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Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 4

Mountain Lion, a.k.a. OS X 10.8, marries the Apple desktop operating system to iOS features that previously were found only on the iPhone and iPad. Among them: Messages, Notifications, Reminders, a Game Center, and better integration with iCloud. It's not a revolutionary upgrade to the desktop OS, but it should please Mac enterprise users.

Apple has been hard at work pulling together the latest version of its new desktop operating system, OS X 10.8, a.k.a. Mountain Lion. With Mountain Lion, Apple is combiining the features of its two most successful platforms: OS X, which powers all of its desktops and laptops. and iOS, which powers all of its mobile devices including the iPad. Apple is trying to build synergy between the two platforms so that users can easily use both without experiencing any jarring transitions.

The effort is commendable. There are a great many Apple customers who own not only an iPod Touch or iPhone, but an iPad and desktop or laptop Mac as well. Bringing the two together was something that Steve Jobs wanted to do. In this review we'll cover Mountain Lion's main features, and look at where it converges with iOS and what value that provides, if any.

First, here's what you'll need in order to upgrade. Mountain Lion won't run on every Mac out there. You'll need to be using one of the following to upgrade to the new OS, which should be here by mid to late July:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)

Click here for the full hardware requirements.

Upgraders also must be running the Snow Leopard OS, version 10.6.8 OS at a minimum. If you don't already have Snow Leopard, you'll have to buy and install it before upgrading to Mountain Lion. If you have a MobileMe account, you might qualify for a free Snow Leopard upgrade and be able to save yourself its $29.99 retail cost.

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