OS X 'Lion' ships Wednesday, says Apple

Apple CFO did not say at what time the new OS will hit the Mac App Store

Apple will launch its Lion operating system tomorrow, the company's chief financial officer said Tuesday.

Rumors floated nearly constantly during July that Mac OS X 10.7, aka Lion, would debut in the next few days or at most, the following week.

Those rumors are now moot.

"We are very excited to be launching Mac OS X Lion tomorrow," said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO, during the early stages of a quarterly earnings call with Wall Street analysts. Oppenheimer did not name a time of day Wednesday for Lion's release.

Previously, Apple had said only that it would ship Lion during July, but had refused to state a specific date.

In an email urging developers to submit their programs to the Mac App Store last week, Apple said the upgrade would be available "soon."

Apple provided a "gold master" build of Lion -- the tag some developers use for software that has been completed and is ready to ship -- on July 1, but did not seed them with another version.

Lion requires a Mac with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 or Xeon processor; 2GB of memory; and Snow Leopard. Unlike previous OS upgrades, Lion will be available only via download from the Mac App Store.

Lion is priced at $29.99 and requires that users already have Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard installed.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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