As you may recall, one of the big beefs I have with Apple’s plans for distributing Mac OS X 10.7 Lion as an online-only upgrade is the pain involved in downloading the software over and over, when one wants to install it on multiple machines.
Apple’s been working on the problem for a while, and it’s possible that there may be a solution in sight. 9to5 Mac is reporting that the latest update to AirPort Utility has code built into it that would seem to allow TimeCapsules, and perhaps AirPort Extreme base stations with attached storage, to cache software updates locally rather than requiring each machine on the network to pull the update from Apple’s servers.
In a way, this offers the ordinary user the same functionality that is present in Mac OS X Server. I’m all for a download-once-for-local-distribution approach to updates; it simply makes sense and appeals to my love of efficiency as well.
Now the big question is: will Apple enable local caching for the upgrade to Lion? That may be too much to hope for, even though that makes even more sense than caching updates.