It's possible that Apple has had these improvements in mind for a considerable time, but they could also be part of the company's response to attacks earlier this year that infected an estimated 600,000 Macs with the Flashback malware.
Apple has made other moves recently that may also have been triggered by the Flashback campaign, including patching Java on the same day that Oracle fixed the flaws for other operating systems; shipping the first security-related update in nearly a year for the unsupported OS X Leopard; and blocking outdated versions of the Flash Player plug-in from running in Safari.
Apple has not set a release date for Mountain Lion, but has promised that the upgrade will go on sale in July for $19.99 at the Mac App Store.
If Apple follows the same release track for Mountain Lion that it used last year for Lion, the most likely release date will be July 25.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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