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Apple's "other" operating system gets a major update

Windows enthusiasts around the world are waiting for the October release of Windows 8. However, for those of the Mac persuasion, today marks the release of OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion". Mountain Lion is the latest in a long line of OS X releases and is available for a "mere" $19.99 from the App Store.
 
For customers that purchased a new Mac computer since June 11, the upgrade to Mountain Lion is free from Apple.
 
Apple brags that Mountain Lion includes over 200 new features -- which are obviously too numerous to list here -- but we'll include just a couple of the highlights:
  • Full iCloud integration
  • Game Center, Reminders, and Notes -- all three are staples of iOS, and all three are iCloud-enabled
  • Messages -- another iOS transplant
  • Notification Center -- most Mac users got their notifications via Growl, but now Apple is getting into the game with the -- once again -- iOS-esque Notification Center
  • Dictation
  • Power Nap -- this feature allows a Mac to still periodically check email and sync iTunes content while in a deep state of sleep. If connected to a power source, the machine will also perform Time Machine backups and download software updates.
  • Facebook and Twitter -- these two social networks are also baked into the upcoming iOS 6 release

A few sites have posted reviews of Mountain Lion and the consensus is that it's a worthy upgrade to Lion. The Verge's Nilay Patel is overall pleased with the upgrade:
 
Ultimately, this is pretty easy: you should spend the $20 and upgrade to Mountain Lion, especially if you have a newer Mac. You’ll gain a handful of must-have features, and everything will get faster and smoother. I haven’t really missed Snow Leopard at all since upgrading, which is remarkable considering how much I disliked Lion...
 
Mountain Lion is the first version of OS X to deeply integrate network services at every level, from storing documents to sharing photos to connecting external displays, and it seems that much lighter for it — as though Apple’s relentless charge into its post-PC era has allowed the OS X team to rethink exactly what a PC is and should be. Mountain Lion isn’t perfect, but it’s a confident, thoughtful step towards the future of desktop computing.
 
Engadget's Brian Heater acknowledges that Mountain Lion is a bargain upgrade, but also notes that it seems as though OS X is mainly taking a back seat to iOS when it comes to attention/features, and that the operating system is in need of a complete "rethink":
 
That said, it seems time for Apple to make a bold new pronouncement on the desktop front. The company appears to have most of its resources invested in the mobile side -- and there's no question as to why: the iPhone and iPad have reinvigorated the company, making it a computing player on a scale that no one (save, perhaps, for Jobs himself) could have predicted a decade ago. Still, it might be hard for OS X users not to feel neglected -- many of the latest new features feel a bit like iOS hand-me-downs. When and if Apple rolls out a new operating system this time next year, hopefully we'll be seeing a very different side of Mac OS.
 
But with a price tag of just $20, Mountain Lion is a no-brainer upgrade for members of the Mac community.

Sources: The Verge, Engadget



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RE: Just $20
By captainBOB on 7/26/2012 5:32:12 AM , Rating: 1
I don't have enough facepalms to convey the amount of fail in this statement.

I will list one change from 10.7 that makes this far more than a "Service Pack"

Full 64-bit, no 32-bit compatibility layers or anything, just pure 64-bit. 32-bit in Apple land is gone as of 10.8

I seriously doubt Microsoft could make a simple Service Pack that would have a change this significant.

Last I checked, Windows Vista and 7 Service Packs brought very little user facing changes, I certainly didn't see any difference in the UI after installing them, nor did I see any indication that any stock applications were changed.

The XP service packs were such a massive upgrade because they had to update a very old OS to support newer technologies that didn't exist at its release, it was never supposed to last as long as it did. Now that Microsoft is back on schedule for OS releases I doubt we will ever see more than 1 service pack, and it will probably consist of mostly bugfixes and updates to APIs and other under the hood changes, similar to a 10.x.5 release.

Either way, with OS X so cheap now, and moving to a yearly release schedule, it wouldn't surprise me if subsequent releases are free.


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