Today, Apple put up the Gold Master version of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Pre-release software generally goes gold once a developer decides that it’s essentially feature complete with no show stopping bugs. That means that soon, you’ll be able to pay your $20 to get your hands on the next-gen OS X – and, hopefully, all new Mac desktops.
Be sure to check out our WWDC coverage for a list of all the major new features you can expect to find in OS X.
Apple decided to charge just $20 for the new software, which is a challenging shot across the bow to companies such as Microsoft. Moreover, that $20 will be enough to install the new OS onto what Apple terms “all of your personal Macs.” Not a bad move.
In fact, it’s likely that this is at least part of the reason why Microsoft dropped Windows 8 upgrade pricing all the way to just $40 a copy – something of a staggeringly low price for Microsoft.
Before WWDC back in June, rumors were flying fast and furious that new hardware was coming, at least some of which would have this stunning Retina display. Obviously, the rumors got a reasonable amount right – unfortunately, no new Mac desktops managed to get the nod.
Common thought is that Apple was waiting for the next-gen OS X to ship before putting out any new desktops; the fact that some software issues have arisen with the copy of Lion installed on Retina-equipped MacBook Pros shows some wisdom in the move.
What we expect to see coming up is a basic refresh of both the iMac and Mac Mini lines. The iMac will not get a Retina display – it’s just too pricey to really put into place on a large format at this point in time; moreover, some of the iMacs are pretty close to “Retina quality” already.
Inside, however, things will be different. Intel’s Ivy Bridge has been out for some time, and made its way to the new MacBooks Pro and Air. The iMac and Mac Mini will get the CPU upgrades, as well as new graphics – though whether they’ll be from NVIDIA or AMD is hard to tell. Thunderbolt. USB 3.0. It wouldn’t surprise me to see at least one of the two get more SSD options.
There will be no new Mac Pros – what updates were coming came at WWDC. Apple CEO Tim Cook has mentioned, however, that Apple’s most powerful desktop can expect a substantial redesign in the coming year.