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Mac OS X preview: Mountain Lion

amdfangirl

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http://arst.ch/shy

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5544/apple-releases-os-x-108-mountain-lion-preview

Using several media outlets, Apple has just announced major details about Mac OS X 10.8, the next version of the company's desktop operatng system. The new release, codenamed "Mountain Lion," will be available to people with Mac developer accounts soon in the form of a preview, and a release to the public is expected late this summer. This short development cycle, unheard of since the early days of Mac OS X over a decade ago, reflects a desire at Apple to mirror the roughly yearly release cycle of iOS.

Despite the name, which suggests a version relatively light in feature changes over the previous version (like the transition from Leopard to Snow Leopard), Mountain Lion is intended to be a major new feature release that continues the work of bringing iOS features to the Mac: many of its major features are iOS transplants, including the Notification Center (which will bring unified notifications to OS X, replacing third-party apps like Growl), Game Center, iMessage support (in the form of an app called Messages, which replaces iChat - there's a free beta available for Lion users now), AirPlay Mirroring, a Notes app, Reminders, Twitter integration, tighter iCloud integration, and others. Frankly, this list of iOS imports actually seems to make more sense for the Mac as a platform than did some of the features (like Launchpad) that were brought over in Lion.

Mountain Lion will also include some new features all its own: Gatekeeper, which is aimed straight at system administrators, will allow admins to lock down the type of apps allowed to run on Macs. You can choose to allow apps only from the Mac App Store, apps from the Mac App store as well as those from developers you approve, or apps from anywhere (which is the default behavior in OS X currently). This can be seen as another step toward disallowing non-Mac App Store programs from running in OS X, but taken at face value it appears to be a solid compromise between the security of iOS-like behavior and the flexibility to install code from anywhere that users have always been accustomed to in OS X.

We don't have any information about system requirements yet, so we don't know whether Mountain Lion will run on any Lion-compatible Mac (which seems technically possible) or whether it will drop support for some older machines (which has historically happened with new OS X releases - see this page of our Lion review for in-depth information on what got dropped from the support list and why). The Apple developer site is currently down, but as soon as it comes back up those with developer accounts should be able to download and play with the next version of OS X. We'll continue to cover the new OS as details are made public.

Update: As we suggested might happen in our Lion review, Mountain Lion's developer preview appears to do away with support for any Mac that cannot boot into OS X's 64-bit kernel. I'll link you to that page of our Lion review again if you'd like deep technical information about what that means, but the short version is that a wide range of Apple's products from 2007 and 2008 are being dropped regardless of whether they include a Core 2 Duo processor. The list of supported Macs includes:

• iMac (mid 2007 or later)
• MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
• MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, 2.4/2.2 GHz), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
• MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
• Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
• Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
• Xserve (Early 2009)

The cutoff happens in different places for different products, but here are some rules of thumb: if your Mac uses the ATI Radeon X1600 graphics chip or the Intel GMA 950/X3100 integrated graphics chips, you're out of luck. If you've got a white iMac or one of the very first Mac Pros, you're out of luck. There are a few easy ways to check whether your Mac can run the 64-bit kernel, and Apple outlines all of them in this support document.

It should be noted that this information comes from the developer preview's release notes and may not be indicative of the final support list, but Lion's dropping of Core Duo Macs (and Snow Leopard's dropping of PPC Macs) were known quantities pretty early in the development of those operating systems - support for these older Macs may be added before the final release, but history suggests otherwise.
How sad, looks like I need a new Mac to run 10.8.
 

musical marv

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It never ends does it?
 

JustSomeJoe

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I'd rather they fixed the bugs in the existing OS before moving on to the next one; trouble is it isn't good publicity to stand-up in front of a crowd and say "hey look, we fixed the bugs", but saying "hey look at these new features" does grab the atention...
 
^+9000 @ JustSomeJoe

That rings true for alot of companies. I understand Mac not wanting to support two kernels (32-bit and 64-bit versions) and I wish Microsoft would do the same, but not wanting to support older models even if they do have Core 2 Duos just seems like an effort to get you to buy new machines. Only reason I have an interest in Mac is do develop for OSX. Gotta get on making my laptop a hackintosh :p
 

amdfangirl

Splendid
Herald
Supporting only one kernel makes sense to be honest. I don't understand why MS doesn't move with a 64bit only Windows 8. I use Windows 7 64 and short of ancient hardware, everything works.
 

musical marv

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You are correct about that.
 

blackpanther26

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The question is why is Apple releasing a new OS X operating system so soon after Lion. Are they not happy with Lion and is trying to change something in Mountain Lion?
 

musical marv

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More of a marketing ploy to make more money for the company to increase their revenue.Lion is a good O.S.
 

Camikazi

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MS and Windows is mostly about legacy support and backwards compatibility, so them supporting 32 and 64 bit at the same still does make sense for them. MS doesn't like abandoning people very easily so they support old hardware as long as they can. I am sure they will switch to 64 bit only eventually but there are still a lot of 32 bit only CPUs out there capable of running Windows 7 and Windows 8 so they won't get rid of it yet.
 

Boopoo

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Just installed the new Ubuntu 11.10 and it's all good albeit dose not run my DX Windows 7 games Native which is the only down side really.
 

amdfangirl

Splendid
Herald


Just mildly...

Windows 7 Home Pre. = $99 OEM

Windows is on 3 years to next OS cycle...

