Apple released Mountain Lion OS X 10.8 yesterday. Like many, I pulled down the OS update yesterday, but I haven’t pulled the trigger just yet. Some have scratched their heads when I relay that bit of news, others look me in the eye and see wisdom. Let’s take a quick look at that and digest it a bit.
Mountain Lion is NOT the same kind of upgrade to 10.7 Lion that Snow Leopard was to Apple’s 10.5 Leopard. OS X 10.8 is a HUGE upgrade, and there are a few considerations that you need to take into account before you perform the upgrade, because, “once you buy the prize, it’s yours to keep.” In other words, with OS X 10.7 Lion now removed from the App store and Apple Store shelves, if you make a mistake, recovery will likely be a long, painful and difficult road at best.
Discretion being the better part of valor, I’d wait a bit before upgrading to Mountain Lion. I’ve run the Developer Previews on my Mac and you need to know that there are a number of apps out there that do NOT play and work well under it just yet.
If you’ve got a critical legacy app that you’re concerned about, you need to check Roaring Apps for a Mountain Lion compatibility rating. The site rates the compatibility of a number of different apps and app versions and let s you know which ones will run, and how well they will run, on both Lion and Mountain Lion.
The biggest point here is that 3rd party app developers have only had the final Gold Master code for just over two weeks. This means that while they may have been developing, tweaking and fixing things under Mountain Lion Developer Preview releases, they’ve had less than 21 days to test, tweak, fix and resubmit bug app updates to Apple for all of their Mountain Lion compatible apps.
So, here’s my recommendation to most everyone wondering if they should take the plunge now, or if they should wait – I’d wait.
If you’re a regular consumer, I’d wait about a week or two, giving app developers additional time to submit updates to their apps not only to the Mac App Store, but their own web stores and other download sites, like Soft32.
If you’re a small business user, I’d give it a couple of months at least. Not only do you want 3rd party app updates to come through, you want Apple to have time to issue an update to the OS and make sure that there aren’t any other hidden pot holes or bumps in the road.
If you simply MUST be an early adopter and install Mountain Lion on a machine you’re going to be using pretty much every day, then you need to make certain that you provide feedback to both Apple as well as the vendors of the apps you are using so they know about the problems and challenges you’re bumping into. It’s likely the only way the problems are going to get resolved quickly…