On Thursday, Apple announced its plans for Mountain Lion, the next major OS X update for Mac users. One of the new features in Mountain Lion will be Messages, a new chat program that is designed to replace the current iChat application. Apple surprised Mac users when it decided to release a public beta of Messages immediately for users of the current OS X version, Lion
However, Lion users might want to get their fill of Messages while they can. According to a report on the French language web site Consomac, the beta version of Messages will no longer work for Lion users once the beta program is completed and Mountain Lion is officially released later this summer.
The web site says it went into the source code for Messages and discovered a note that is scheduled to appear for Lion users when Mountain Lion is officially launched:
Thank you for participating in the Messages Beta program. With the inclusion of Messages in OS X Mountain Lion, the Messages Beta program has ended. To continue using Messages, please visit the Mac App Store and purchase OS X Mountain Lion.
Obviously, this move by Apple won't make current OS X Lion users very happy. Indeed, it seems strange to offer up a stand alone version of Message for Lion users only to take that version away from them once Mountain Lion has been released. Keep in mind that a number of older Mac PCs won't be able to run Mountain Lion which means that those users who enjoy Messages won't even be able to use it even if they wanted to get the Mountain Lion upgrade.