Mac OS X Lion's top 20 features

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion has dozens of new features, big and small. Here are the top 20 for professional users.
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Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is now shipping (from the online Mac App Store only) for $30, with dozens of new features, some inspired by the iPad 's iOS and others aimed squarely at business-level computing needs. This visual tour highlights the key new features in Mac OS X Lion. I've been a beta tester of Lion for four months and have written the " Mac OS X Lion Bible " to explain all its capabilities in glorious detail, so I can confidently say there's much more to Lion than these 20 capabilities. But they do represent some of the most significant changes.

Among the features that I can't show because they are under-the-hood changes is the ability to develop sandboxed apps, to restrict the interaction between them and other apps, to reduce the ability of malware to infect them. And still to come is the full iCloud support , such as for automatic daily backup of your iOS devices when they're in Wi-Fi range. Also new: Mac OS X Lion can be installed on virtual machines (VMs), such as those created by Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, a capability previously limited to Mac OS X Lion Server . (The Lion license permits installation on two VMs per Mac in addition to directly on the Mac's physical disk.)

Finally, I had no software compatibility issues with Lion; Apple seems to have kept its OS changes from affecting the vast majority of existing applications . But Lion does drop support for Apple's Rosetta technology, which let it run apps compiled only for the IBM PowerPC chip that Apple stopped using in 2006. Such PowerPC apps -- Intuit Quicken is one of the most widely used ones -- will not run in Lion.

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