The Lion in the cloud.

The release of the new Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is approaching. Apple recently unveiled a “developers preview” to get programmers up to speed with the new platform. The shipping version will be available in less than 6 months. So far, some of the highlighted features are a deeper integration with Apple’s iCloud, new sharing capabilities, and improved security. It is believed that Rosetta will stay with us a little longer, while iChat will be replaced with “iMessages.”

As expected, iCloud will be the center of Apple’s universe, and all other devices (iPhones, iPads, desktops, and laptops) will simply interact with iCloud to handle media, messaging, calendars, reminders, settings, and even purchases. Everything lives in the cloud—the device is simply a way to retrieve and add information. Oddly enough, one of the biggest changes is direct integration with Twitter. iCloud’s Documents will be competing directly with Google Documents.

Apple's new OS

Applications like Safari, Mail, iPhoto, Reminders, and Photo Booth will be able to tweet directly without having to launch or manage a separate Twitter client. Tweets will be context-aware: meaning a tweet from iPhoto will enable sharing via Flickr, while a video tweet will display Vimeo or YouTube as an option. What will come out first, the new OS or the updated line of Mac Book Pros?