When Apple releases OS X Mountain Lion to the public later this month, the software will be available exclusively to the Mac App Store, just like its predecessor. However, this time around, the Mac App Store will confirm your system is capable of running the software before it allows you to purchase and download it.
According to 512 Pixels, when OS X Lion was released last July, users were able to purchase the software on any Intel Mac with the Mac App Store installed — whether or not their system had the specifications required to run it. That meant some users paid $30 for a piece of software they couldn’t install.
This time around, however, the Mac App Store will confirm your system is suitable before it lets you hand over any cash. The feature is already available for the OS X Mountain Lion betas, according to 512 Pixels.
One of the reasons for this, according to the report, is because Mountain Lion’s requirements are as simple as those for previous OS X releases, and users may be more likely to purchase it accidentally. With Leopard, for example, you needed a Mac with an 867MHz G4 processor or better — and that’s it. For Snow Leopard, the only requirement was an Intel processor, and for Lion, you needed at least an Intel Core2Duo processor.
But Mountain Lion requires a little more. You’ll need an Intel Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or later, with 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. The list of systems supported is as follows:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
Theoretically, then, even if you have one of these systems but you’ve maxed out your storage and you have less than 8GB remaining, the Mac App Store will make you free up some space before it allows you to purchase Mountain Lion.
We’ll see how well this feature works within the next few weeks.