Apple’s next-gen OS X, Mountain Lion, has been seeded to AppleCare representatives, signaling an imminent launch, 9to5Mac claims. Although AppleCare staffers have been testing OS X 10.8 on special Macs and remotely for the past couple of week, today’s report means they have now installed the GM release on their main work Macs. Those who have already installed the seed confirmed that it is build 12A269, the same version pushed to developers on July 9th.
Last week, the website also reported that Apple was scheduling overnights at its retail locations on July 24th, pointing to July 25th as the most likely Mountain Lion release date. In 2011, the company followed a similar pattern with the previous OS X version, Lion.
9to5Mac has since heard several more details on a planned July 24th overnight. Initially, members of visuals teams were told that the overnight would take 2-4 hours, which is enough to install OS X 10.8 on several Macs on the store display. Later, however, the website was tipped that Apple representatives came back to retail outlets to instruct the staffers that in some locations the overnights would last until 4 a.m. Since Mountain Lion will be distributed through digital download, the launch date could be any day, of course.
Previous reports also said internal Mountain Lion testing had been expanded to select retail staff in order to offer retail employees a glimpse of the new operating system and actively extend OS X 10.8 testing internally. Earlier this month, Apple’s developer community gained access to the GM version of Mountain Lion. On the same day, the company asked third-party Mac app makers to start submitting their Mountain Lion software to the Mac App Store.
With the new OS X version, Apple keeps applying iOS elements to desktop and laptop Macs. Mountain Lion adds over 200 new features, including better iCloud integration, iMessage, cloud-supported Notes and Reminders, Mail VIPs, Notification Center, Game Center, improved Safari, AirPlay Mirroring and the Gatekeeper security functionality.