Apple today released version 10.8 of its Mac OS X operating system. The upgrade, which requires the latest version of Lion (10.7.x) or Snow Leopard (10.6.8), can be downloaded from the App Store - a DVD version is currently not in sight. Customers who have bought a Mac since July 11 can upgrade to Mountain Lion for free, all others have to pay around 16,- Euro in the App-Store. Apple offers the new OS, which is supposed to bring about 200 new functions, at a very reasonable price - good for distribution.
The most important new features include iClound integration (which, according to Golem.de, has not necessarily become easier), iMessage (so that you can now send messages from your Mac to contacts with iPhone), Powernap (which allows the Mac to carry out its updates and backups even when it is "switched off") and AirPlay - which allows the screen content to be streamed to Apple TV boxes and mirrored there. Twitter is also more deeply integrated into the system, and an improved (or rather increased) Facebook integration is to follow in autumn.
The upgrade is downloaded from the App Store as described and then installed - the settings and data are applied. With Mountain Lion, Apple continues the path of convergence between Mac OS X and iOS. For example, Gatekeeper ensures that only signed software can be installed - but there is also a compulsion to use the App Store. The integration of iMessage also points in this direction. It remains to be seen how the changes will work in practice - the process of participating in the "Up-to-Date" program seems to be a bit more lengthy than simply downloading from the App Store. But my Macbook Air will sooner or later also get Mac OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion". More Information can be obtained from Apple.