June 24, 2012
Apple Unleashes Mountain Lion On Retail Staff
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com
In an unorthodox move late this week, Apple invited its retail store staff to give its latest unreleased Mac operating system a whirl.Apple sent out invitations to its retail store employees, allowing them to be a part of the beta testing of Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
The testing will be performed on personal Macs that the employees of the store own, and is not just standardized in-store training. However, allowing its employees to get a first-hand look at the upcoming OS will also inevitably give them an edge when helping customers troubleshoot.
"We have selected you, based on a referral and/or prior participation in our program, to assist us in testing an upcoming release of an OS X Lion Software Update," Apple wrote to its retail store employees.
The move allows Apple to open up its operating system to more eyes, giving the company a better idea of how ready Mountain Lion is to be unleashed on the world.
"Apple invites you to participate in a software seeding project," the company wrote in an email to its employees. "Our program, Apple Software Customer Seeding, provides customers with access to pre-release software so that they may explore new features, perform early compatibility testing, and submit feedback to Apple engineers."
The version being sent out to its employees is still a beta version, and not the Golden Master build, which is generally the final copy of what the future OS will be.
Apple sent out a "near-final" build of the operating system to developers at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, which featured a keynote that was both heavy on Mountain Lion talk, as well as its announcement of the new Retina Macbook Pro.
The latest operating system is a major update for the Mac computer line, dishing out over 200 new features to its users. A lot of the changes include heavy integration between the Mac, and Apple's iOS devices, such as adding Notification Center and iMessage to the computer line.
Although a release date for the new operating system has not been announced yet, Apple has set blackout dates for vacation from July 22 through 29.
The company said it will be requiring "all hands on deck" in its desktop and portables division during those dates, meaning its either launching OS X Mountain Lion, or maybe even the latest iPhone 5 during that week.
Along with news breaking about Apple's latest software update, the company has opened up its App Store in 32 more countries.
The majority of the countries that were opened up to start purchasing software through the App Store were in Africa, including the Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
Apple also opened up its store to Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Liberia, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal and Papua New Guinea, making the company's expanse stretch even further on the International scale.