Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) said downloads of its Mountain Lion software exceeded three million in four days, making it the most successful operating system release in the company’s history.
Photographer: Apple Store screengrab
Apple is expected to launch the latest version of its operating system OS X Mountain Lion today.
Several reports on the web say the new operating system has been released.
Some Apple Store employees were told to plan an all-nighter last night, leading to speculation that the company's new Mac operating system will be released the next day.
Multiple Apple workers have confirmed that some staffers were asked to work overnight, according to 9to5 Mac, a site that focuses on Apple news.
Mountain Lion was expected to hit stores this month, so the obvious speculation has moved in that direction.
Also, Apple's quarterly earnings report is scheduled for the 24th. Last year, the current Mac system, Lion, was announced during a July earnings report and released the next day.
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will be available to Mac users as a $19.99 upgrade to their current operating system.
At its WWDC developers conference last month in San Francisco, Apple said that Mountain Lion will have 200 new features.
They'll include iMessages, the texting feature already available on mobile devices, speech-to-text dictation and predictive "smart search" in the Safari browser.
The new Mountain Lion system also adds something called Power Nap, a feature that keeps your laptop up to date while it sleeps by automatically refreshing mail, contacts and other apps.
Game Center will be another adaptation coming from the mobile iOS system, giving gamers a central place to find games and opponents -- a stab by Apple at gaining relevance in a desktop gaming space that is still dominated by Microsoft with its Xbox Live network.
Time: OS X Mountain Lion's 10 Most Important New Features
Developers already were given a final trial version of Mountain Lion, the so-called "gold master," at last month's conference.
Apple's transitioning of some mobile features to its desktop system suggests that the company is at least mindful of Microsoft's aggressive move to create a seamless experience between smartphones, tablets and desktops.
Microsoft's Windows 8 system, planned for later this year, is designed to work with touchscreen devices as well as on laptops and desktops. The computing giant has struggled in the mobile space, particularly with tablets, but early reviews suggest the new system will mark Redmond's most serious challenge yet to Apple's dominance.
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