In short when Apple releases a new version of Mac OS X that OS can always upgrade older machines but for any newly/revised Apple computers after that, they will only run the current release of OS X or newer.
With this said, since Apple just update their MacBook Pro & iMac line we should not run into this issue until maybe close to October/November if they update the model slightly. With a revised model they will then only run OS X Lion and nothing below this.
There is no way around this as I've tried. If you try to image the computer with the prior OS it just wont boot.
This is fine for those that are buying the odd computer for at home or one or two in the work place but here where I work we have hundreds of Macs which we would like to have the same OS on, but if we run with Mac OS X Snow Leopard this summer & then order any new Macs after OS X Lion has been released we then run the risk of not being able to run Snow Leopard. This means we will have no choice but to then support two completely different OS's until the following summer when we will update the OS.
Where we are a college we can not just go ahead and update all labs, this needs to wait until the summer breaks.
Anyways, figured I'd throw this out there as my head is about to exploded with trying to explain this at work lol
A good post and something that I had never considered.
I know exactly what you are getting at. I have had similar problems. Plus the fact that the new Lion Macs wont run from your Snow Leopard images to get you out temporarily. I had lots of fun with having two OS'es on campus. I had 10.4 and 10.5 running and using the 10.4 Macs would break the students profile in 10.5.
Apple have numerous articles about this on their website, but there's nothing you can do about it. I know this has been discussed on EduGeek before.
HT2186 - Don't install a version of Mac OS X earlier than what came with your Mac
HT4491 - About restoring the correct version of Mac OS X
HT1159 - Mac OS X versions (builds) included with Intel-based Macs
Both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs ship with a certain version of Mac OS X (or Mac OS X Server) on their installation disc(s). You should not install a version of Mac OS X earlier than that which came with your Mac.
If you install an earlier (previous) version of the Mac OS X than what was included, your computer may exhibit unexpected behavior such as:
- The trackpad or mouse may not respond properly
- The computer may stop responding
- Sleep/wake issues may occur
- The display image may appear to "shrink" with black bars around it, may appear tinted, or have other issues
- Loss of built-in audio
- Loss of Bluetooth or AirPort functionality
- May not start up past the Apple logo
Carter (12th May 2011)
Not sure if this relates to you as well but one of the bigger issues is that some of the licensing programmes Apple run aren't available on this side of the pond. As far as I know. One example of this is the iPad volume licensing. I haven't seen anything with regards to this over here. If there are indeed more and you are included as being in the US then at least you have one additional plus point.
I'm not entirely certain but I thought that when the previous version of an OS gets a .1 update don't this make it compatible to some extent?
Also if you can't downgrade the OS then IMO don't buy new hardware (unless you HAVE to of course). Apple's loss
There is also the point of when you purchase newer hardware with the newer OS version, there is a chance that software could be incompatible. Take Snow leopard and all older webcams for example. Macam doesn't work with 10.6 (Quicktime X) properly. This has been a major pain in the ass for us and stopped us upgrading our laptops to 10.6, and as 10.6 is only £20 per license, and resolves one of the biggest issues 10.5 had with dual booting systems, It has had a big impact on how these machines are used. If these were newer models with no way of downgrading, we would seriously have to think about the purchase.
So ya, big pain in the ass but unfortunately Apple chooses to lock the OS down which puts many large institution into such a bind.
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