Apple is breaking records with this week's release of "Lion," the latest, greatest, operating system upgrade for OS X. Downloads hit the one million mark in just the first 24 hours of sale. 

This is the first time Apple has offered an operating system upgrade as a download from the Mac App store, which it is really pushing hard these days. This year's back-to-school deal for new Mac buyers is a $100 credit for the Mac App store. Last year, it was an iPod. This kind of says it all about the shift in Apple's marketing strategy over the past year.

Lion is getting great reviews, by the way. While OS upgrades are often times so subtle it's a big yawn for the end user, this one is not. While it is still definitely all Mac, it is starting to take on more of a half-breed feel somewhere between the Mac OS and Apple's mobile iOS platform for the iPhone and iPad.

Lion, for example, includes "launchpad"; an app launcher designed to remind you of iOS's icon-based dashboard. Lion also features more multi-touch gestures and auto save for—what else—those apps.

What I find equally interesting is what is making minimal headlines this week: the launch of the two new MacBooks Air and the Mac Mini.

Noted, reported, and next seems to be the response. The reviews are not bad; just flat, by comparison to the reception to Lion.

Further evidence that it's all about the software, specifically the apps, these days. Is Mac Air just another thin client in the line-up?