Jul 10 2012
OS X Mountain Lion has reached Golden Master status; in Microsoft land, this version would be called RTM – “Release To Manufacturing”. It’s the last development release that will later be shipped to customers.
I’ve seen and used it for a moment today, and I’m not under any NDA with Apple.
After the installation, OS X wants to move you to the iCloud. Yes, you can skip that step. But entering your Apple ID is now not only used to register your copy of OS X with Apple, but to also enable your iCloud account at the same time.
What Apple does not mention during the installation with a single word is my favourite non-feature Gatekeeper, which I call Dungeon Keeper. It’s hidden in the System Preferences under “Security & Privacy” in the “General” tab. And it’s set to only allow software form the Mac App Store and “identified” developers. Apparently, at the moment everybody is identified, even the guys who published tools like “OSX86Tools” – because Mountain Lion still executes everything so far. But I’ll keep an eye on that one for sure.
The first thing I noticed after the first logon is that the menus behave differently – when the mouse hovers over menu items, they are no longer highlighted, which feels odd. The other thing that jumped to my attention is that “Dock Magnification” does not properly work on a 27″ iMac i5 Late 2009. It “stutters” and the feature basically is broken. App icons are only magnified when you click on them and then sometimes they stay magnified. The wave-like behaviour of the icons no longer works when the mouse moves over the dock.
I cannot say anything yet about the performance and stability. So far, this GM release feels slower than the first Developer Preview, and it also feels, well, more broken. Somehow, Mountain Lion lost a lot of its compatibility with this machine during the development process. While I’m typing this in ecto, for example, the mouse curser randomly disappears and appears. Trust me, it didn’t behave like that in Lion. (And Lion already was a poor OS X release.)
I haven’t tested yet how my external USB hard disks behave in Mountain Lion. In DP1, they used to work better than in Lion. It would be nice if that would still be the case. But seeing all those graphical glitches in the GM release, my gut feeling tells me that I should not expect too much anymore. It seems that this relatively young machine is past the Apple’s grace period for support. Which is sad, because, you know, even Windows 8 runs well on machines that are almost three times as old as this computer.
That’s enough for today. I’ll write another post when I’ve had more time toying with Mountain Lion. Or should I decide to wipe the system from my machine. Or whatever else might happen.