A supposed new email from Steve claims that the only way to clean install Lion on a new machine is to install Snow Leopard first. We think it’s bogus, though: not only is that proposed solution just stupid and un-Apple-like, but we think there’s proof right in the email that it wasn’t sent from Steve’s iPhone, or even an iPhone at all.
According to MacRumors, this is an actual email exchange with Steve Jobs forwarded to them by a reader:
On Jun 20, 2011, at 9:57 PM, xxxx wrote:
I’m really exited about Lion, but I’m a bit anxious about the absence of any physical media in the event of a crash where I need to do a clean install. Will Lion still provide a way to make a bootable image in the event that I need to start from scratch?
From: Steve Jobs
Subject: Re: Lion clean install
Date: June 21, 2011 7:55:05 AM PDT
You can clean install Snow Leopaard [sic] first.
Sent from my iPhone
Here’s the problem. See that “Leopaard [sic]?” How would Steve Jobs have mistyped Leopard on his iPhone when that exact misspelling autocorrects under iOS to “Leopard?” It’s highly unlikely that error would have crept through if it wasn’t typed on a different operating system entirely. We’ve tested it under iOS: “Leopaard” autocorrects everytime entering that sentence.
We’re really skeptical of this. Even in the developer preview, there’s a way to do a clean install of Lion: create a blank partition, format it as HFS+, and tell the installer to install Lion there.
Apple’s got a more elegant way to clean install Lion n a new system planned. There’s a million ways to do this gracefully. Making people keep their Snow Leopard discs around — or buy two separate Apple operating systems in order to perform a clean install of one of them— is not graceful. Apple’s moving Lion to the Mac App Store to get rid of optical discs, not make us keep obsolete ones around indefinitely.
Update: Here’s another purported email from Steve, saying the same thing, for what it’s worth. We’re still highly skeptical.