Now Mac OS X 10.7 Lion can be Installed in a Virtualized Environment

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will bring quite a few new features from a user interface stand point. However, it looks like Lion will also bring a long awaited capability for the more advanced users. Apple will allow users to install Mac OS Lion client in a virtual environment. In 2007 Apple allowed Mac OS X Server to be installed in a virtualized environment, like VMWare Fusion and Parallels, but now Mac OS X Lion client will be possible to install in a virtual machine.
According to the end-user licensing agreement for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, users can install up to two additional copies or instances within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer they own.
Why is this important? As we mentioned, this might not affect the everyday user but if you are a developer, you will be able to test your application in a virtualized environment without affecting your base installation. Or, if you like to test new software, you will be able to do so in a virtualized environment and then decide if you want to move that new software in your base, everyday desktop. And, if you buy/try an app from the Mac App Store, following the Mac App Store rules, you are entitled to install that app on all your Mac OS X installations, including the virtualized ones.
What makes this possible? We believe Apple is realizing that Mac OS X it self is not a huge stream of money. This explains the price of Mac OS X Lion at just $29.99 (Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was priced at $129 in 2007). Where is Apple making its money? This is from the Mac App Store. The more Mac OS X environments out there, more potential customers for developers, more money for Apple (Apple is getting 30% of the app revenue).
The licensing agreement specifically mentions that users are entitled to install Mac OS X 10.7 Lion on virtual environments running on a Mac. So, if you are a Windows user, or have Windows computers at home, you are not allowed to run a virtual machine with Lion on these machines. However it will be interesting to see if users can easily port such a virtual machine on a Windows environment running VMWare Workstation or Parallels for Windows.


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