Early this morning, Apple released OS X Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) to the general public. The newest OS is now available in the Mac App Store. Along with Mountain Lion, Apple also released a number of product updates, including Safari, Xcode, iTunes U, Aperture, iMovie, and iPhoto. Almost all of these releases are designed to ensure compatibility with OS X Mountain Lion, so if you plan to install Mountain Lion, be sure to grab the software updates as well.
Courtesy of Apple
To help you with OS X Mountain Lion, we've released our own guides to installing the new cat on your Mac. Mountain Lion supports multiple installation methods, including the default update install and two methods of performing a clean install. Our guides will also help you prepare your Mac for the installation. You can find an overview of all of the Mountain Lion-related articles in OS X Mountain Lion Installation Guides.
And now for the puzzle of the day. When Apple updated its web site and the Mac App Store with the Mountain Lion release, it removed the two most recent versions of the OS: Snow Leopard and Lion. This is significant because you must have either Snow Leopard or Lion installed in order to access the Mac App Store to purchase Mountain Lion. With both of these OSes gone from the store, there is currently no way for someone whose Mac meets Mountain Lion's minimum requirements, but who is still using OS X Leopard or earlier, to make the leap to Mountain Lion.
Apple may make the Mountain Lion installer available on a USB flash drive, as it did with Lion, but that option isn't available today. That option wasn't available the day Lion was released, either. It took about a month for Apple to release the Lion installer on a USB flash drive, and we may have to wait just as long for Apple to release the Mountain Lion installer on a USB flash drive. Which leaves me wondering if the disappearance of Snow Leopard or the USB flash version of Lion was a mistake. I guess we'll find out soon.