the upgrade if it has a significant number of new and useful features. Lion certainly qualifies on that count. Practically every application and interface has been enhanced or changed in Lion in some way.
The new features in Lion are not just changes to the programming code that work behind the scenes. These are new features you actually can see: new options in menus and dialog boxes, new preferences, and new buttons in toolbars; and some major new features such as Mission Control, the Launchpad, the App Store, multi-touch gestures, Autosave, AutoResume, and AirDrop. These are features that have some meat on the bone.
I cover almost all of the 250 features in my new book, Using Mac OS X Lion, published by Pearson Education.
Okay. Hopefully, I've proved to you that you need to get Lion. If you buy a new Mac, your computer will be configured to work with Lion, and it will have Lion installed on it.
If you want to upgrade your existing computers, they have to meet certain requirements. The Mac must have the latest update of Snow Leopard installed, and it must have one of these processors: Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon. If your computer qualifies, don't head to the nearest Apple store to buy the disk because there isn't one! This upgrade of Mac OS X is totally digital. You have to purchase and download it from the App Store. (Even though the App Store is technically a new feature in Lion, it was released before Lion so you should be familiar with it if you have been using Snow Leopard.)