Apple has sent this missive to Apple Resellers and Apple Retail Stores discontinuing the boxed versions of several different software titles, presumably in favor of Mac App store versions:
Effective July 20, 2011, the following select boxed software products are end of life (EOL) for resellers and Apple Retail Stores:
- Mac OS X Snow Leopard
- Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server
- Apple Remote Desktop
- GarageBand Jam Packs
- Mac Box Set
As noted in the email, most of these boxed copies will still be available from the Apple Online Store including Mac OS X Snow Leopard. They just won't be available at Apple Retail and reseller locations.
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Edit: Beaten to it.
No, on the recovery page it says only newly-released Macs (i.e., starting today) have Internet Recovery built into the firmware. Pre-Lion Macs will have it as a second partition on the HD after installing Lion, but if that HD fails or you install a clean HD, you won't have access to the recovery utility on those pre-Lion Macs.
I'm mainly thinking of Snow Leopard which is required to even access the App Store.
Its not difficult to buy form the app store, but remember that many people dont have super fast broadband
I could have driven to the Apple store this afternoon, got home and installed Lion by now if it was on disc, instead of a 12 hour download