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In a move that signals the end of an era, Apple has officially halted the sale of its last optical disc installers, bidding adieu to the days of physical installation media for older operating systems like OS X Lion 10.7 and Mountain Lion 10.8.
The discontinuation was brought to light by the vigilant @ClassicII_MrMac on X, formerly known as Twitter, marking a pivotal moment in Apple’s ongoing digital evolution. The shift away from optical discs commenced with the introduction of OS X Lion in July 2011, a groundbreaking release that ushered in a new era of macOS exclusivity through the Mac App Store.
OS X Lion, with its revolutionary features such as Mission Control, Launchpad, and full-screen apps, catalyzed the decline of Apple’s reliance on physical installation media. However, in response to user demand, Apple briefly reverted to offering DVDs for Lion and Mountain Lion. This move was primarily aimed at accommodating users with limited internet access or older machines lacking access to the Mac App Store.
Mountain Lion, released in July 2012, continued this trend towards digital distribution. Introducing features like the Notification Center, AirPlay mirroring, and the Messages app, Apple emphasized the growing significance of online channels for software dissemination. Notably, OS X Mavericks (version 10.9), released in October 2013, marked the turning point where Apple completely abandoned physical releases, cementing the digital update process that persists to this day.
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While the era of physical install discs has come to an end, Apple remains committed to user accessibility. OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion are now available as free digital downloads, ensuring that users in need can still access these older operating systems without the need for physical media.