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If you’ve only just logged in for your daily dose of tech news, you may not be aware that Apple has announced and unveiled an update to OS X named Mountain Lion (10.8).

Incorporating many great features from iOS and OS X in a move "inspired by iPad", Mac fans have been drooling for the best part of this afternoon. But unless you happen to have a developer account, unfortunately the closest you’ll be able to get at the moment is the new, high-resolution, galaxy-themed wallpaper and the new Messages app for OS X Lion which brings iMessages to your Mac.

Unfortunately for Mac owners running an older machine, Apple will be forcing you to update your hardware, since Mountain Lion will cease to support or Intel’s GMA 950 and x3100 chipsets.

OS X Mountain Lion logo

In news that will certainly dampen the rather upbeat mood, it appears Mountain Lion will set some users a lot further back than the purported $30 Mac App Store price tag. As a guideline, here’s a list of the Lion-compliant machines that won’t be able to run Mountain Lion:

  • Any Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook from late 2007 – late 2008 (Model Numbers: MB061*/B, MB062*/B, MB063*/B, MB402*/A MB403*/A MB404*/A, MB402*/B)
  • The Mid-2007 Mac mini (Model Numbers: MB138*/A, MB139*/A)
  • The polycarbonate iMac of late 2006 (Model Number: MA710xx/A)
  • The original MacBook Air which dropped in early 2008 (Model Number: MB003LL/A)

Lion, which arrived mid last year as a download-only release amid Apple’s ongoing quest to ditch the optical drives, requires at least an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, but since Mountain Lion needs that extra graphics juice, the aforementioned devices – it would appear – will soon become obsolete.

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Of course, there’s nothing wrong with running an older OS. Many computer users still run XP, Vista, Tiger, Snow Leopard et al; but with Mountain Lion looking incredibly significant for an OS dropping only 12 months after its predecessor, one suspects most – if not all – Mac users will want to get their teeth into this new, hybrid system.

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For those already in ownership of an able machine, it’s now a case of waiting for Mountain Lion to arrive. With the iPhone 5 rumored to also be dropping in mid-2012, there are two more reasons to look forward to the Summer – particularly if you’re an Apple fan.

(source Mac Generation) (via CultOfMac)

Check out this post for details on how to get your hands on the preview – provided you’re signed up to the developer program.

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