I have been playing with the dev build of 10.8 for almost a week now and I wanted to address the concerns of Apple's newest iteration of their desktop operating system in regards to it no longer supporting older Mac's.
I'm one of those concerned. My personal machine is a late 2006 iMac, Core 2 Duo with 3 gigs RAM and an ATI x1600. I love this machine. Its as fast as the day I got it. Of course, I'd love to upgrade my computer every two years but financially I just never found justification for it. It came with Tiger on it and it handled Leopard fine, Snow Leopard was beautiful on it. Every upgrade brought new life and capabilities into my home computing existence. Lion really was the first upgrade that showed signs of an aging system and that only really was the slowdown in full screen apps.
But first, lets be clear, Apple will no longer support these older systems due to the mere fact that those CPU's will not load a 64 bit kernel. Thats it. Supporting a 32/64 bit requires loading 32 and/or 64 bit kernel drivers. Apple seemingly has made the decision to only support 64 bit. Which from a technological standpoint is ... well, fine.
I really feel for those with newer systems than mine as in the 2009 macbooks and mini's and all of the 2007, 2008 mobile models.
I'm pretty happy with Lion; I don't game anymore, all my developement really is in a text editor nowadays, I do all my writing in scrivener (which if ever decides to require ML, I'll lose my shit), and with the AppleTV and iPad I no longer really do any processor intensive conversions. Photoshop is always going to be slow and a memory hog so I try never to load it up. And browsing with Safari is still a plasure; I'm loving the 5.2 beta.
So, will I upgrade this summer? Probably not, my work machine might get it but my home Mac will not. I'll probably drool at the upcoming Airs orthe refreshed Mac Pro's and offer Apple a limb for the ivy bridge iMac's. Maybe I should start saving but money's tight.
But then again, this is just a developer preview. Apple may decide to keep the 32 bit kernel extensions around, graphics can be tuned and expensive animations can be turned off. But one thing that does make no sense to me is the supposed Lion only tidbits of Messages and some of their other apps. They're just apps with a iCloud backend. They should be available to other systems, mainly Lion.