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Apple's Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) Approaches

by Graham Needham (BH) on 17th February 2012

So, we warned you in our blog posting of 18th August 2011 about the Mac App Store. With Mountain Lion, Apple has now made the first step towards a possible goal of only allowing apps to be installed from the Mac App Store (or that are signed†). Mountain Lion now includes a new "feature" called Gatekeeper. Thankfully in its current incarnation it won't stop you installing and using older (unsigned) software albeit you are completely turning off the security that it offers! So once again we warn you of what might be to come (maybe in OS X 10.9 Slim Black Cat?)… In addition that nifty new Documents in the cloud feature is only available to applications that come from the Mac App Store!

Most of the new features Apple is offering a peek at right now all tie in nicely with their iCloud offering and thus usually integrate a lot better with iOS on your iPhone/iPad/iPod:

The Messages application is basically replacing iChat with the same features as before (including video and screen sharing) but now including the ability to message and communicate with iOS (v5) devices. You can download and beta test Messages now (10.7 Lion only) but note that when Messages officially launches with Mountain Lion it will no longer work with Lion. The Messages beta application has the option of removing itself and reinstalling iChat back.

There's a lot to like for casual Mac users/consumers but for professionals and administrators there are questions of concern e.g.

  • Software Update has now moved inside the Mac App Store - will there be alternate options for installing updates?
  • If Apple keeps up its unstated tradition of only supporting the current OS and one previous version it means 10.6 will no longer be supported (for security updates) very soon and in addition with a promised yearly release cycle it means some OSes for some people will be unsupported within 13 months! That's really not very good at all.
  • With a faster OS release cycle will older hardware get obsoleted quicker?
  • Will Apple's Remote Desktop admin and client software still work with Mountain Lion?
  • Apple is removing some sharing features from Mountain Lion client (e.g. Web Sharing) which I think is a shame. The software needed is still in OS X they're just taking away the GUI interface to it.
  • Can you still obtain the Mountain Lion install disc image?
  • What about Mountain Lion Server?

In another move away from the Mac (they've already dropped "Computer" from their company name) the term "Mac" has been removed from the operating system. From this point onwards it's now just called "OS X"!

We'll be sure to keep you updated about this particular cat as it's let out of its bag. Your questions about Mountain Lion may well already be answered in our FAQ.

Apple's official sneak peek at Mountain Lion is here.

If you are an official Apple Mac Developer you can download a developer preview of Mountain Lion here.

† - There's a good article about "signing" apps on Panic's web site.



Blog Post Author = Graham Needham (BH)
Blog Post Created On = 17th February 2012
Blog Post Last Revised = 31st August 2017 17:31
Blog Post URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/blog_post.php?10

This blog post is representative of the blog author's individual opinions and as such any opinions that may be expressed here may not necessarily reflect the views of everyone at MacStrategy or the holding company Burning Helix Limited.


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