Apple has today announced the next version of the Mac OS X operating system version 10.8, codenamed Mountain Lion. The new operating system will include over 100 new features, some of which inspired by features that have historically been offered in the iOS operating system for Apple mobile devices. As it currently stands, those wishing to get a glimpse of the new OS can visit the Mountain Lion preview page on Apple’s website. For registered members of Apple’s Developer Program, an early developer preview is being offered for download and installation.
Mountain Lion will bring a whole host of new features such as Messages which is a replacement for iChat and will allow users to receive and send iMessages on their Mac. In addition, the new OS will bring Reminders and Notes apps, familiar to iOS users. For gamers, Game Center will also be making an appearance on the Mac. A great new feature will also be Notification Center which will act much in the same way as Growl and bring desktop notifications for programs like e-mail and Twitter, fully integrated into Mountain Lion, to the Mac.
The new OS is set to be released in Summer 2012 which means that there is still 4-5 months of development time left before a full public release. There is no word yet on pricing of the new OS but it could likely follow the pattern as previous releases (perhaps priced around $30).
If you want to take a look at the new features, then you can take a look at the Mountain Lion preview site now. In addition, Messages for Mac beta is available now for download. If you are a registered Developer, then hit up the Dev Center for the 10.8 preview download.
The press release is here.