Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
Apple Releases Public Beta of New Messages App for OS X
Download Messages Beta and get a taste of what’s coming in OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work. And Messages brings iMessage to the Mac — just like on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 5. Here are the features you can expect with Messages:
- Send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
- Start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
- Send photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations, and more.
- Launch a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation face-to-face.
- Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.
Update: Apple's servers appear to be overwhelmed at the moment, with the download button for the Messages beta showing an error message. The app is, however, still available via direct download (63.8 MB).
Update 2: The Messages download button is now operating properly.