Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Logo

Apple announced its upcoming Mac OSX operating system, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. It is the successor to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. It adds more features inspired by the iOS platform, like Game Center, and heavy iCloud integration. You can download the developer preview if you are in Apple’s dev program, which costs $99/year.

“The ninth major release of OS X, Mountain Lion introduces great features inspired by iPad, re-imagined for the Mac. With Game Center, Notification Center, Documents in the Cloud, new sharing capabilities, advanced security features and so much more, you can build the most innovative Mac apps ever.”

This new operating system will also have twitter integration, like does iOS, and a central notification area from which 3rd party apps can send you notifications. According to Apple, a new feature called Gatekeeper will allow users to control which apps can be downloaded and installed.

An interesting aspect seems to be that developers “can now sign your apps for distribution outside the Mac App Store with the new Developer ID, which lets users know that you are a developer identified with Apple”. I am not sure of exactly what this means. Does the developer need to also distribute the app in the Mac App Store alongside their custom forms of distributions?

According to Paul Thurrott, this release is unlike Windows 8 in that it will not likely merge the iOS and the Mac OS into one, singe, OS. He believes Apple will continue with its dual OS strategy with this release. How this will play out with Windows 8, we have yet to see, but to me, Windows 8 clearly seems to be a much bigger and exciting upgrade.

What are your thoughts on this?