Lion is going disc free, which is going to be a huge first step towards going optical-less in the coming years. But, there are also a couple of problems with going DVD-disc free: bandwidth and panic attacks.
As much as tech companies don’t like to admit it, some people across the globe are still on some pretty strict bandwidth constraints. Downloading an entire operating system over the tubes, much like Lion, could be a major problem for some, a source of a panic attack for others. There’s both the bandwidth constraint, and then there’s the time constraints associated with downloading 2GB+ of data for installation.
Apple seems to have a plan in place to circumvent the ISPs and their draconian bandwidth caps: let people download Lion from servers directly in store.
According to findings on 9to5 Mac, Apple could be getting ready to serve customers Lion wirelessly from Mac Pros right in the store, instead of over the Internet. Marketing genius aside here, getting people in stores to install Lion is going to be very handy for people who struggle with upgrading operating systems. This will give Apple employees the chance to not only help with the upgrade, but also point out some of the cool new Lion features that are now available.
Also, download and installation times will now be sliced to a fraction of the time it would normally take to do in the home, considering the files will be coming locally from a server in store, instead of a data center in the middle of nowhere. That’s a win-win experience for some, and in particular that’s a giant win for Apple. Can you imagine the up selling that’s naturally going to occur with people in the store to install Lion? It’s a genius move all around.