Apple has announced its latest version of OS X for Macs. Mountain Lion is available for preview today in two ways. If you’re a consumer, you can read about the new features at Apple’s website. And anyone running OS X Lion can download and install the beta version of Messages, a new app that replaces iChat for instant messaging, and integrates iMessages, the Apple-only text-message replacement service for iPhone, iPad and now Mac.

As much as I commend Apple for prioritizing the cloud by integrating iCloud into Mountain Lion, the company is only shining a bright spotlight on how it’s still way behind the competition when it comes to cloud services.

Now, iCloud is getting more hype than before because it will be integrated inside Apple’s next OS. iCloud gets name-checked in the third sentence of Apple’s press release announcing the new Mountain Lion OS, saying, “Mountain Lion is the first OS X release built with iCloud in mind for easy setup and integration with apps.”