Head to Head: Mac OS X 10.7 Lion vs Windows 7

The eternal question: which is better, Windows or Mac OS? With the release of a new Mac OS, 10.7 Lion, David Ludlow takes another look at this age-old debate.

Installation

Installation of Windows is one of its strong points, particularly for businesses. With slipstreaming, it's possible to create new installation media that contains the latest updates, while Microsoft's own Automated Installation Kit tools let you create custom automatic install discs. For businesses, this is extremely important, as it means that getting the OS to install is no longer a pain-staking process. Once you've got your install disc set up, it's pretty easy from there on.

Lion is the first OS X update that is distributed exclusively through the App Store.

Lion is the first OS X update that is distributed exclusively through the App Store.

With OS X Lion, installation is a little bit trickier. Technically speaking, OS X Lion requires an OS X Snow Leopard installation, as it's distributed using the Mac App Store (or with a new computer), which was only introduced with Snow Leopard. In addition, the license agreement states that only Snow Leopard computers can be upgraded to Lion; if you don't have this version of the OS, you have to upgrade to Snow Leopard first.

There is a way round this, as once OS X Lion has been downloaded from the App Store, the image can be extracted and burnt to DVD. This DVD can then install Lion on any compatible Intel-based Mac with any version of the OS (apart from the new Sandy Bridge Mac Mini and MacBook Air models). For copies of Lion purchased through the Volume Licensing scheme, Lion can be deployed using a mass deployment/installation tool. Regardless of these short-cuts, you'll need to have a valid Snow Leopard license for the computer you're upgrading.

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