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Mountain Lion launch imminent, GM with developers

Hours after Microsoft announced Windows 8 shipping dates Apple dispatched the gold master of OS X Mountain Lion

Apple developers have their hands on the final gold master version of OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Lion Server.

Mountain Lion GM build number is 12A269 is available now in the OS X Dev Center on Apple's Developer website. It weighs in at 4.34GB. The GM build of Xcode 4.4 is also available.

Dictation's performance is said to also be improved. According to Apple's notes, the focus areas are Graphics performance and quality; Image & Media importing, editing or viewing; and Networking reliability & performance

Apple's release of the Gold Master came hours after Microsoft announced that it was going to release Windows 8 to the public at the end of October.

There is some speculation that Apple will release Mountain Lion the day after Apple announces its third quarter results on 24 July. Last year Apple released Lion the day after the results announcement. There is also speculation that the new operating system will launch on 19 July. We do know that when it launches, OS X Mountain Lion will cost £13.99

Mountain Lion is all about integration with Apple's mobile operating system. Familiar applications like iCal, Address Book, and iChat have hopped aboard the iOS name-train and will go by Calendar, Contacts, and Messages, while iOS-only apps like Notes, Reminders, and Game Center will make their grand debut on the Mac. OS X Mountain Lion also includes a new security update system that does daily checks for security updates. Find out more about Mountain Lion in our Mountain Lion feature and our preview.

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