OS X Mountain Lion is close: Apple opens (and closes) Up-to-Date portal

Mountain Lion, Apple’s latest Mac operating system, may be released to the public within the next 48 hours. The company seemingly accidentally opened the Up-to-Date portal this morning that allows those with Macs bought on or after June 11 to request a free upgrade.

As CNET notes, the portal has since been taken down after people started submitting their requests for Mountain Lion. Apple promised those who purchased Macs on or after June 11 that they would get Mountain Lion for free, while those with older computers with OS X Lion installed can upgrade for $19.99.

When Mountain Lion was debuted at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, the company also announced the operating system would “ship” in July. Well, Apple only has eight more days in July to push the OS out, and many expect it will announce its arrival this Tuesday on its earnings call. Indeed, during Apple’s 2011 third quarter earnings call, the company announced that OS X Lion would be released the following day.

Mountain Lion will come with 200 new features total, including an updated version of Apple’s browser Safari, support for Twitter, voice dictation, a notification center, and iMessage, the messaging system that allows those with iOS devices to effectively text for free.

Last quarter, the company  sold four million new macs. At WWDC, Apple said that six million people overall use Macs, 40 percent of whom run OS X Lion, the latest operating system available to date.

Check back Tuesday for full coverage of Apple’s earnings call, including whether the company releases OS X Mountain Lion.

Photo via Heather Kelly for VentureBeat