Tech Crunch reports that Apple is set to deploy a Gold Master release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in the near future. It's been just over a month since Apple released the Lion Developer Preview. A Gold Master is typically the final version of a software product that is then sent on to be mass produced on CD or DVDs (or delivered digitally). Once a software hits Gold Master, it is usually available to the general public within a matter of weeks.
However, this next release of 10.7 Lion, while designated a Gold Master, will actually be labeled "GM1" according to TechCrunch. TechCrunch says this GM1 release will be "only the initial Golden Master candidate" with more to follow. Typically non-final GM candidates are called release candidates, but this is Apple and they always uses their own special naming conventions. However, an Apple GM1 candidate means we'll typically see all the feature tweaks Apple has planned for Lion locked in place, with successive "GM" releases solely focusing on bug fixes and compatibility issues. Mac OS X 10.7 is expected to be released later this summer.