Apple Offers OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion to Staffers for Testing

AppleSeed program taps Geniuses and Creatives to jump in and help out

Apple sent an e-mail to Apple Store Genius Bar members and Creatives asking them to download the latest Mountain Lion beta and test it out. The initiative is part of the AppleSeed testing program.

Scheduled to make its big debut next month, OS X version 10.8 dubbed Mountain Lion represents Apple’s next step towards unifying mobile and desktop computing to offer a streamlined experience to end-users everywhere.

It has been an ongoing effort since early this year when Apple shipped the first beta of Mountain Lion.

The AppleSeed beta testing program involves regular (but select) customers who are also granted early access to big OS releases. Apple is now ironing out all the bugs, and it wants retail staffers to jump in and help out as well.

“Apple invites you to participate in a software seeding project. Our program, Apple Software Customer Seeding, provides customers with access to pre-release software so that they may explore new features, perform early compatibility testing, and submit feedback to Apple engineers. We have selected you to assist us in testing an upcoming release of OS X Mountain Lion.”

Testers must sign a confidentiality agreement before downloading, installing, and testing OS X 10.8. All participants are asked to click through the Employee Seed and Confidentiality Agreement and acknowledge that review and use of pre-release Apple software is strictly confidential.

“You may not discuss the seed outside of the discussion board provided by the AppleSeed Program,” states the ever-secretive Apple.

“Keeping information about pre-release software confidential is critical to Apple’s future success and the success of the Software Seeding Program. Please read and comply with the terms of the agreement to avoid legal consequences,” reads the AppleSeed literature.

Apple “strongly” encourages testers to use the seeded software in their daily activities, as they’ll be verifying “functionality and usability in environments that cannot be replicated at Apple.”

The Cupertino giant offers tools and forums that aid testers in providing their invaluable feedback. Finally, Apple warns against installing pre-release software on personal-critical and/or business machines. In other words, testers should at least install the beta on a different partition of their hard drive.

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