updated - March 1, 2015 Sunday EST
Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion released Wednesday and is available for download from the Mac App Store on systems running OS X 10.6.6 or later. Apple confirmed the new OS X Mountain Lion roll out yesterday during its fourth quarter earnings conference call and it retails for $19.99. The upgrade is exclusively downloadable via the Mac App Store.
The OS X Mountain Lion release was first announced at the WWDC developer's conference last month in San Francisco. The new Mountain Lion has 200 new features including iMessages, the texting feature already available on mobile devices, speech-to-text dictation and predictive "smart search" in the Safari browser.
The new Mountain Lion system also adds something called Power Nap, a feature that keeps your laptop up to date while it sleeps by automatically refreshing mail, contacts and other apps.
Game Center will be another adaptation coming from the mobile iOS system, giving gamers a central place to find games and opponents -- a stab by Apple at gaining relevance in a desktop gaming space that is still dominated by Microsoft with its Xbox Live network.
Apple users may not need to visit a physical Apple Store for the newest Mac upgrade, but they'll need to make sure they meet the requirements before they try to download the software.
Mountain Lion is only compatible with a handful of Mac models: The new Mac OS will only work with 2007 iMacs or later, MacBooks from late 2008 (aluminum) and late 2009, 2007 MacBook Pros or later, 2008 MacBook Airs and Mac Pros, and 2009 Mac Minis and Xserve devices.
Mac users can find the exact model of your Mac by clicking the Apple icon in the top left corner of your computer screen, clicking "About This Mac," then clicking "More Info" on the bottom.
Once you are ready to download and install the new OS X, visit the Mac App Store and click on OS X Mountain Lion. You'll see a summary of some of the 200+ features of the new operating system, and you can click on the $19.99 tab to download. At this point, Apple will charge the credit card associated with your Apple ID once you input your password. The download will commence and the computer will automatically restart as it boots up the upgrade. Once thats done, you're ready to use the new OS X Mountain Lion.
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