Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) will be discontinuing the messages feature for Lion on December 14, the company said in an email to users.
Messages for Lion, intended to give users a taste of what they could experience with Mountain Lion, was still in beta and now the company has no plans to get it out of beta, but will be removing it altogether.
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The change does not affect those running Messages on Mountain Lion, but closes the only non-ML portal to the service. Users are encouraged to upgrade to Mountain Lion, but those who can't, will be able to continue to use iChat, which offered many of the same features but lacked the full level of message integration, a report in Macnn said.
"The Messages Beta program for Lion will end on Friday, December 14, 2012. We hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to preview Messages," the email from Apple said.
"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. Thank you for your participation in the Messages Beta program."
The mail gives a link directing people to the Mountain Lion page, where they can access the feature.
However no reason was given for discontinuing the beta version, unless it was just a ploy to get more customers to Mountain Lion.
Lion users are not required to upgrade to Mountain Lion to use most of the same functionality Messages offered, but at $20 those who can update to it may want to do so in order to keep the Messages features (and gain other Mountain Lion features) they currently have. The update to Mountain Lion is Apple's first exclusively-downloadable system update (Lion was offered on a USB thumb drive for those who didn't want to download it) and is thus only available through the Mac App Store.