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Mac OS X Lion debuts in July as $29.99 upgrade

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Mac OS X Lion – the next incarnation of Apple's desktop, notebook, and server operating system – will go on sale in July at a price of $29.99.

According to Apple, the OS will offer 250 new features and 3,000 new developer APIs. This includes the multi-touch touchscreen technology popularized by the iPhone and the iPad; the Mac App Store, which officially opened earlier this year; a Mission Control interface for viewing "everything running on your Mac"; a LaunchPad interface for viewing installed applications; and a new version of the Apple Mail app.

Mission Control combines four existing Apple technologies – Exposé, full screen apps, Dashboard, and Spaces – into a single interface, while LaunchPad lets you – with a single gesture – display all your installed applications across a full screen. With Lion, multitouch can be used with either the multitouch trackpads that ship with Mac notebooks or Apple's Magic Trackpad add-on.

Lion itself will be available from the Mac App Store in June as a $29.99 upgrade from Mac OS Snow Leopard. Apple calls it the "easiest OS X upgrade", at roughly 4GB. It will only be available from the Mac App Store, not on CDs.

Lion server will also be available in July for $49.99. Lion requires an Intel Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM.

Lion will be available at no extra charge to anyone who purchased a compatible Mac between today and the release of the OS on systems. Buyers must request this "Up-To-Date" upgrade within 30 days of purchasing their machine. ®

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