Apple has announced that they will be shipping OS X 10.8, a.k.a. Mountain Lion, this Summer. They have a lot of info and screenshots posted to their site, and a preview version of Mountain Lion is now available to developers.

Although I’m all for progress, I couldn’t help but groan in frustration when I read about the Summer release date. Come one Apple… you just released Lion last July, let’s get all the bugs worked out before changing everything yet again!

Here’s my prediction… Apple is aggressively pushing the OS X development cycle in an attempt to eventually meld OS X and the iOS/mobile platform together. Most of Mountain Lion’s new features are pulled from iOS. Apple is marketing Mountain Lion as “Inspired by iPad. Re-imagined for Mac”, plus they’ve rebranded it “OS X” instead of “Mac OS X” in a subtle move to further disassociate OS X from desktop hardware. This focus change, in my opinion, is causing Apple to really drop the ball with OS X quality control. The bungled 10.7.3 Delta update and Rosetta-breaking Security Update 2012-001 illustrate my point, but this has been going on for quite some time. For example, Apple’s OS X 10.6.7 update caused major problems with Open Type fonts, which crippled many in the creative field, but it took them over a month to fix this.

Perhaps I’ve just gotten spoiled with Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard… all who had a two year development cycle, allowing Apple to eventually get all the bugs worked about before releasing the next big thing. I seriously doubt Lion will be patched beyond 10.7.4 prior to Mountain Lion’s public release, which is a vast difference when you compare it to mature version numbers like 10.4.11, 10.5.8, and 10.6.8.