Apple's OS X Mountain Lion is finally out and it will cost you 20 bucks. That's perhaps, on any scale, really cheap for an OS. There's no price barrier to upgrade at all. But should you upgrade to Mountain Lion? Or sit this one out? Find out below:
If you are an Average Lion User:
If you are, then yes. Mountain Lion improves a lot of things. It's faster, smoother and more convenient. There's no tectonic shifts in philosophy and no previous features are broken in the service of new ones. There's also almost zero downside in upgrading Lion to Mountain Lion.
Are you a Snow Leopard holdout?
If you are, then don't update to Mountain Lion. If you thought Lion was too big a shift from Snow Leopard, which still runs smoothly anyway, then there's probably no reason to change. Spaces are still neutered by Mission Control, as is Exposé. Careful when you update apps though; more and more are losing Snow Leopard compatibility in favor of Mountain Lion.
If you are someone who can't afford screw ups (actually aren't most of us like this?)
Then not yet. Mountain Lion is solid, but there are still concerns about the GM popping up on message boards. Jumping in on Day 1 is not a careful decision, because there might be bugs. So let the heat fizzle off, and wait for a while until in general, when they come up with a few patches here and there to make your transition bug free as possible.
If you have an older Mac but love the new features
Do you have what it takes for a Mountain Lion upgrade? Check the requirements for the OS first. AirPlay Mirroring to an AppleTV requires Quick Sync, which means having capable processors. You'll need Sandy Bridge or something newer. Power Nap for example is missing for now but will arrive nonetheless, and it requires a Mac with an Apple installed SSD.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't upgrade. But if you do, just be aware that you won't be able to make full use of ML's features.
And if you've got 4GB of RAM
Go for it. Mountain Lion seems to be less memory intensive compared to Lion. So no worries on the RAM issues.
A Windows Lover Who Hates Windows 8
Like Windows 8's metro design but want to make the shift? While Microsoft is determined to make Metro the next paradigm in graphical user interfaces, Apple is comfortable with the desktop interface.
In order to use Mountain Lion, you have to have a certain type of Mac. Apple says that your Mac has to be newer than one of the following models to use Mountain Lion, and most of the cutoff points are computers that are 5 years old. That sounds reasonable. Check out the requirements below:
iMac (Mid 2007 or newer) MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer) MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer) Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer) Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer) Xserve (Early 2009)