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Apple to release Mountain Lion Wednesday on Mac App Store

Apple announced on Tuesday that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, its next-generation Mac operating system, will hit the Mac App Store on Wednesday, July 25.

Mountain Lion will be available for download for OS X Lion and OS X Snow Leopard users at a price of $19.99. Users who bought a Mac after June 11 will receive the upgrade to Mountain Lion for free.

The announcement was made during Tuesday's fiscal third quarter results call by Apple CEO Tim Cook and is in line with previous reports from an AppleInsider source who hinted at a July 25 launch date, citing extended Apple employee working hours.

"We've also just updated the entire MacBook line, will release Mountain Lion tomorrow and will be launching iOS 6 this Fall," Cook said. "We are also really looking forward to the amazing new products we've got in the pipeline."

The new operating system brings features inspired by Apple's iOS platform, such as AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center, and tighter integration with iCloud.

Tuesday's announcement comes two weeks after Apple seeded the OS X Mountain Lion gold master to developers with no known issues. No major issues were found with the finalized version of the new OS including focus issues regarding graphic performance and quality; image and media importing, editing or viewing; and networking reliability and performance.