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We've been patiently waiting for it but it is finally out, the next OS after Snow Leopard, Lion

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In a shameless cut and paste from the Apple press release, Lion has been released

Apple today announced that Mac OS X Lion, the eighth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system with more than 250 new features, is available today as a download from the Mac App Store for £20.99. Some of the amazing features in Lion include: new Multi-Touch gestures; system-wide support for full screen apps; Mission Control, an innovative view of everything running on your Mac; the Mac App Store, the best place to find and explore great software, built right into the OS; Launchpad, a new home for all your apps; and a completely redesigned Mail app.

“Lion is the best version of OS X yet, and we’re thrilled that users around the world can download it starting today,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Lion makes upgrading a Mac easier than ever before; just launch the Mac App Store, buy Lion with your iTunes account, and the download and install process will begin automatically.”

Additional new features in Lion include:

• Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
• Auto Save, which automatically and continuously saves your documents as you work;
• Versions, which automatically records the history of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, revert and even copy and paste from previous versions; and
• AirDrop, which finds nearby Macs and automatically sets up a peer-to-peer wireless connection to make transferring files quick and easy.

Lion requires an Intel-based Mac with a Core 2 Duo, i3, i5, i7 or Xeon processor and 2GB of RAM. Lion is an upgrade and can be installed on all your authorised personal Macs. 

The OS X Lion Up-to-Date upgrade will be available through the Mac App Store at no additional charge to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorised Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-to-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchased a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and July 20, 2011 will have until August 19, 2011 to make a request. Additional information can be found at apple.com/uk/macosx/uptodate.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.