Apple released Mountain Lion today, also known as OS X 10.8. This comes less than a month after the MobileMe-to-iCloud transition deadline, which means less than a month after a whole lot of people converted to OS X 10.7 (Lion). My advice, based on over 21 years of full-time Mac consulting, is wait. Mountain Lion looks like a real improvement to Lion, with new apps and new refinements, but who knows for sure that the things you need to do can still be done with 10.8? Will Quicken work? How about Microsoft Office, and Adobe’s Creative Suite? How about your printer and your scanner? How about your Apple Fax Modem? (Actually, scratch that last one: the Apple Fax Modem quit working in 10.7.)
Apple no doubt is hard at work on a 10.8.1 update, and probably has been for weeks. This may come as a shock but Apple’s software– like everyone else’s– is released with known bugs and imperfections, for the simple reason that if you wait until your software’s perfect you’ll never ship anything. You have to draw a line and say “This is good enough, let’s ship it, and let’s get going on an update.” “Point One” updates, then, generally address bugs that Apple identifies prior to shipping “Point Zero.” While they’re working on the Point One update, early adopters– those using the initial release– are finding new bugs and incompatibilities, stuff that isn’t on Apple’s list yet. Those issues generally have to wait for the “Point Two” update. And that’s what you should do, if you can stand it.
I shouldn’t tempt you, but here are a couple of links to educate you about Mountain Lion.
Click here to see Apple’s short video touting Mountain Lion’s new features. Click here to read John Siracusa’s extensive Ars Technica review of Mountain Lion. (The video takes 5 minutes and 30 seconds to play. Siracusa’s review, which as usual is the best of the best, took me over two hours to read.) Click here to visit Roaring Apps, home of the best Mountain Lion compatibility table on the web.
Mountain Lion is available for $19.95 and only through the Mac App Store (under the Apple menu, or via this link). When you click the button to buy it you may be turned, away due to the age of your Mac. You won’t be charged in that case, so go ahead and experiment.