Apple has quickly followed up the announcement of a new line of Intel Thunderbird-powered MacBook Pros with the news that it is nearing the release of its next operating system, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

The new Mac operating system is expected to arrive at some point later this summer, with Apple releasing a developer preview of the new OS this week.

Devs catch the early Lion

As of today, devs will be able to get hold of Mac OS X Lion, providing they are members of Apple's Mac Developer Program.

This will give developers a bit of time to familiarise themselves with Apple's new operating system before it arrives later this year.

With new multitouch gestures, full-screen app control options and more, Apple promises that Mac OS X Lion "takes some of the best ideas from iPad and brings them back to the Mac."

Mission Control calling

"The iPad has inspired a new generation of innovative features in Lion," said Philip Schiller, Apple's SVP of worldwide product marketing.

"Developers are going to love Mission Control and Launchpad, and can now start adding great new Lion features like full screen, gestures, Versions and Auto Save to their own apps."

Expect lots more on Apple's new Mac OS X Lion features such as Mission Control and Launchpad over the coming months as we approach release.