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Apple's Mountain Lion launches tomorrow

Apple's next major release of OS X arrives tomorrow in the Mac App Store. It first debuted in mid-February.


Apple says the next major version of its Mac operating system will roll out to consumers tomorrow morning.

The news came tucked inside Apple's third-fiscal-quarter earnings release where Apple reported earnings of $9.32 per share on revenues of $35 billion. The company pulled the same announcement trick for OS X 10.7, announcing its next-day availability during a conference call last year.

As a quick recap, the $19.99 software update brings a handful of iOS features to Macs, including the notes and reminders apps. It adds a few other things, like Twitter integration, Apple's Game Center, and iMessage services. There's also a new security feature called Gatekeeper, designed to fend off malware by controlling what applications can and cannot be installed.

The software was first announced in February and has undergone several rounds of beta testing from developers. Apple released a "golden master" version of the software to developers earlier this month, representing the final version that will be released in the Mac App Store tomorrow.

The release marks a notable shift in Apple's OS X software schedule, which now seemingly follows an annual refresh cycle. Where early iterations of OS X were released once a year leading up to 2003's 10.3 Panther, Apple moved to a two-year cycle between 2005 and 2011, putting out three major updates during that time and focusing much of its engineering efforts on iOS.

As with most recent releases of OS X, the minimum system requirements have changed. To see if your Mac will run it, take a look at CNET's rundown, here. In the meantime, keep an eye out for CNET's review.

Now playing: Watch this: OS X Mountain Lion