Mac OS X Lion available on USB in August, won’t be on CD

Apple’s eagerly anticipated OS X Lion upgrade for Mac and Macbook has been released today as a digital download from the Mac App Store.

If you’ve got a Desktop Mac, Mac Mini, Macbook, Macbook Air or Macbook Pro then you can head into the Mac App Store, pay your £20.99 (or $29.99) and download 4GB of Lion upgrade goodness. If you’re unsure of the update process or have really slow internet then Apple are welcoming you to take your Mac into your local store and they will update it for you.

Apple has made the bold decision to dispose of the software CD with this OS update – you won’t be able to buy a disc copy anywhere. You will be able to buy it in a physical form, however, by means of a tiny little USB stick. As of August Apple stores will be selling OS X Lion on an Apple branded white USB stick which you just pop into your Mac and follow the upgrade instructions to install.

OS X Lion includes a smorgasbord of new features, 250+ to be exact. The big ones are full-screen apps, support for new multi-touch gestures, Launchpad and Mission Control. Launchpad groups apps you download from the Mac App Store and displays them in a screen for easy opening. Mission Control is an easy way to see everything that’s running on your Mac. Programs are shown as smaller windows which can easily be selected and made full-screen – it’s all very fluid and good-looking.

AppleInsider reports that the USB upgrades of OS X Lion will cost $69 in the U.S. this August – that’s more than twice the price of the digital download from the Mac App Store! We’d estimate that the USB upgrade will cost £39.99 in the UK based on this news. It seems Apple are using aggressive pricing methods to put people off buying physical media and encourage the use of digital downloads.