Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion is finally available after months of anticipation. Now, those who have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on the software will finally be able to do so. And for those who aren’t sure, they might be able to take the software for a spin to find out if it’s something they really need. Judging by reviews of the operating system, however, it appears to be a platform consumers and enterprise users can get behind.
Determining why it might be a good idea to use Mountain Lion, however, isn’t so easy at first glance. After all, the software has much the same look and feel as its predecessor, Lion. By all measures, Mountain Lion is an iterative update, not a major upgrade.
But that’s just fine. Mountain Lion is a respectable operating system with a lot going for it. And it’s important that consumers and enterprise users know the finer points about the operating system before shelling out even the modest $19.99 fee to buy the upgrade.
Read on to find out what everyone should know about OS X Mountain Lion before they download it:
1. It’s available exclusively in the Mac App Store
Apple has once again followed an all-digital strategy with Mountain Lion, making it available exclusively through its Mac App Store. In other words, say goodbye to the physical media. One note: If you buy a new Mac from here on out, Mountain Lion will, of course, come bundled in the computer.
2. June 11 is the start date for free upgrades
One of the nice things about Apple’s Mountain Lion launch is that customers who bought Lion or Macs loaded with the earlier Lion operating system on or after June 11 will be eligible to receive Mountain Lion for free. Everyone before that, however, will need to pay the $19.99 fee required to download it.
3. Better security
Arguably the best addition to Mountain Lion is an improved security feature called Gatekeeper. The offering will control what programs can be downloaded onto the operating system, which, according to Apple, will go a long way in protecting against malware.
4. Say hello to Notification Center
Apple has made it clear that it wants to integrate iOS-like features into OS X wherever possible. In doing so, the company has brought Notification Center to the operating system. Notification Center will alert users to emails, instant messages and much more. It should come in quite handy.
Apple Expands the iMessage Community With Mountain Lion
5. iMessage is now present
When Apple brought iMessage to its mobile products, the company said that it would transform how people communicate with each other over text. With iMessage now in Mountain Lion, users can not only text other iOS users, but can also communicate with OS X device owners. Not bad.
6. AirPlay Mirroring is perfect for meetings
Enterprise customers will be happy to hear that Mountain Lion supports Apple’s AirPlay Mirroring. With that technology, users will be able to share their Mac screens on an HDTV. However, in order for the technology to work, users will need an Apple TV. Luckily they only cost $99.
7. It makes no sense to wait
When it’s all said and done, what’s the point of waiting for Mountain Lion? The operating system is what Apple will be installing in all future Macs, and the platform will receive the best support over the long term. Why not use it, knowing that it’s better than Lion?
8. Look for Facebook in the fall
Apple has touted Facebook integration in Mountain Lion. The feature will allow users to post updates and check for user timeline changes from within the operating system. As nice as the feature sounds, it’s worth noting that it won’t be made available until the fall.
9. Pricing is everything
If nothing else, Apple has turned the operating system market on its head. First, the company started offering its software digitally. Now, it’s charging just $19.99 for the software update. Pricing is everything in the operating system market. The low upgrade price is sure to keep Mac users happy and loyal and may persuade more people to buy Macs.
10. It could mark a change in Apple’s release schedule
Over the last several years, Apple has launched updates to its operating system every two years. With Mountain Lion, however, the company updated its software just a year after Lion’s launch. Does this mean Apple could be following a new release schedule? It’s certainly possible.