Apple has released what seems to be the last update to Mac OS X Snow Leopard before its next major operating system version, Mac OS X Lion 10.7, hits the market. Mac OS X 10.6.8 is now available for download here or its Software Update mechanism, and brings with it a number of "general operating system fixes," including improved VPN reliability, and removal of known variants of Mac Defender.

Most importantly, the Snow Leopard 10.6.8 update will add "Enhancements to the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion," so make sure you install it if you plan to get the $30 upgrade next month. Here's the full description from Apple's support page for the update:

  • Enhancements to the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion.
  • Resolves an issue that may cause Preview to unexpectedly quit.
  • Improves support for IPv6.
  • Improves VPN reliability.
  • Identifes and removes known variants of MacDefender malware.
  • Corrects timezone data in iCal for Lisbon-Portugal.
  • Adds the ability to use Kerberos authentication to a web proxy server.
  • Fixes an issue when saving documents from Xcode or TextEdit when using an NFS home directory.
  • Fixes an issue when importing certain media files into Final Cut Pro.
  • Includes RAW image compatibility for additional digital cameras.
  • Addresses an issue in which some OpenType fonts don't display correctly in certain applications.
  • Resolves issues printing from Preview.
  • Addresses an issue with PDF files not opening in third-party PDF viewing applications.
  • Resolves invalid font errors when printing to PostScript printers.

Lion will be available in July as a download from the Mac App Store, only as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6 Snow Leopard. The eighth major release will add more than 250 features and 3,000 developer APIs to the company's operating system, including new auto-save and application restore abilities, plus a few others detailed here.