updated 09:35 am EDT, Mon July 16, 2012
US, international stores holding meetings on 24th
OS X Mountain Lion could ship on July 25th, according to 9to5Mac. The site says it has heard from several sources indicating that Apple Stores in the US and elsewhere will be holding overnight meetings on July 24th. Since Apple typically holds such meetings shortly before a product launch, and Mountain Lion is due by the end of the month, it's believed that the timing may not be a coincidence.
Unlike some past OS X launches, though, the sources suggest that Mountain Lion may be less demanding on retail staff. There are no new Macs accompanying the upgrade, and so the overnight sessions may be smaller. One worker claims that the effort will essentially involve a few people at each store installing a master image on every Mac. Sources at other locations, though, say they have yet to hear about a July 24th meeting.
Apple is switching to a lower key with Mountain Lion. Previous versions of OS X would not only often ship in unison with new Macs, but only every two years at the quickest. Mountain Lion marks the switch to an annual update cycle, though it will cost just $20 through the Mac App Store.