Apple Releases OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” for $20

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.

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