Almost the same, once to factor in that M$ has increased support for each OS to 10 years worth of security updates & etc.

Gets cancelled out by OS X one version only :)

I'd say the costs are pretty similar.
 

coreym72

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Hmmm... Paying X amount for Windows seems expensive until considering all the capable hardware and years of support than being forced to spend money on an expensive piece of Apple hardware after 3 years. Put it this way… An OS designed for a limited amount of hardware better be top of the line and should be expected to run that way. Not sure what the big deal is. Too bad fixing bugs always turns into a reverse marketing ploy to feed the beast.
 

hella-d

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Apple.... Pretty Good Hardware (Id Love To Have A G5 Linux Box), Idiotic Prices, Dumb@zz Practices And A Backward-@zz OS.

At-Least Even Windows8 Will Run On Some Pretty Old Hardware Provided You Have Decent RAM And Dx9 Capable Hardware.
Pretty Decently I Might Add.... A Friend Of Mine Has The Developer Preview Running On A 1.2GHz Athlon Thunderbird (Slot-A), 768MB Of PC133 RAM, 60GB WD HDD & GeforceFX 5200 128MB
 

AidanJC

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Ahh pfft, it's not that backwards once you get used to it. It's actually really quite nice once you do get used to it.

But bring on Mountain Lion! I'm looking forward to it!
 

amdfangirl

Splendid
Herald
Now, back on topic!

Apple and Microsoft have added security features to the next versions of their respective operating systems in an effort to combat new, more complicated security threats. However, security experts remain skeptical the steps taken would be enough against these malware threats.

On Feb. 16, Apple previewed the new Gatekeeper security feature for its new operating system, Mac OS X 10.8, or “Mountain Lion,” which is due this summer. The new security setting lets users define what sources would be able to install software on the system. Gatekeeper would prevent users from downloading and installing malicious software from uncertified and pirated sources.

By default, Mountain Lion would allow users to install only applications found on the Mac App Store, the application store Apple launched a little over a year ago for desktop and laptop software. While the Mac App Store offers "maximum security," users can download software from sites that have a signed Developer ID certificate, or from any source.

Gatekeeper is "designed to drive up costs and effort" for developing malware on OS X, said Roel Schouwenberg, a senior researcher with Kaspersky Lab. However, he didn't think Gatekeeper would "bring a stop to OS X malware."

With Gatekeeper, Apple is tacitly admitting that Mac malware does exist, and that it's increasing. Apple is trying to counter the threat by making it more expensive and difficult for cyber-criminals to develop malicious applications.
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Mac-OS-X-Mountain-Lions-Gatekeeper-Not-Enough-to-Fight-Malware-453860/
 

musical marv

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It is a pleasure to use the OS of Lion which is not complicated and easy to use. Not like Windows which has to many updates and viruses.No one is forcing anything on you. You are free to choose what you like.
 

demonicrotato

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Other than for security reasons I don't want to upgrade to Mountain Lion. I was a little annoyed when Lion inverted the scrolling and changed some of the trackpad gestures (I know you can change them in the settings). I didn't think that there were any really exciting features and Mountain Lion sounds the same. Snow Leopard was fine.
 

musical marv

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I don't think I will upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion ether.Not that many significant changes involved for me.
 

nicknyhk

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Hi I dont usually post in forums but since most of my friends are asleep I though I would share my views with you guys. Firstly I have a 2008 13" aluminium macbook (note not pro) 2.4 ghz with 4gb ram. I used to use leopard and then snow leopard which ran fine. Then I got lion os and somehow opening apps and stuff felt a bit sluggish even after indexing and a fresh install. It wasnt unbearably slow but sluggish as such. Lately I been using my desktop so often my macbook gets sidelined a little. Read in another forum that the mountain lion seem to give another person's macbook same model a breath of fresh air into it. Decided I would test out the dev preview of mountain lion to see if it was true. The following was what i found to be true to me. Note that I only have tested the os with a few reboots with apps to open after reboot and apps to not open after reboot.
1) The startup seems to take slightly longer or just as long as when it was on lion os
2) When opening apps for the first time after a reboot, it felt slightly shorter than lion os. After quitting the app and opening it again, it opens lightning fast. Like word for example will snap open instantly if you quit and reopened.
3) Feature wise I am not bothered but more the better i guess
4) As for ram and cpu usage it doesnt feel any worse than lion os
5) Somehow safari seems to open a lot faster but it probably cause its a newer version but opens faster so good i guess
6) Overall most apps open faster than they had with lion. The only thing that seems to take as long to open is google chrome oddly enough.
7) Somehow my portal 2 which lagged a little with lion felt slightly worse at the start of mountain lion but smoothen out in the end. Not sure if its just me or games arent as smooth on this new os as my graphic card barely makes the cut for the os. Then again it might just be me running the game for the first time.

This was done with the mountain lion as a update and not a reinstall so shouldnt have any debate on it being a fresh os feel. So as to whether i shall have mountain lion as my next mac os i would have to say positively yes. It feels as if I have some form of intels smart response (hope thats the right term) where theres a ssd as a cache for certain programs. My sluggish macbook feels slightly new now. Was contemplating an ssd but this might just make me stave off the upgrade a while longer.
 

musical marv

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The whole key to all these OS are one thing ISP if you have a fast connection very good but a slow one all this means nothing.