by Hartley Charlton
Apple has officially stopped selling its latest optical drive installers for older operating systems, including OS X Lion 10.7 and Mountain Lion 10.8.
The change was noticed by @ClassicII_MrMac on X, formerly Twitter. Apple's optical drive era came to an end with the July 2011 release of OS X Lion, which became the first version of macOS available exclusively through the Mac App Store. OS X Lion introduces several features such as Mission Control, Launchpad, full-screen apps, and significant improvements to Mail and other core apps.
Due to customer demand, Apple briefly returned to offering physical installation media for Lion and Mountain Lion, primarily for users with limited Internet access or older computers without access to the Mac App Store. Mountain Lion, released in July 2012, followed suit with a focus on digital distribution, introducing features such as Notification Center, AirPlay mirroring, and the Messages app. The first version of macOS to eschew a physical release entirely was OS X Mavericks (version 10.9), released in October 2013, and the digital upgrade process remains similar to this day.
Although physical installation discs are now more widely available no, Apple continues to offer OS X Lion and OS X Mountain Lion as free digital downloads for those who still need them.
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