The next iteration of Apple OS X, codenamed Mountain Lion, is set to launch Wednesday July 25. Yes, that's today. It'll sell for a staggeringly low £13.99, and will be available exclusively as a download.
Apple's latest desktop operating system is said to be strongly influenced by its mobile operating system, iOS. Very strongly indeed. For one thing, there'll be a familiar Notification Center to let you know of incoming emails, tweets and the like.
Another iOS-like feature to make it into OS X this time will be Game Center - the social game achievement tracking service that launched on iPhone.
iCloud will be far more deeply integrated into OS X Mountain Lion. In fact, it will be part of the initial set-up - you guessed it, just like iOS. This should help cut out a lot of the fuss of setting up email, Safari preferences, calendar syncs and the like if you already have an Apple ID set up.
There'll even be a Messages service that will allow you to exchange - wait for it - messages with your iOS-owning buddies. Images and videos can be casually dropped into text messages for a pleasingly instant way to keep in touch. You know, alongside email, Skype, Google Talk, Facebook Messenger...
Reminders and Notes are two other new features with extremely close iOS integration.
Basically, Apple's trying to bring its two big operating systems together in beautiful harmony, and we're more than happy to pay them for the privilege - especially when it's a mere £13.99. How much did you pay for your copy of Windows 7, again?
Oh, and we should also mention that Safari will be getting a Chrome-like omnibar in place of those separate address and search fields. About bloomin' time, we say.
One note of caution though - Apple OS X Mountain Lion is set to be a hefty download at 4GB. Best check those broadband allowances.