Apple has historically used Samba, an open-source implementation of the SMB file sharing protocol, to share files with Windows machines. First included in OS X 10.2, Samba also enabled Macs to both join and host Windows-compatible directory servers, increasing the then-fledgling OS’s viability in a business setting. However, the Samba team recently began licensing the software under the GPL3 license, which prohibits its inclusion in retail products, and rather than lose these key interoperability features, Apple chose to develop its own in-house implementation for Lion. What does that mean for you, the user?

Well, for starters, Lion’s new SMB implementation is SMB 2.0 only - this is a Microsoft-developed improvement of the specification that was introduced in Windows Vista and continued in Windows 7. This has one major ramifications for Lion users, and I suspect it will only impact a fraction of a fraction of them: Lion computers can no longer be joined to NT Domain Controller directories. These directories are quite old at this point - their successor, Active Directory, came with Windows Server 2000 in 1999, and has become much more robust with each Windows Server release since - but if, for some reason, you or your business uses new or newish Macs on an ancient domain, Lion’s going to break things for you (Lion does, however, remain compatible with Active Directory).

You never want to see an OS lose features, but I can’t say I blame Apple much for making this call, and it’s not a secret that Apple has historically been much less interested in backward compatibility than Microsoft. For people who absolutely need for OS X to have this functionality, Samba is definitely still around, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone begin maintaining an OS X-friendly fork of the software. Just know Lion won’t do it out of the box anymore.

SMB’s main use in OS X is for file sharing with Windows users, though, and I can say that file sharing with users of both Windows XP and Windows 7 (and, by extension, Windows Vista, for what it’s worth) works just fine once you set it up in System Preferences. I was able to copy files to and from a basic share I made without issue.

Anecdotally, I can also say that connecting to and browsing through an SMB share with many files and folders feels faster than Snow Leopard does on the same system connected to the same share. In Snow Leopard, I’d often have to wait for folders with a lot of data in them to populate - in Lion, things are more or less instantaneous. SMB2 was optimized to improve speed over high-latency connections, and I’m sure that accounts for at least some of the increased snappiness.

Farewell, Core Duo: 64-bit in Lion Performance: Similar to Snow Leopard
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  • ebolamonkey3 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Not seeing them :( Reply
  • LeTiger - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Ever fix the 17in Sata 3 bugs????

    Such a shame to belligerently cripple their flagship laptop...
    Reply
  • Conficio - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    "There is one huge limitation though: running apps in full screen in multi-monitor setup is unusable."

    As full screen apps are essentially spaces, there is a huge need (and there was for a long time) to be able to manage spaces per screen. All that would be solved if I coul switch between the spaces in a single screen only or move around entire spaces from one screen to another. That would solve this issue and allow a more task oriented kind of work, where you open a space for every task (or project in a multi tasking sense) you are working on and you can open the various apps you need to work on that project. But then that is the opposite of opening all past docs in an app (?)
    Reply
  • Conficio - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    "If you were able to include the location in the Quick Add, Quick Add would actually provide a great overall solution for adding new events, but now you need to add the location separately, which kind of defeats the purpose."

    This concept is as ripe as a green banana. I want to be able to mark the text in an e-mail in order to create an event (with link back to the original e-mail). That way I can work with the lazy people that send invitations in any other format than calendar.

    Byt the way go even one more step Appple, and scan all e-mail for addresses, contact info and events and highlight those and with a single click allow me to add the info to my address book or calendar (and with an option send to others in a iCal or vCard format). That would be real progress!
    Reply
  • teryan2006 - Saturday, July 23, 2011 - link

    umm… I've been doing what you describe, highlighting text in Mail in order to create an event since 10.5. (screenshot: http://cl.ly/25402N2W2E0n281W0r09 )

    Same thing with the email address and contact info. They've been in Mail ever since they added data detectors. http://cl.ly/3V2q0D1z1x1M1X2q0v1v

    If you hover near an email address, time, date, street address, there's a dropdown button that shows up. New in 10.7 is QuickLook style preview for URL in a message

    Did you disabled data detectors? Maybe that's why you're not seeing these things?
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    "I don’t find any use for Launchpad. It's one of the less successful iOS imports - it doesn’t fit in, nor does it bring anything truly new,"

    I think this was a foolish comment. The first sentence is fine, the second is not.
    Not every feature in an OS upgrade is targeted at the same collection of users --- I, for example, couldn't care less about full disk encryption.

    I know for a fact that naive users (precisely the people who don't understand the file system, a class you seem to accept does exist) are completely unfamiliar with the Applications folder. For THIS sort of user, Launchpad is exactly what they need --- an easily understood way to run programs they don't frequently run.

    As for you and I, we can just ignore it --- just I like ignore Japanese input methods, or LDAP support, or a hundred other aspects of my mac that aren't relevant to my particular situation.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    To follow up on what I said, comparing Launchpad with a Stacks view of the Application folder kinda misses the point. The sort of naive user we're discussing doesn't understand that he may have apps sitting on the desktop, or in the Downloads folder, or in the Utilities folder of /Applications.

    The Stacks view you describe is limited precisely because it is based on PLACE, not on on TYPE, whereas what users almost always want is based on TYPE.

    The fact that it does not honor your pre-existing folder structure is, I would say, in Apple's eyes a temporary issue. Consider iTunes. iTunes doesn't create playlists based on how you grouped songs in the file system --- it assumes that your songs are stored in some bag in the file system somewhere that you will never look at, and imposes its own structure on that content. Launchpad is a vastly simplified version of that same idea, and part of the constant theme throughout Apple's past five+ years of UI work --- arrange content using appropriate metaphors in a high level app, NOT using a limited set of constructs at the file system level.
    Reply
  • hanssonrickard - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    For example, then macbook pro 15" 2.4 Ghz Core2Duo from early 2008 does NOT support AirDrop.

    Here is compatiblitly list for it and maybe the article shouldbe updated with some kind of note that not all macs will support airdrop.

    Info from "http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4783"

    ----
    Macs that support AirDrop in OS X Lion

    The following list shows the earliest of each Mac model type that is supported. If your Mac is the same, or newer than the model listed, then it supports AirDrop.

    MacBookPro (Late 2008 or newer)
    MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
    MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)
    iMac (Early 2009 or newer)
    Mac Mini (Mid 2010 or newer)
    Mac Pro (Early 2009 with AirPort Extreme card, or Mid 2010)
    ------
    Reply
  • makruger - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Too bad it won't run on normal PC hardware without becoming an iHack Reply
  • Sapan - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Does anyone know for sure if OSX Lion enables TRIM Support for 3rd Party SSDs?
    I know 10.6.8 enabled TRIM for Apple SSDs.
    Could you provide some background/link to how you got that info please?
    Reply

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