Apple OSX Lion goes gold master

Apple has dropped what could be the final version of OSX Lion on developers, causing a kerfuffle about the imminent release of the forthcoming operating system.

Apple has been banging on about what could be the last of the 'Big Cat' releases for a long time now but finally announced that the first major facelift to OSX - which purports to take all of the best bits and lessons learned from the iOS mobile system and bolt them onto the grown-up OS - would be released in July.

Unfortunatley for most Macolytes, 31 days is an awfully long time to wait for such an exciting prospect but the release of the Gold Master is seen as a sign that things will be coming sooner rather than later.

Of course, the Gold Master analogy is a bit old hat in the world of Apple nowadays. Since the Cupertino company stopped selling boxed software with physical disks inside, in favour of digital downloads through its online Mac App Store, the concept of a master DVD from which all others would be copied has fallen by the wayside.

As long as Apple's army of unpaid beta testers ('developers' to those indoctrinated into the fold) don't find any horrible howlers in the code, we'd expect to see the 4GB download of OSX Lion being punted for £21 in the next couple of days.

To get the most out of its new gesture-based GUI you'll also need to get your hands on a Magic Trackpad or a Magic Mouse, unless you have a recent MacBook which will do the trick.

Keep an eye on thinq_ for the exact moment it drops or you can sign up for an Apple alert here.