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I would want to download Lion before I start clearing my system for a fresh install, but would the fixes released in the next few weeks be included in the download?

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This is a good question. I'm not sure if anyone here can answer it accurately without simply speculating. –  michaelmichael Jul 23 '11 at 3:12
    
The updates will be distributed using Software Update, as before. It is highly unlikely that they will be deployed into the Mac App Store download unless it's a point release (e.g. 10.7.1). –  user479 Jul 23 '11 at 6:46
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3 Answers

The information page on the App Store shows:

Released: Jul 20, 2011

Version: 10.7

Therefore, I think it's safe to assume that the 10.7.1 update will have to be applied via System Update after installation.

EDIT

As of today, 23 August 2011, the App Store shows:

Updated: Aug 23, 2011

Current Version: 10.7.1

So, I guess the fixes are included in the download after all!

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Does the app store show an updated badge for you? Does it matter if you have or have not already updated to 10.7.1? –  bmike Aug 23 '11 at 22:16
    
Yes it does. I'm sure it doesn't matter if you've already updated, but I'll check on my updated home machine when I get home. –  ghoppe Aug 23 '11 at 22:24
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The traditional software update process is still present in Lion.

Until Apple starts actually releasing updates, it's a bit of speculation what will go through that familiar process, and what comes from the App Store.

Of course, if the App Store lets you download a newer version, you could pull updates from there. The App Store also supports delta updates (just the changes download - not the whole package), supports push notifications (attention - security fix available!), and could also download an installer package that has a delta updater.

It's really up to Apple how to send the updates - but there look to be two viable paths available to them for use.

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  1. History has shown that they make it available in the App Store Installer App (Install Mac OS X Lion.app), by allowing you to upgrade that, they ensure any new installations you might perform use the latest version (assuming you pressed the 'update' button).

  2. They make both Delta and Combo Updates available through the traditional "Software Update.app" program (that does not reside in your Applications or Utilities folder) for your current installation.

Note: In 10.8 Mountain Lion, it appears that they are moving even more updates to the App Store. For example, 10.8.1 update was d/l'd through the app store only. Then a new updating screen when you clicked 'restart' that replaced the 'update' button in the 'Updates' pane of App Store.app. However, the traditional SW Update app still exists, and may be used for things like firmware updates and other component updates/security updates not part of other programs purchasable through the app store.

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