Apple has contacted OS X 10.7 Lion users to note that they will be pulling the iMessages client for Macs after December 14th, and that those that are still using 10.7 Lion will need to upgrade to 10.8 Mountain Lion if they still wish to continue using the Messages application (via MacRumors). The Messages app on Macs running Lion was actually still in Beta running as a preview, and since Mountain Lion is required for the full, non-beta version of the application, it offers users the perfect excuse to upgrade to the latest OS.
While the removal of Messages on Lion system was known about, there was no clear timeline for when it was going to take place. Some expected it to run until OS X 10.9 was released but obviously Apple is looking toward an earlier shutdown. This could have some impact on customers who own Macs that are not supported by 10.8 Mountain Lion, and they will likely have to rely on iOS devices to continue using iMessages.
Of course, one could always buy some new hardware but that’s perhaps a little extreme for a messaging app. A cynical person could also say that it’s a little tough to force an upgrade to continue using it, particularly since Messages works pretty much as well on a Lion system as it does on a Mountain Lion system.
For those who have aging Macs, it’s a tough pill to swallow.