On July 20, 2011 Apple announced the release of their latest operating system, OS X Version 10.7, dubbed “OSX Lion.”
IITS is recommending that members of the community not download or install Lion quite yet, as testing remains in progress on the compatibility of the new OS with commonly used software packages.
We’ve already determined that several packages, including older versions of FileMaker (8 and earlier), Adobe Creative Suite (CS2 and earlier) and the Cisco VPN client will not work with OS X Lion. Also rendered unusable are Microsoft Office 2004 and earlier, and Quicken/Quicken Essentials.
When Apple moved from the PowerPC architecture to the current Intel-based architecture they built into the operating system an “interpreter” that allowed software that was written for PowerPC to continue to work on the new Intel hardware. The PowerPC interpreter has been removed in Lion. That renders any software written for PowerPC useless on computers with the new OS.
An excellent analysis of the interpreter elimination in Lion is available from RetroTechs blog.
Although workarounds can likely be found for any problems that present from 10.7, the overall computing environment is better off not jumping headfirst into the new OS until we’ve had a chance to examine and document the impact.