Friday, May 11, 2012
Is Apple's OS X Mountain Lion on Early-Release Track?
PCWorld - Apple may release OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion earlier than expected, according to a report by a popular blog and clues found within the release dates of the three developer previews of the new operating system.
On Tuesday, AppleInsider, citing an unnamed source, said that Apple's European arm was training new staff to answer queries about Mountain Lion. In the past, Apple has limited the training window, possibly to avoid leaks from the new staff about undisclosed features.
AppleInsider speculated that the staff hiring and training may mean Apple will debut Mountain Lion at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which opens June 11 in San Francisco.
The release dates for Mountain Lion's developer previews also may hint at early availability.
Apple has shipped three OS X 10.8 developer-only previews so far, on Feb. 16, March 16 and most recently, April 18.
Those dates are ahead of the schedule Apple set last year when it fed developers a stream of previews for OS X 10.7, aka Lion, which went on sale July 20, 2011.
Mountain Lion's trio of previews were 8, 15 and 25 days earlier than the first three Lion previews: The former is now more than three weeks ahead of the latter's 2011 timetable.
If Apple keeps to the established pace and seeds one more preview to developers -- Lion offered four last year, then a so-called "gold master" build before hitting the Mac App Store -- Mountain Lion would go on sale June 25, with the gold master ready June 6.
That last date may be a tad early, as Apple opens WWDC the following week. It seems improbable that the company would preempt a ready-for-sale announcement at WWDC by releasing a gold master of OS X 10.8 several days earlier, entailing a risk that the news would leak. More