OS X Mountain Lion Is On The Loose

If you're a Mac user, you can upgrade to the lastest version of Mac OS X today for a penny shy of $20. You can download Apple's OS X 10.8 from the Mac App Store, which is Apple's online software retail service, so long as you're running Lion or Snow Leopard.

Apple is famously tight-lipped about its products, though it saves the real paranoia for its hardware. Even so, Apple wouldn't give a firm launch date for the operating system upgrade until yesterday, when Apple CIO Peter Oppenheimer broke the news in an earnings call.

Although the new operating system still bears the OS X designation, it's not a minor update. Apple boasts that Mountain Lion has more than 200 new features. One of the more noteworthy ones is Messages, which puts iMessage on your Mac computer. Until now, iMessage has been an iOS-only perk. iCloud integration and AirPlay Mirroring are also reasons to make the jump: AirPlay pairs with Apple TV to wirelessly stream 1080p video from your Mac to your HDTV. Social network junkies will like the new Sharing features throughtout the OS.

The minimum system requirements for the $19.99 Mountain Lion upgrade aren't intimidating: 2GB of of memory and 8GB of storage space. If your system is from 2009 or later, you're likely in the clear. If you're reading this on a model from 2007 or 2008, double-check Apple's specs list before hitting the Mac App Store.