Sure, it’s surprising that Apple introduced Mountain Lion with private briefings rather than a formal Keynote. Perhaps this is the mark of a post-Steve Apple finding its footing. Or maybe the breadth of Apple’s coverage is growing beyond what a reasonable Keynote schedule will allow.
My guess? I think Apple knows it couldn’t hold a major press event where three of their top ten features are ports of iOS’s clunkiest implementations: action sheets, the notification drawer, and Game Center. And the rest aren’t exactly scene stealers. Can you imagine the news cycle that would follow if this was unveiled on stage?
Mountain Lion is a necessary update, but as news goes it’s for the wonks. Its significance is what it implies down the line, the suggestions it makes about how our mobile and desktop lives will meet.
Though I’m positive they’re holding back their best feature or two. Siri would be amazing and it makes sense that they’d hold it back until a new iPad launches so they can blanket their product line.
But my big prediction for Mountain Lion is this: it will be free.