Apple killing Messages Beta for OS X Lion on December 14

We knew this was going to happen. Those who downloaded Messages when it was available in beta version for OS X Lion will have to consider their alternatives.

Message Beta ends December 14

Earlier this year, after Apple announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple also made available iMessages for the Mac. For a limited time, Apple made available for free Messages Beta for Macs running OS X 10.7 Lion. It served as a preview for those running the then current OS for the Mac.

Those wanting to get a taste of Mountain Lion tried the Messages app, downloaded the Mountain Lion desktop picture, and tried to get the omnibar for Safari.

While everyone, including Windows users, eventually got an updated Safari with omnibar and other updates, Messages was quietly pulled out in July, and the download page redirecting to the Mountain Lion page. The app continued to run for those who installed the beta program.

When OS X Mountain Lion was released, it became an instant success, hitting three million downloads within four days of hitting the app store.

Now Apple has sent Messages users on OS X that Messages will stop working on December 14, with the appeal to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion. Their announcement read:

The Messages Beta program for Lion will end on Friday, December 14, 2012. We hope you enjoyed the opportunity to preview Messages.

If you’d like to continue using Messages, upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store. Messages is one of the many great new apps and features built right into OS X Mountain Lion. Learn more. [Link to OS X Mountain Lion in the Mac App Store].

Thank you for your participation in the Messages Beta Program.

It’s not clear if you can reinstall iChat, the app that Messages officially replaced. Lion users who want OS X Mountain Lion will have to pay USD 19.99 for the upgrade. That’s not too shabby considering its predecessors had cost much more.

And with OS X Mountain Lion you get Messages and a host of features not available on OS X Lion, such as Reminders, Notification Center, and Dictation. Note that Facetime is free for Lion and Mountain Lion users but is available for Leopard and Snow Leopard users for USD 0.99.

Mountain Lion is now at version 10.8.2.

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