I have to have Snow Leopard on my Mac(s) before I can upgrade to Lion? Yes, that's what Apple says. "Get up to date with the latest version of OS X Snow Leopard to purchase OS X Lion from the Mac App Store," Apple advises on its site.
That requirement stems from Lion's Mac App Store distribution; Snow Leopard is the only Mac OS X edition that supports the e-mart. (Apple updated Snow Leopard Jan. 6 2011 to add the Mac App Store.)
I'm still running Leopard.... What do I do to get Lion? We don't know, yet. This was another question we asked Apple. Again, no reply.
If your Mac supports Lion -- meaning it has a Core 2 Duo or later processor -- you could conceivably do a two-step upgrade, to Snow Leopard now (for $29), then to Lion (for $30) next month.
Or Apple could duplicate what it did with Snow Leopard, when it offered a higher-priced "Mac Box Set" for $129. That collection let users of Mac OS X 10.5, aka Leopard, update to Snow Leopard without the intermediate step to Leopard, and provided the newest versions of the iLife suite as well.
But no one knows whether that will be available.
"As of now Apple has not established a clear path to upgrade from Leopard to Lion," pointed out "vea1083" on a different support thread yesterday. "I would suggest to wait for an announcement as the launch date gets closer."
What happened to the "Mac" in "Mac OS X" with Lion? Poof. Looks like Apple's decided to call Lion "OS X Lion" rather than use the years-long label of "Mac OS X" for its desktop operating system.
All the messaging on Apple's site uses the slimmed-down tag, but in the press release the company issued after the WWDC keynote, it used the full label.
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