Will Apple Release Mountain Lion in June?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) desktop and server software update, the much-awaited Mountain Lion, is being predicted to be close to release. The software, which was released to developers in February, is likely to be launched publicly at the Worldwide Developers Conference, the company’s annual developers’ event in June.

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While frequent releases of point upgrades to the OS X have driven the most anticipation of a coming launch — the latest, addressing a series of operating system flaws, came on Wednesday — Apple has also been recruiting new AppleCare support staff to man the OS X support lines, according to AppleInsider.

“The source went on to say that Mountain Lion may be just a few weeks from launch as internal training recently commenced regarding certain facets of the operating system,” AppleInsider writes. “Apple usually restricts the operating window of support staff training to a minimum before large product release presumably to avoid leaks.”

The WWDC is also being predicted to offer a preview of the next version of the company’s mobile operating system, the iOS 6, as well as new Intel Ivy Bridge-equipped Mac computers.

Mountain Lion may be a free upgrade to be in line with Apple’s recent free Snow Leopard upgrade to Mobile Me users that promotes a move to iCloud. iOS upgrades have always been free.

Competitor Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is also launching the next version of its operating system, Windows 8, later this year. Microsoft OS updates are usually paid.

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