As promised, Apple today began offering a USB installer for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in its online store for a price of $69, a $40 premium over the OS's price in the Mac App Store. This price hike is not just for the price of the drive and its packaging, which aside from the Lion branding is identical to the recovery media that began shipping with MacBook Airs after the late 2010 refresh, but as a way to push customers toward the Mac App Store for as much of their software as possible.

Apple notes that customers installing Lion from the USB drive cannot use the Lion Recovery partition to reinstall OS X in the future. The installer likely creates the Recovery partition (as does an OS X USB or DVD created from the App Store installer, a process we detailed in our review of Lion), but your computer's serial number won't be associated with a valid Lion purchase through the Mac App Store, rendering your Mac unable to re-download Lion via the recovery partition.

While this Lion USB drive doesn't make sense for most consumers with just a few Macs and a sufficiently fast Internet connection, it is a nice option for system administrators, users with DSL or dial-up connections, and people lacking the Mac App Store who need to upgrade directly from Tiger or Leopard to Lion. Given the company's push to digital downloads and its notorious stubbornness, Apple probably thinks we should be grateful to have the option at all.

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  • bupkus - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    not another Apple article!

    "No comment"
    Reply
  • davepermen - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    I really hope microsoft sells them for win8, too. I install all my os' by usb stick by now. Much faster, and much more handy than having a disk around. Even update-able.

    Other than that, typical apple-can-make-money-out-of-everything. No comment there.

    But at least, it's not a dvd or something.
    Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    "Given the company's push to digital downloads and its notorious stubbornness, Apple probably thinks we should be grateful to have the option at all."

    Well, given how narcissistic Apple is, Apple probably thinks this article’s author is a complete retard. You know. Probably. As far as companies "think". And as much as they can be characterized as "stubborn" because they do things differently than random article authors on the internet expect, and, surprisingly, are raking in billions of dollars.

    Just sayin’. That’s what Apple probably thinks.
    Reply
  • KITH - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    Literary term I'm coming up with is 'Personification'. I'm thinking I was looking for some other term but I suppose that will do.

    Are you seriously criticizing the article or its writer for attributing 'thought' or 'stubbornness' to the Apple company? You do realize that the company is made up of people who think and are perfectly capable of being stubborn?
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - link

    "Given the company's push to digital downloads and its notorious stubbornness, Apple probably thinks we should be grateful to have the option at all."

    Can we please keep the childish editorializing limited to DailyTech?
    AnandTech is better than this sort of silly supposed "analysis".
    Reply

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