Messages was previously available for users of OS X 10.7 Lion to try for free before the application becomes a standard feature in Mountain Lion. But after Monday's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Cult of Mac noticed that Apple removed the link to download the Messages for Mac beta.
A link to the Messages beta still exists on Apple's official "Downloads" website. However, the link now simply points to Apple's promotional site for Mountain Lion, its forthcoming Mac operating system upgrade.
When Mountain Lion launches, Messages will replace iChat, though it will offer all of the functions of its predecessor. In addition, Messages also connects with iMessage, allowing users to send unlimited messages to anyone on a Mac, or an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 5 or later.
With "Messages Everywhere," users will also be able to start an iMessage conversation on their Mac and continue it on the go on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The new application also features end-to-end encryption for safe and private messaging.
The Messages for Mac Beta was first released in February to test the new service and give users a preview of a major feature of Mountain Lion. It requires that users be running OS X 10.7.3 or later.
Apple announced on Monday that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will arrive in the Mac App Store in July. It will cost just $19.99 for those upgrading from OS X 10.7 Lion. Apple also provided developers with the fourth Developer Preview of Mountain Lion this week.