Apple is preparing to release the final version of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion to end customers, as Cupertino has seeded the Golden Master (GM) version to developers this weekend.
People enrolled with Apple’s developer program have confirmed the availability of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion build ‘11A511’ GM through the company’s developer distribution channels
According to Apple, “this is a pre-release build of Mac OS X Lion, the next major release of Mac OS X”.
Apple had already confirmed plans to release the OS this month.
In a press release dated June 6, the company headquartered at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California announced that “Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system with more than 250 new features and 3,000 new developer APIs, will be available to customers in July as a download from the Mac App Store for $29.99.”
Lion is a Snow Leopard upgrade, but those who download the software will most likely be able to burn it onto optical media and perform a fresh install thereafter, whenever necessary.
Golden Master builds of Mac OS X are generally identical to the final shipping version, so there’s a good chance we may see the final bits emerge on the Mac App Store as soon as next week.
Some of Lion’s key features include new Multi-Touch gestures, system-wide support for full screen apps, Mission Control (way to view everything running on your Mac), Launchpad (a home for all your apps), a completely redesigned Mail app, AirDrop, AutoSave, Versions, Resume and others.
When it’s released in the Mac App Store, Lion will be a 4GB download (give or take a few megabytes) and will require an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor, as well as 2GB of RAM.
Lion can be installed on all of a user’s authorized personal Macs. The Server version of Lion will require the Client Lion OS and will also be available this month from the Mac App Store for $49.99.