Linked by fran on Tue 8th Feb 2011 18:08 UTC
Apple "A new report suggests that Apple may be planning to eliminate retail boxed software from its Apple Stores, instead focusing on promoting the Mac App Store for software sales. This is indeed a trend that Apple has been pushing for a while, but not all the software that Apple sells would necessarily be a great fit for pure digital distribution."
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Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I honestly don't think Apple will ever go the route of preinstalled-only OS X. That is a tech support nightmare they are surely aware of after seeing the past 12 years of it with PC vendors.

It blew my mind that my HP netbook not only didn't ship with the OS on a disc or even a thumb drive, it didn't even have a restore partition! If I had made a new-user blunder when first setting up the device I'd have been hosed for the two or three weeks it takes them to ship restore DVDs. Actually I wouldn't have, as I would just load up Ubuntu or Slackware in my external DVD drive and go on with life, but most regular consumers wouldn't even own a USB DVD drive, much less know what to do with it.

I believe worst-case for future Macs is that Apple will drop the optical drive altogether from the lineup (assuming Steve never overcomes his nonsensical loathing of Blu-Ray), and ship the OS on a thumb drive as they currently do with the MacBook Air.

Then again, Slackware, Debian and I'm sure many other Linux distros have had net-installable options for longer than OS X has been around, so who knows what they may do.

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