1 million 'users' download Mac OS X Lion

Lion Installing

While I studiously covered Microsoft's fiscal fourth quarter earnings, Apple announced that more than "1 million users" purchased Mac OS X 10.7 Lion during the first day of availability. That's why I'm posting this later than everybody else.

For some reason Apple made a distinction between "users" and "copies" of software, which I find surprising. Is the distinction meaningful, I wonder. Users is appropriate from perspective of how the software is sold -- from the electronic Mac App Store for which there is an Apple account and person attached to it. On the other hand, users could refer to number of installs per copy, which would mean more installations than sales. Apple probably means the former, but I call it out because the company is typically quite deliberate in use of language.

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I'm one of those 1 million users. A day later, I'm still not liking Lion much. I've turned off some of the features bugging me most, but there's something about this version of Mac OS X that just feels wrong. How strange that so many Adobe products have trouble. Apps like Quicken, which rely on Rosetta, are dead meat before Lion. Do you have a third-party NAS? Forget Lion compatibility, for now.

It all contributes to this creepy, Big Brother feeling I'm recently having about Apple, as it grows in size and prominence.

I'd take a refund and gladly go back to Snow Leopard -- or something else. Chromebook and I have grown close since starting my "Going Google" experiment. I only kept using the 11.6-inch MacBook Air to test Lion.

Let me interrupt the flow for the obligatory commercial segment -- Apple global product chief Phil Schiller's canned statement: "Lion is off to a great start, user reviews and industry reaction have been fantastic. Lion is a huge step forward, it's not only packed with innovative features but it's incredibly easy for users to update their Macs to the best OS we've ever made".

I was wondering about that "fantastic" claim and had to look:

  • PCMag.com gives Lion "Editor's Choice" -- 4.5 stars
  • Veteran tech reviewer Walt Mossberg calls Lion "a big leap, and gives the Mac a much more modern look and feel for a world of tablets and smartphones. If you are willing to adjust, it's the best computer operating system out there".
  • Brian Chen, for Wired: "My head started hurting after the first hour of using Mac OS X Lion. Two words: inverted scrolling".
  • Eric Sadun's TUAW post "Lion: Ten things that bug me" is classic; `nuff said.
  • At CNET, Jason Parker calls Lion "an excellent upgrade for the price" and gives it 4.5 stars.

The reaction is good, but by no means "fantastic". Hey, it's good enough for a million-plus users -- and more than 8,600 5-star ratings at Mac App Store.

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