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How to check if your software can run on OS X Lion

If you are thinking of upgrading your Mac to OS X Lion, hold your horses (or would that be zebras?). Many people are finding (sometimes too late) that software applications they use everyday will no longer run on Lion. So, before upgrading, watch this quick video to see if some of the software that you can’t live without can’t live with Lion.

Video too small? Watch full screen by clicking the YouTube Full Screen button button here

The problem is that OS X Lion no longer supports applications written for the PowerPC. Only Intel and Universal applications will run on Lion. In some cases you might be able to find Intel or Universal updated versions of your PowerPC applications.

Unfortunately (as I’ve already heard complaints from some Mac Help For Mom newsletter subscribers), this is not the case for Intuit’s Quicken or Microsoft Office 2004. They are likely at the end of their road. Intuit has Quicken Express, which works on Lion, but from what I’ve heard it’s an extremely simplistic application with none of the advanced features of Quicken. If you use Microsoft Office, at least you can upgrade to Office 2008 or Office 2011.

If you are fortunate and find that all the applications you need are Intel or Universal, then you may want to seriously consider upgrading to OS X Lion. It does have some intriguing features, and some will be familiar if you already use an iPad or iPhone. As I expected, I’m already hearing reports from Lion users that new features like the iPad-like trackpad multi-touch gestures are learned quickly and they’re already wondering how they got along without them.

So, if you want to dive into Lion, you can start your upgrade from the App Store by clicking this big button.

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store
(disclaimer: I’ll make a tiny commission if you buy after clicking that button.)

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • bob bacon July 28, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Thanks for the timely tip on Lion–I have all my financial data on Quicken and would have been VERY upset if I was not able to access it! Apple should force everyone doing the upgrade to first watch your video.

    • nancy August 1, 2011, 12:26 am

      I have Quicken Essentials and it works on my circa 2009 MacBookPro just the same as it did prior to updating to 10.7

      • Steve August 1, 2011, 9:29 am

        Thanks for the report Nancy. Yes, it’s the non-Essentials version of Quicken (which is no longer updated) that definitely won’t work on Lion. Glad to hear that Essentials works fine.

  • Linda October 27, 2011, 6:12 pm

    I just downloaded the iOS5 to my devices for the iCloud feature, but noticed that my (older) MacBook iCal wouldn’t sync with my iPhone and iPad. I saw that I needed to upgrade to Lion for that to work…thank God I didn’t. At least not right now. Looking at my applications, per your video, I saw that I have the old version of Office (and many other applications that I have no clue what they do)–as someone who also dabbles in writing fiction, I would have been suicidal if I couldn’t open any of my work.

    I’ll have to figure out what to do from here…

    Thanks so much, Steve. Again, I’m learning a lot on this site. (And I’m still giggling over the pixie dust.)

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