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Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion Preview 2 to Developers

Mac-OS-X-10.7-Lion_feature.pngApple has released a second preview version of Mac OS X Lion to developers for testing, with a new build number of 11A419. Apple also reportedly releases a small update for the original Lion preview build, that allows users to download updates through the Mac App Store.

This preview release comes just days after it was reported that Apple close to declaring a “gold master candidate” of the software. In non-developer speak, the “gold master” designation indicates that the software is ready to be released to the masses. It just so happens, that TechCrunch is reporting that this preview, internally at Apple has the “gold master” designation.

The biggest major change found in this preview release so far, is the total redesign of iCal. This new look, strong resembles the iPad version of iCal, and has new features such as a unified buddy list that supports multiple communication services such as AIM, and Jabber contacts. This new iCal however, has a long list of known issues in the developer release notes, so it still has work to be done on it before it ships as a part of Lion.

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Another curios development accompanying this release, is that the server software that was originally bundled with the first preview, is now it’s own standalone download for developers. As you know, Apple currently ships to versions of OX X Snow Leopard: one for regular users, and one for server use. It is still unclear if Apple plans to bundle the Lion server software with the regular version, and make it an optional download via the install disc, or if Apple will continue to sell two versions of the software as it’s doing currently.

Apple, back in October announced that they plan to ship Lion “this summer”, so if Apple plans to make that deadline, they should be nearing a release candidate as is being reported. So, that seems like a sure thing. As for the server software, as I’ve said before, I fully expect Apple to bundle it with the regular release as an optional install, and not offer a standalone Server addition as they do now.

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