Apple set to release Mountain Lion, offer free upgrade for new Macs

Apple will release the latest version of its Mac operating system today (25 July), the company announced in its quarterly earnings report.

For those who have bought a new Mac in the last month and feel like you shouldn't have to pay for an upgrade to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, we have good news for you — you don't.

Customers who purchased a new Mac on or after 11 June can get a free copy of the operating system. As part of Apple's so-called "Up-to-Date Program," new Mac owners will have 30 days to request a complimentary upgrade.

Here are the details: The upgrade will be available at no additional cost to those who purchased a Mac system from Apple or an authorised Apple reseller between 11 June and today. Apple has set up a page where users can request their free copy of Mountain Lion once the updated OS becomes available. But make sure you request your copy right away, because the offer only lasts for 30 days.

Those who are not eligible for the Mountain Lion upgrade will have to pony up a reasonable £13.99 for Mountain Lion.

Apple released a developer preview of Mountain Lion in February, and tipped a July final launch at last month's Worldwide Developer Conference. The company shipped developers the Golden Master version earlier this month, indicating that the final version of the OS was imminent.

The revamped OS includes more than 200 new features, from iCloud integration to a new silent updating option known as Power Nap, as well as 1,700 new APIs. The upgrade will be available to Macs running Snow Leopard and Lion.