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Apple releases an update to its Mountain Lion OS

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June 5, 2013

Apple said earlier this morning that it has released an operating system update that brings its Mountain Lion OS up to version 10.8.4, and it also repairs a whole slew of bugs including Microsoft Exhange compatibility issues.

Apple's new update to its OS also brings Safari up to version 6.0.5. As listed by Apple, OS X 10.8.4 provides the following new features and upgrades:

  • Compatibility improvements when connecting to certain enterprise Wi-Fi networks
  • Microsoft Exchange compatibility improvements in Calendar
  • A fix for an issue that prevented FaceTime calls to non-U.S. phone numbers
  • A fix for an issue that may prevent scheduled sleep after using Boot Camp
  • Improves VoiceOver compatibility with text in PDF documents
  • Includes Safari 6.0.5, which improves stability for some websites with chat features and games
  • A fix for an issue that may cause iMessages to display out of order in Messages
  • Resolves an issue in which Calendars Birthdays may appear incorrectly in certain time zones
  • A fix for an issue that may prevent the desktop background picture from being preserved after restart
  • A fix for an issue that may prevent documents from being saved to a server using SMB
  • Addresses an issue that may prevent certain files from opening after copied to a volume named "Home"
  • A fix for an issue that may prevent changes to files made over NFS from displaying
  • Resolves an issue saving files to an Xsan volume from certain applications
  • Improves Active Directory log-in performance, especially for cached accounts or when using a .local domain
  • Improves OpenDirectory data replication
  • Improves 802.1X compatibility with ActiveDirectory networks
  • Improves compatibility when using mobile accounts
  • Apple provides a link to its security updates page for "detailed information about the security content of this update," but as it's usual with OS X updates, that information has yet to be posted, but will appear when Apple gets around to it.

    The OS update can be accessed by selecting [Apple Menu] > Software Update, which will launch the OS X App Store; select Updates, and simply follow the directions.

    If you use the Software Update, Apple notes that the size of the download will vary depending upon the Mac onto which you are installing it. For a five-year-old Mac Pro, it weighed in at 152 MB, and the entire installation process took around nine to ten minutes.

    For now, it appears to be working okay with the vintage Mac Pro we had on hand, but we'll be sure to check in tomorrow at the OS X Mountain Lion section of Apple's Support Communities website to see if anybody in the Mac community uncovered any difficulties with either the update or Safari itself.

    In other operating system news

    It appears that Windows 8 could be slowly carving out a slightly larger slice of the operating system market for today's personal computers.

    However, at the pace that it's moving, it could take more time before some analysts call it 'mainstream'.

    Microsoft's Windows 8 OS managed to capture about 3.17 percent of all desktop operating systems tracked by Net Applications in March. This was a small but respectable gain from the 2.67 percent share seen in the previous month.

    Since its official debut in October 2012, Windows 8 has gradually risen up in the ranks, at least in Net Applications' Web traffic analyzis.

    Starting with a 1.09 percent share gain in November, the OS carved out a 1.72 percent share in December. It then grabbed a 2.26 percent share in January, pushing it past Mac OS X 10.8 to take the fourth spot among operating systems.

    Windows 7 remained ahead of Windows XP as the top operating system for March, though the respective shares of both barely nudged from their February numbers.

    Windows 7 wrestled the top spot from XP last August, according to Net Applications. The unpopular Windows Vista stayed in third place with a small 5 percent share, a drop from the previous month.

    Assuming Windows 8 keeps growing and Vista keeps falling, both at a consistent pace, Microsoft's new OS should steal third place sometime this summer.

    On average, Windows' share of Net Applications' desktop OS traffic was a bit more than 91 percent, a number virtually unchanged over the past several months.

    The share held by Mac OS X dipped slightly to 6.94 percent, while Linux came in third with about 1.27 percent.

    In other operating system news

    According to a new study published by Goldman Sachs, Microsoft could soon become a small player in today's global computing market. And there are a few reasons why that's in the process of happening.

    One of the largest single contributing factors is the explosion in smartphones. The report, which was obtained last week by The Seattle Times, says that while Microsoft operating systems were found on about 96.8 percent of all computing devices as recently as the year 2000, Microsoft's current share is just 20 percent, due to the rapidly increasing popularity in mobile devices and tablets in recent years.

    If you add smartphones and tablets into the overall mix, along with traditional laptops and PCs, Google then emerges as the current platform leader.

    Goldman Sachs estimates that Google's Android OS is now installed on about 42.1 percent of all computing devices globally. Coming in close in second place is Apple. Between OS X and iOS, Apple actually has more users now than Windows does, with 24 percent of the overall device market.

    And Goldman Sachs analysts aren't very hopeful about Microsoft's chances of reviving its platform any time soon. Although the analyst firm sees Microsoft recapturing some market share thanks to the introduction of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Goldman still sees Apple remaining the bigger contender through 2016-2017, at least.

    Source: Apple.

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