Apple OS X Mountain Lion Available Today
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Just like that, Mountain Lion will be available through the Mac App store today for just $19.99. Predictions for Mountain Lion’s release had been lining up for a few weeks, and during last night’s third quarter earnings call, Apple made it official.
Mountain Lion will only be available through the Mac App Store as Apple continues to push its users to upgrade to the newest versions of their Mac OS X platform. Last year, Apple launched Lion first through the Mac App Store, then later issued USB sticks containing the operating system. Mountain Lion will not be available on these USB sticks or on an optical disc, as Apple further distances themselves from spinning drives.
Tim Cook himself announced the launch of Mountain Lion, saying, “We’re thrilled with record sales of 17 million iPads in the June quarter.”
“We’ve also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall. We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we’ve got in the pipeline.”
Once Mountain Lion is downloaded onto a machine through the Mac App Store, users will be able to install in on up to 5 machines, making it an incredibly affordable upgrade for multiple computers. The Mac App Store first made its way to Macs in Mac OS X 10.6, or Snow Leopard. As such, the upgrade will be available for users running Snow Leopard or Lion.
Apple Store employees spent last night preparing their stores for the release, installing the latest version of OS X on all demo computers as they get ready to show off the latest offerings of Mountain Lion to incoming customers.
Apple first announced Mountain Lion in a very non-typical Apple fashion this February, giving private demos to journalists and Apple pundits like David Pogue and John Gruber before they officially announced Mac OS X 10.8 quietly in a press release. Since then, Mountain Lion quickly made its way through its development builds before being shown off again at this year’s WWDC.
The new operating system finally made it to Gold Master status earlier this month, signifying that it could arrive at any moment in Apple’s self-imposed deadline of “July.” As they often do, Apple met this deadline at the last minute, with just 6 days left to go.
Mountain Lion aims to bring Mac and iOS devices together by bringing some typically iOS features to the desktop experience. For instance, AirPlay Mirroring will now be available on the Mac, allowing users to stream content from their desktops and laptops to the Apple TV, a great feature for those who routinely give presentations in boardrooms and conferences. The messages app once found only on iOS will now be available on Mountain Lion, giving users the ability to text their contacts from their computer, a feature users have been clamoring for since the very first iPhone made its way to the scene in 2007. Mountain Lion also brings Game Center, Notification Center, and Facebook and Twitter sharing to the Mac, though Facebook integration won’t be ready until later this fall.