Apple details OS X Mountain Lion, optimistic about desktop OS adoption

By on June 11, 2012, 1:30 PM

Apple was happy to share new details about their upcoming desktop operation system, OS X Mountain Lion, during WWDC 2012. Despite the company's growing focus on mobile, they are claiming a Mac installed base of 66 million users, where 26 million of those are already using Lion, their most recent OS update.

Mountain Lion is a major release shipping this July with "hundreds of new features", however Apple highlighted a handful of key aspects of the new operating system. The cloud is now a feature, and Apple wants iCloud to become a dependent and dominant part of the OS, building it in deep in the software and able to configure and sync apps and content across devices (Mac & iOS). Apple showcased iCloud integration with Safari, Calendar, Notes and Pages, Apple's alternative to Microsoft Office.

A new version of Safari is also in the works. Relevant updates include a new omnibox similar to Chrome's, improved JavaScript performance that is claimed to beat its rivals, synching with iCloud and Tabview, which is yet another fancy way of looking at all your tabs live.

A third major feature, Power Nap, is claimed to keep your Mac up to date while it's sleeping. Power Nap can backup your data and automatically refresh your data while remaning in a silent, powered down mode. It's only supported on the newer MacBook Airs and the new Retina MacBook Pro.

Game Center from iOS is debuting on the desktop with the possibility to play across platforms, they showcased a racing game played in real time, OS X versus iPad (the desktop won). AirPlay mirroring is a nifty feature which in a nutshell means you no longer have to hack your Apple TV to watch the content you want have stored in your Mac, supporting up to 1080p resolution.

Besides the above, Mountain Lion is getting OS-wide dictation support (speech recognition), native sharing to social networks from any app, and multiple features for the Chinese version of OS X.

Finally, if you want to consider this as yet another killer feature, Mountain Lion will sell for $19.99, upgradeable from Snow Leopard or Lion. If you buy a new Mac tomorrow, you get the upgrade for free when the OS ships next July. Microsoft should take note.

Image credit: The Verge.

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