OS X Lion upgrade: Smooth, quicker than expected

Apple's download-only distribution for OS X Lion could have been and upgrade nightmare, but Bill Detwiler installed the Mac OS in under 45 minutes and with no problems.

After last week's rumors of an OS X Lion launch fell through, I was happy to see Apple release the new operating system, and several revamped Macs, today. I won't get a crack at the new Air or Mac mini until tomorrow, but I decided to install Lion this morning. I'm happy to report, the process went off without a hitch and was faster than I expected.

When Jobs and company announced that OS X would be available only as a download through the App Store, I was prepared for the worst--lengthy download times, transfer timeouts, incomplete files. I'm happy to report that my fears were unfounded--at least in my case.

After accessing the App Store and purchasing Lion for $29.99 (US), I started the download. At first, I wasn't sure Lion was actually being transferred to my machine. A small lion on the Dock with a blue progress bar, was the only activity indicator. I clicked the icon a few times, to see if it would tell me what percentage of the new OS had been transferred. But alas, my actions did nothing. All I could do was wait. Luckily, I didn't have to wait for very long. I started downloading OS X Lion at 10:07 and the process finished at 10:25.

Once the transfer was complete, the installation wizard popped up. After telling the installer to begin, accepting the EULA, selecting the HD, and entering my admin password, the process began. On my 2011 MacBook Pro with 128GB SSD and Intel Core i7 CPU, the installation took less than 15 minutes--reboot included. That's a combined time of under 45 minutes for purchase, download, and install.

For more information on what users and IT departments can expect from Lion, check out the following resources: