Mountain Lion is preparing to pounce: according to MacRumors.com, Apple sent developers the “golden master” version of the next iteration of OS X yesterday, right on schedule for the previously announced July launch. We’re still not sure about the exact date of Mountain Lion’s release, but giving developers a golden master signals the final build of a piece of Apple software.
Since Apple creates its own hardware, it can push out new operating systems with much less hassle than Microsoft, which has to deal with a web of OEM partners. For example, Microsoft announced yesterday that Windows 8 will launch at the end of October, but its golden master will ship to OEMs in early August to give them time to ramp up production and prepare for the release date.
OS X Mountain Lion will cost $19.99 and includes a bevy of upgrades, including Air Play mirroring, offline reading, and improvements to iCloud, messaging, notifications, dictation, power management and more.
We’ve already covered Mountain Lion’s changes and additions in detail: hit the links below for a wealth of information, including hands-on impressions and a comparison between Mountain Lion and Windows 8.