Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2012 11:49 PM by alwaysforever
alwaysforever Level 1 Level 1



I'm seriously thinking about forgetting the whole Lion/Mountain Lion idea, and just staying with Snow Leopard as my main OS over the next couple of years. My computers seem to like it, and it's clean and stable.


I'm wondering, though, whether SL will be supported enough to be okay to use, once Mountain Lion comes out. Does anyone have any idea how well the older OS'es hold up after the newer ones are released?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 27" Intel
Solved by John Galt on Mar 14, 2012 1:16 AM Solved

Your perceptions are quite accurate. On the one hand I absolutely love the ease with which I can navigate among applications and the ability to arrange my work. Safari and Mail have had many significant improvements. I love full screen apps and the way the much of the user interface has become more subdued. Anything superfluous has been relegated to the background. Scrollbars disappear when they're not needed. Without scrollbars the "proper" scrolling direction becomes opposite from what it used to be, and astonishingly obvious. (You can reverse this if you can't adjust to it.)


Apple's stalwart programs such as Preview or TextEdit have had interesting improvements that hint at Apple's current philosophy, and will rock your world. For example, the simple task of periodically "saving" a document as you work on it is gone! For a long time computer user this is initially disturbing but after a while you get used to it. It is another example of not having to burden the user with mundane tasks, and that's the direction in which Apple seems to be going. There are many examples of this. For an in-depth review of this and many "under the hood" changes Google the Ars Technica Lion review that came out last summer. It's fascinating.


Everything is generally the opposite of Windows, in which windows seem to metastasize; popups and verbose alerts and bubbles are constantly appearing and the OS generally gets in my face. OS X has always been better, but Lion has become even more quiet in that regard.


On the other hand some of Lion's changes amount to so much eye candy - for example, the way a mail message swoops up and over when replying is distracting and needless. I don't like Address Book's new look, which is mere appearance devoid of any improved function. So yes, while you may perceive an iOS-inspired Fisher-Price mentality behind some of these changes, underneath it all everything you do with Snow Leopard you will still be able to do with Lion. Except Rosetta.


Which brings us to the one essential question:

... has anything pro from Snow Leopard improved with Lion?


Apps are still apps, and Lion really doesn't enable them to do anything they could not do before. However, Lion is as rock solid as Snow Leopard has been, and I prefer it. If you are averse to change you won't like it, but if there is one thing I have learned in my 27 years of using Apple products, it's that you must be willing to leave the past behind. Progress has been rocky in the past - I detested OS X initially - but things gradually improve and eventually become better, radically so.


I wish I could say the same for Apple Support Communities - this forum used to be so much more intelligent and polite. It's not much of a forum any more, and civility is pretty much gone.

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7

    Feel free to use it until it is no longer supported (which no one knows how long that will be), or no longer useful to you.  Right now  10.5.x is pretty much the oldest version of OS X that is still usable, although some people are still holding onto 10.4, but certain browsers/programs drop support for older versions of OS X after awhile.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8

    Does anyone have any idea how well the older OS'es hold up after the newer ones are released?


    Very well in fact. Many people still use Tiger as it was arguably the best for older G4s. Apple even released a version of Safari for it in November 2010, years after Tiger was discontinued.


    Your biggest concern will be lack of support from third party software developers, but considering everything written for Snow Leopard requires Intel code it is unlikely anything developed for Snow will become obsolete any time soon. All software will be distributed through the App Store but Snow Leopard already has that.


    Right now I don't know of anything that requires Lion, other than certain Apple features like AirDrop.


    Lion and its eventual descendants will only improve but that's no reason you have to jump in right now. Lion is a major release, arguably the biggest change in OS X since its inception. Waiting is OK.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6

    They hold up, for some definition of "up".  I probably don't recommend it for someone who doesn't have reasonable control of their machine, i.e., how to care and feed it over the years.  You won't get any new updates of any kind from apple and some third party apps will be left behind.  If you are afraid of things like trojans and not prepared to deal with them if they occur then perhpas it is not for you.


    FWIW, I use SL 10.6.5 so some stuff is already leaving me behind like Lion-only apps and security updates but I am willing to accept this.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6

    My perspective on Lion (only 6 months on my MBP, but you did ask for opinions ...)


    You can always load Lion (or beyond) on a separate partition and let it grow on you, or simply "grow up" over the next couple of years(depending on your perspective).


    But I too am still at SL, even though I bought Lion to learn it well enough to help support family members.

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4

    John Galt wrote:


    Right now I don't know of anything that requires Lion

    For some people, iCloud is a pretty big deal.

  • HACKINT0SH Level 5 Level 5

    I know people using iCloud's e-mail still on Tiger

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8

    That's a certain Apple feature

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4

    alwaysforever wrote:


    I'm seriously thinking about forgetting the whole Lion/Mountain Lion idea

    FWIW, I think you're putting the cart before the horses. If you purchased a Mac to be productive at whatever work you're doing, then it's your work which should be the deciding factor.


    I'm lazy, and upgrading is a major headache. AFAIC, I upgrade only when I have no other alternative -- and even then, only kicking and screaming.

  • alwaysforever Level 1 Level 1

    You guys are great! Thank you so much for the speedy responses!


    I guess my main concern is keeping a stable OS, which means I'm naturally worried about security holes and bugfixes. It's mostly that I'm very relaxed and comfortable with SL, Lion's new features don't interest me, and my current applications run really well.


    I'd really rather not change what's working well, unless I absolutely have to. Maybe I'm lazy, too haha... mostly, though, I'm afraid that all of the changes with Lion/Mountain Lion will hamper my workflow instead of helping it. I've heard of users having trouble with wifi after updating, as well as shortened battery life, and other odd bugs and glitches. I don't need those kinds of problems right now. My Macs work great, and I don't want to ruin that.


    I do worry about malware and trojans, though... good point.

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7

    Stay with Snow Leopard until it is no longer supported. 

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8

    I'd really rather not change what's working well, unless I absolutely have to.


    Good reason to stick with SL. I generally upgrade when it's too uncomfortable not to.


    I love Lion and never want to go back to anything earlier, but upgrading was not entirely painless. Having a bootable SL clone eased the transition.

  • WZZZ Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    Stay with Snow Leopard until it is no longer supported.

    Which will most likely be only until a bit after 10.8 is released this summer, fully a year ahead of what "normally" should be happening. It's never good to be running an unsupported OS, but this is making things even worse than usual, if you don't want to lose all your PPC apps and turn your computer into a giant iPad.


    With Apple going to yearly OS releases, you'll have to jump to the crack of the whip every year, if you want to stay supported.


    Apple says, "screw you."

  • alwaysforever Level 1 Level 1

    John Galt wrote:


    I love Lion and never want to go back to anything earlier, but upgrading was not entirely painless.


    Your response interests me. If I might be allowed to ask, what kinds of snags did you run into when you upgraded?

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8

    My complaints all had to do with having to cope with the loss of Rosetta - Power PC apps that ran in emulation under Snow Leopard are completely gone with Lion. I knew that beforehand, so I kept a bootable Snow Leopard volume on an external drive.


    The particular software that I wanted to run was Microsoft Office, the same version I had been running since 2001. I think I paid $9 for it back then. You can buy MS Office for Lion but I refuse to buy anything Microsoft any more. Instead I bought Pages, and also use OpenOffice on occasion. NeoOffice is another good alternative but I have not tried it yet.


    I also had vexing Wi-Fi reconnection problems after waking from sleep along with a few million other people. That problem was addressed in an OS X update and seems to be gone for good.


    That's pretty much it.

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