John Carter jumps right in with Mountain Lion. He tells us, "Like Jim Hamm before me, I dove right in and updated my iMac to 10.8 today.
"The installation was painless. I started it and walked away for the rest of the day.
When I came back, several applications needed attention – mostly updates.
"The first surprise was a new application: Messages. This popped up in the middle of the screen all on its own. Apple's way of telling me it's there. Messages allows me to text anyone with an Apple device or PC with 10.8 for free. Messages is already available on iOS 5.1. So this is just another step toward making all Apple products look and feel the same. I doubt I will ever use Messages – unless there is someone out there who doesn't want to use Mail. Mostly, Messages is for iOS devices to avoid phone charges for text messaging.
"The next surprise was a string of short notices down the right side of the display. These were recent updates to Calendar. And each time Jackie added a new item to the Calendar on her MacBook Air, another notice popped up on my iMac. That's because she is sharing her Calendar with me to make sure I know what she's up to. And I have done the same for her.
"Another that surprised me was that Total Finder – an add-on to Finder – said that it was not tested on 10.8. It worked anyway.
"After performing just a few application updates – one was NeoOffice (3.3 Beta is out, available only to those who donated within the past year), I then discovered that the App Store had a few more updates waiting for me. These were iWork, iPhoto, iMovie, and Xcode.
"The update for iPhoto required a database update, and I haven't seen any obvious changes.
"iMovie thumbnails needed to be created for the project I was currently working on – that took quite a while. And oh, by the way - iMove is LOTS faster.
"When I opened Mail, the database had to be converted for the new 10.8. No problem. Can't see anything new so far.
"I expected some change in Preview. When I opened it, I saw a new window. It was telling me that I could now move my existing documents to iCloud by dragging them to that window from the Finder or other app. Before, what I would see was just a Finder window. Now, in the upper left corner of the Preview window are two new buttons: iCloud and On My Mac. Aside for a complete makeover in the Preview Menu, there is now a brand new Editor toolbar with an enhanced Adjust Color pane and a Smart Lasso.
"Move over, iPhoto! You may never use iPhoto again to make basic changes to a photo – unless, of course, the only way to access the photo is through iPhoto. The bad part of this is, now you have something else to spend time on. As with Lion, any change you make to a photo with Preview creates a version of the file – so you can always retrieve the original. And when you click on the filename, the menu now shows an option to move the image to iCloud. Clicking on Browse all Versions shows them in the same way that Time Machine shows your backups. Wow! I like the changes I just made to that photo.
"Remember what I said about the new buttons in the upper left of the Finder window when I opened Preview? You get the same two buttons (iCloud and On My Mac) with Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.
"I have no idea what's new in Xcode, and even if I did, I'm sure you wouldn't be interested.
And here John winds up his report with this, "All in all, it has been a good thing. Nothing really new to learn – except Messages. But then, I haven't read about all the new features in 10.8. I give this 10.8 upgrade a 10. Upgrading from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion may be like trading Windows for a Mac, but going from Lion to Mountain Lion will be like adding more icing to the cake.
"Where's my MacBook Pro? That's next!" OK, John, keep us posted.