Do you still remember the old times when Apple continued to sell physical copies of OS X Lion and Mountain Lion on thumb drive installers? Well, that has come to an end, according to Mr. Macintosh. Here’s a brief history of Lions and Mountain Lion.
At Apple’s October 2010 “Back to the Mac” event, the company introduced OS X Lion, which saw several software features inspired by the iPad’s user interface such as full-screen apps and Launchpad. Apple also introduced the Mac App Store early next year, and OS X Lion was the first major release to buy for $29 on the App Store. However, because several customers had limited or slow Internet access, Apple soon offered physical copies of Lion as thumb drive installers, which were more expensive at $69. The successor of Lion, Mountain Lion, also followed suit in how it was distributed.
Today is a sad day…
You can no longer buy OS X Mountain Lion from the Apple online store.😂 pic.twitter.com/Pxa6pHrU9t
— Mr. Macintosh (@ClassicII_MrMac) November 14, 2023
Back then, major OS X releases were always paid, but that all changed just ten years ago when Apple introduced OS X Mavericks, which not only started the naming scheme of famous places in California but also started the move to offer major OS X (now macOS) software releases for free. Since then, Mavericks and its successors have been available exclusively on the App Store for free.
What if your vintage Mac doesn’t support Mavericks or later, but you still want to install the latest OS that Mac supported anyway? In a bizarre way, even when Apple continued to sell physical copies of both versions, the company also made both Lion and Mountain Lion installers as free downloads since 2021. And if you’re clever enough and did your research, you could try to install a previous version of macOS since Mavericks on the App Store for nostalgia.
While physical copies of software might be obsolete, the spirit of legacy operating systems still lives on to those who remember the good old times.