Mac OS X Lion

Mac OS X Lion (10.7.x), released on 22 July 2011, is the newest version of Mac OS X.

There are a number of issues related to the upgrade to Lion that involve compatibility of software applications that may not work with the new OS. We are reviewing the situation as it develops but currently we are not distributing OS X Lion (10.7.x) and are recommending that Faculty and Staff refrain from upgrading their College computers.

We are testing the upgrade and identifying problem areas, but at this time, support for OS X Lion is minimal.

We have created a list of customers who have requested upgrade to OS X Lion and will notify them when we are sure that the upgrade will not adversely affect them.

Any features discussed here are subject to change. The features and changes discussed here are speculative. For the latest information on Lion, visit:


New features and changes

  • Adobe's Flash is no longer installed by Apple, however it is available for download still from Adobe.
  • Sun's Java is no longer installed by Apple, however it is available for download still from Sun.
  • Hardware requirements: Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor 2GB of memory. 7GB of available space. For upgrading, OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) is required. This would make us unable to install Lion on some Intel Macs.
  • Rosetta (PowerPC emulation) is no longer available.

List of incompatible applications

NOTE: Roaringapps.com gives a very comprehensive list of compatible and incompatible apps.  

  • Apple has dropped support for Rosetta, the emulator that allowed programs compiled for the PowerPC to run on Intel processor-equipped Macs. You can visit this OS X Daily website to learn how to check if your current applications are compatible or not.
  • Microsoft Office 2004 is not compatable.

List of compatible applications with known issues

  • Microsoft has a support document detailing known issues with Office running on Lion.

Microsoft Office 2011

  • MSQuery - little-used Office component works only in English in Office 2011.
  • Communicator - the corporate version of Microsoft’s Messenger chat client (not used at MIDD)
  • Outlook will not reliably import messages from Mac Mail [2].

Microsoft Office 2008

  • MSQuery - little-used Office component does not work in Office 2008.
  • Entourage will not reliably import messages from Mac Mail [2].
  • A community-driven website (Roaringapps) aims to give a more detailed list of compatible and incompatible applications.

List of compatible printers and scanners

Apple maintains a list of printers and scanners that are compatible with 10.6 and 10.7 (Lion).

Updates on compatibility - news, updates, upgrades

  • Artstor OIV (3.1.2) is listed as a PowerPC application, but has been confirmed to be running as an Intel application
  • Symantec AntiVirus for Mac - Symantec Endpoint Protection confirmed to be running as an Intel application
  • Entering accented and special characters in Mac OS X Lion can be done in two ways:
    1) By using key combinations (Option key + letter) which is similar to previous versions of Mac OS X.
    2) By pressing and holding a letter, similar to the way the iPhone or iPad insert accented or special characters. See OS X Lion: About typing alternate characters for details.

Current Issues & Areas of Concern

  • Removing applications from Launch Pad will remove the application (similar to iOS).
  • No PowerPC Application Support.
  • User's Library folder is hidden by default. Some applications may be looking for this.
  • Current Anti-Virus not officially supported. (Fixed with Sophos)
  • LDAP Authentication vulnerability. (Fixed in 10.7.2)

1 http://www.macwindows.com/lion-server-beta-released.html#022811a

2 This bug impacts users who install Office only after upgrading to Lion: Those who had earlier imported messages from Mail to Outlook or Entourage won’t be affected