The wait for the roar is over: Apple on Wednesday morning released its long-awaited Mac OS X 10.7, codenamed Lion.

The latest version of the OS, which serves as the seventh update to Apple's Mac OS X operating system, is said to bring more than 250 new features, according to Apple executives. The OS first made its debut at an event dubbed Back to the Mac in October 2010.

Some of the most important features include: support for full-screen applications, more multitouch gestures, system resume, auto save for app data, AirDrop file transfer, and a feature called Launchpad that mimics the icon-based app launcher in iOS.

Lion will be the first in the OS X family to be available exclusively as a digital download via Apple's Itunes App Store, for an upgrade price of $29.99 in the U.S.

The UK price for the newer version has not been disclosed. This will also be the first Apple product that will be available in a digital copy rather than crowds rushing to Apple Stores throughout the country for hard copies of the upgrade.

Apple reported Mac sales for the quarter just ended of 3.95 million, up 14% from a year ago, Apple Insider reports. Apple also plans to release the new MacBook Air this week, which is expected to come with a 128 GB SSD, 4 GB of RAM, a backlit keyboard and Lion as the operating system.

Portable, affordable and powerful, MacBook Air is the ultimate everyday notebook, Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, told Apple Insider. MacBook Air features our most advanced technology and is an ideal match for Lion, especially with its new Multi-Touch gestures, full-screen apps, Mission Control and Mac App Store.

The site reported that the new MacBook Air is available in 11-inch and 13-inch models and measures about 0.11 inches at its thinnest point and 0.68 inches at its thickest.