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I tried to send a message using the iMessage beta that I installed on Lion ages ago. The message didn't send, and then I noticed the prompt looked like this:

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I tried to exit iMessage and restart it, but it wouldn't let me log in with the following message after entering my Apple ID:

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Did Apple finally forcibly disable iMessage on Lion? Are there any solutions to using iMessage for me now? (I know I could upgrade to Mountain Lion, but I'm curious if there are any alternatives.)

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Yes, Apple did disable Messages beta for Lion users. French blogger from Consomac found the following in the French strings of the beta:

Thank you for participating in the Messages Beta program. With the inclusion of Messages in OS X Mountain Lion, the Messages Beta program has ended. To continue using Messages, please visit the Mac App Store and purchase OS X Mountain Lion.

source http://consomac.fr/news-1339-messages-pas-sur-lion.html

Although this is not the exact error that you are receiving, inevitably it will ask you to move to Mountain Lion now that it has been released. I encourage the upgrade, and if this problem recurs after you upgrade, try moving ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.imservice.iMessage.plist to the desktop and restarting your computer. You can If this does not work, move it back and edit your question accordingly.

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