Apple Releases OS X Mountain Lion Preview to Developers [Update]

Apple has announced this morning a developer preview of its next release of its operation system, OS X Mountain Lion. This new OS is set to debut in the Mac Store in late summer 2012, and will essentially bring further iOS integration to the Mac. Apple’s website already has a preview page up for OS X Mountain Lion.

New features such as Messages (iMessage for the Mac!), Reminders, Game Center, Notification Center, Share Sheets (to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps), Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring are all coming to OS X Mountain Lion along with iCloud. A new security feature called Gatekeeper will also be available to give users security from malicious software.

“The Mac is on a roll, growing faster than the PC for 23 straight quarters, and with Mountain Lion things get even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The developer preview of Mountain Lion comes just seven months after the incredibly successful release of Lion and sets a rapid pace of development for the world’s most advanced personal computer operating system.”

The developer preview of Mountain Lion features the all new Messages app which replaces iChat® and allows you to send unlimited messages, high-quality photos and videos directly from your Mac to another Mac or iOS device. Messages will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. Starting today Lion users can download a beta of Messages from www.apple.com, and the final version will be available with Mountain Lion. Reminders and Notes help you create and track your to-dos across all your devices. Game Center lets you personalize your Mac gaming experience, find new games and challenge friends to play live multiplayer games, whether they’re on a Mac, iPhone®, iPad or iPod touch®.

The most surprising thing about this announcement was that Apple did not hold a media event to announce it, unlike the preview for OS X Lion. Instead, Apple invited individual members of the coveted ‘Apple media’ to attend a solo briefing in New York City by Phil Schiller, as described by John Gruber from Daring Fireball. He notes this little meet and greet doesn’t take away from the impending iPad event, rumoured for March 7th, and according to Schiller’s words to him “We’re starting to do some things differently.”

Update 1: Pocket-Lint confirms OS X Mountain Lion will be available via the Mac App Store only.

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