Mac OS X Install Discs and the Future: Installing Mac OS X with App Store & USB
Mac OS X turns 10 today and after seeing the above image on Twitter I got to thinking that this may be the last we see of the traditional Mac OS X installer disc. With better methods of installation in place, what’s the point of Apple printing more DVD’s, better known as plastic coasters?
Choose One: Mac App Store or USB Key
I wouldn’t be surprised if future versions of Mac OS, starting with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, come exclusively in two installation methods: digital distribution through the Mac App Store like when you install the Lion Dev Preview, and a USB key like what comes with the new MacBook Air.
Faster & Fool Proof Installations
Having installed Lion along with Snow Leopard, I’ve used both the Mac App Store and the MacBook Air USB Keys to install Mac OS X. Guess what? Not only is it easier than using a DVD, but it’s faster. I did a fresh reinstall of Snow Leopard on my Air using the included USB key and the entire process from start to finish took maybe 20 minutes, how can you beat that speed?
If you’re the average user and connected to the internet, you’ll use the Mac App Store, it’s far too easy not to. If you need to perform a physical install and use a boot drive, you’ll use a USB key. Installation through either method is so simple and so fast, what’s the point of DVD installers anymore? Look at the size of this USB key:
It’s faster to use, not as fragile, and totally bootable. Why wouldn’t you want to use that as an installation method?
Goodbye to the CD and DVD
The benefits of ditching the CD/DVD installer outweigh whatever cons that I can’t even think of. People have been predicting the demise of the CD for a while now, and Apple has been eliminating box software software in their stores in favor of the Mac App Store. I think it’s finally here, the disc is dead, at least as a way to install software and system updates.
RIP CD’s, you’ve been fun.
PS: You still make great drink coasters.