updated 07:10 am EST, Fri February 17, 2012
OS X 10.8 to drop support for early Intel Macs?
Apple's surprise announcement that its next update to OS X dubbed Mountain Lion will come as soon as this summer, has also yielded an additional surprise. As with the shift from Leopard to Snow Leopard, Apple will cut off users of older Intel Macs from its next-generation OS -- for Leopard, IBM PowerPC-based Macs missed out. However, the arrival of Mountain Lion may also see the first major Intel-based Mac casualties, as support for the original MacBook Air is not currently included within the current release developer release of Mountain Lion.
According to TUAW, Apple has currently listed Mountain Lion as being compatible with iMacs (mid-2007 of later), MacBooks (13-inch aluminum, 2008) (13-inch, early 2009 or later), MacBook Pros (13-inch, mid-2009 or later) (15-inch, 2.4/2.2 GHz) (17-inch, late 2007 or later), MacBook Air (late 2008 or later), Mac mini (early 2009 or later), Mac Pro (early 2008 or later) and Xserve (early 2009).
Users of machines older than the models listed will not be in a position to run what will be Mac OS X 10.8. This means that white plastic MacBooks that pre-dated the unibody versions will also miss out on Mountain Lion unless they are running Nvidia GeForce 9400M GPUs. Early signs indicate that the integrated graphics of early Intel Macs may not be able to support that latest UI changes in Mountain Lion.