Messages Beta for Lion ends Dec. 14

Messages, the replacement for iChat, made its debut long before the introduction of Mountain Lion. It first appeared as a downloadable beta version for Lion users. Apple has sent an e-mail to users of that beta version to advise them that time is running out – the company plans to shut the beta down on December 14, 2012. The message reads as follows:

The Messages Beta program for Lion will end on Friday, December 14, 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to preview Messages.

If you’d like to continue using Messages, upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store. Messages is one of many great new apps and features built right into OS X Mountain Lion. Learn More.

Thank you for your participation in the Messages Beta program.

At that point, users who are working with Lion and who depend on instant messaging will need to downgrade back to iChat (losing the additional functionality that Messages provides, like cross-platform support on iOS), or they’ll need to upgrade to Mountain Lion.

  • Nickk

    Sad. My MacBook (late 2007) can’t be upgrade to mountain lion and I don’t have the funds at the moment to upgrade.

  • This is extremely annoying and not very good decision on Apple’s part. My wife and I are loyal Apple users but funds are tight and we don’t have the money to replace her 2007 MacBook which cannot run Mountain Lion. We have been enjoying the ability to iMessage each other from either our phones or our computers so much that we have almost become dependent on it.

    It would seem like a much wiser decision for Apple to release it in the Mac App Store for Lion users for a fee (like, I would even pay $10.00 for it). It’s not like this will cause us to buy her a new MacBook when we cannot afford it right now, and it’s not like we’re going somewhere else.

    • Peter Cohen

      It’s not the first marketing-led engineering decision Apple has made, and I doubt very much it will be the last. Cold comfort, I know.

    • BC2009

      I’m sorry — I feel for you that you cannot buy a new MacBook right now and that makes sense, but from Apple’s perspective, releasing it on the Mac App Store would make very bad use of their resources. If Messages takes advantage of one or two Mountain Lion API’s (and we know it does because it uses Notifications) it means the team that works on it would have to build and test a Lion version for a handful of people who may purchase it.

      I’ve never known a “free beta” to continue on after the final release is shipped. Microsoft Windows 8 beta licenses are all set to expire when or soon after Windows 8 releases.

      It kinda sucks that you’ve got a MacBook that won’t run Mountain Lion, but I really don’t see how it would make sense for Apple to continue supporting a Mountain Lion feature under Lion when they could focus their resources elsewhere.

  • This never would have happened under John Sculley’s watch!

  • I am in the same situation as the other commenters (can’t upgrade my Macbook to ML). I hope Apple will at least send us instructions on how to downgrade to iChat…

    • Peter Cohen

      Downgrading is built right into the app.

  • Grrr. My Mac Pro is another computer which can’t run Mountain Lion. Bizarrely, the internet tells me that if I make my Macintosh into a Hackintosh, it will run ML.

  • rj

    Can Mountain Lion users also “downgrade” to iChat? Messages is almost as bad as the iOS Podcasts app.

    • BC2009

      Are you smoking crack? Messages is orders of magnitude better than iChat ever was. I can sit at my desk working on my iMac during the day and if my wife or a friend sends me a message I don’t even have to touch my iPhone.

      The most brilliant touch in Messages is that it detects where I am holding the conversation and that device (if my Mac) will be alert me first. The other devices only alert me if I don’t respond on the Mac for a period of time (i.e.: it does not drive me crazy with alert sounds on all devices if I am holding a conversation on my Mac, but when I leave my Mac I do get an audible alert on my iPhone or iPad to continue the conversation).

  • I would LOVE to upgrade to Mountain Lion, but my 2006 Mac Pro doesn’t support it, and Apple is dicking around with the iMac release…

  • This is balls.