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Apple details Lion upgrade process for business, education

updated 11:50 am EDT, Sat June 18, 2011

Lion in biz, school supports mass deployment

Apple handled a longstanding question of how Mac OS X Lion's download-only nature would translate to large-scale licenses for business and education on Friday with a document (below) explaining the strategy. The company will give business users bulk licenses at the same $30 price with at least 20 users. Schools will have to pay for a $39 Apple Software Collection bundle in batches of 25 but will get both iLife and iWork in the pack.

Corporate buyers will also have an optional $50 per person maintenance contract to get extra support. The guide confirms suspicions that Lion Server is an upgrade option from the Mac App Store that has to be bought along with the core OS.

The volume licensing will work much as it has with disc-based versions, just with a download-only file, Apple said. Just one redemption code will be handed out to business and educational customers, but they will get a Lion installer file they can then copy to other systems. It will still work through NetInstall or NetRestore when pushed out from a Mac running Lion Server.

Anyone who bought a Mac on or after the June 6 WWDC keynote, including individuals, qualifies for a Lion Up-to-Date program. The buyer has to claim the upgrade within 30 days of buying the Mac. It's not clear if this will include physical media or a Mac App Store redemption code.

The challenge of getting the OS in mass deployment is relatively unique for Apple. Microsoft offers downloadable copies of Windows 7 but intends it primarily for individuals with netbooks or other optical-free notebooks rather than wide-scale installs. Apple is helped by having relatively little copy protection, which saves the activation and other registration issues that affect Windows users.

by MacNN Staff



  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What about multiple Macs in the home?

    What I want to know is: Will there be some way for households to be able to download the update once and then use that copy to install onto all the Macs in the house? Having to download 4GB for each of the machines is going to use a ton of bandwidth.

  1. demani

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    There is a file you download that can be imaged to DVD or USB drive.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011


    Easier method

    Just pirate it.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sorry Apple: no rossetta = no sale

    ....too much to migrate/risk/lose without the option... Statute of limitations where I am is 16 years.

    Additionally if new macs won't run snow leopard then older macs will have to do until a clear, easy, economic route is apparent...

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is how to use that downloaded file to

    burn to DVD:

    I'm sure if you just wanted to copy that file from machine to machine with a USB stick you would be good to go. I'm sort of expecting that when the new Time Capsules are available that data would be cached and then any user on the local network could use the same install file over and over again. Anyway, I like what Apple is doing since I have a high bandwidth connection plus I know how to put that Lion install file to DVD. Apple is just making it so simple for users, it's incredible.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011


    I thought

    "it just works"

    You have to do all that just to install a service pack? Applers must be CRAZY if they let Steve jerk them around like this.

  1. MachineMan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You Thought Correct: "It Just Works"

    Apple computers always have "just worked", and they continue to do just that. People that come in here just to ruffle feathers are a pathetic bunch.

    Times change and methods evolve, adjust and enjoy or resist and moan.

  1. mrmac1903

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Price Fixing

    Apple's process for Lion is price fixing for certain. No competition, lock out your dealers, buy it form us only. If they get away with it this time watch more and more of upgrades, software from Apple only and at whatever price they want to charge. A bad sign of things to come.

  1. ljmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    For God's Sake Apple

    Not everyone has an internet connection with sufficient speed and/or bandwidth to download a 4GB file. Give us a DVD option!

  1. edinburghmac

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I love the way his comments are buried - means I can score his comments down without even having to read them.

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