Apple’s Mountain Lion OS X 10.8 was released yesterday and I immediately upgraded through the Apple App store for $19.99. It was pretty smooth, except for the fact that once installed, a major piece of software, Parallels, was no longer compatible with the new operating system and was sequestered, never to function again. I had to download a new version of the software and pay the upgrade fee, as well as go through all the hassles of a fresh installation.

Then I noticed that Outlook for Mac 2011 was brutally slow, taking 3-4 minutes just to load vs. 10 seconds before the Mountain Lion installation. I had to scour the web looking for solutions, only to learn that the only way to get Outlook to upgrade in the new OS X was by enabling Auto Update (I hate not being able to control updates because all kinds of crap gets installed without my knowing about it). Windows is notorious for this, constantly trying to sneak in its “Microsoft Genuine Software” authentication tools.

My advice re: upgrading to Mountain Lion:

Go through every program that you value and make sure it is the latest version before you switch to Mountain Lion.  I could have saved myself the cost and hassles had I updated Parallels prior to changing OS.

Parallels is a program that allows you to use your Mac as if it were a Windows machine, running Windows 7 Ultimate and any associated programs. Once I installed the Parallels upgrade, I went in to make sure all my Windows programs functioned properly. While they were just fine, the encounter with Windows after so many months made me think of only one descriptor…..clumsy. It was a very unpleasant experience to move away from the intuitive, smooth, and seamless Apple OS to the cumbersome, clunky, and heavy Windows OS. Like driving a Buick after a BMW.

P.S. Outlook has slowed to the speed of molasses; completely intolerable. Other programs are working fine, so it’s a Microsoft compatibility issue with Mountain Lion. Bummer!

PSS. Apple Support calls it a potentially “emerging” issue: iPhone will not sync through iTunes with the new Calendar app which replaces iCal in Mountain Lion. The tech is stumped and needs to do research for a couple of days to figure out what is going on.