Just last week, Apple unveiled its newest version of OSX, Mountain Lion, following it with a developer preview. It is no coincidence that Mountain Lion’s preview comes so closely to the expected Windows 8 Consumer Preview launch, but what is a little strange is it seems roles have reversed a little this time around: Apple is borrowing pages out of Microsoft’s playbook?
I am not saying that Mountain Lion is in any way a ‘copy’ of Windows 8, and I am fairly certain it will still have its own style and flair that sets it apart. There just seems to be a few changes that seem awfully familiar to what we are seeing with Windows 8.
Is this Apple copying Microsoft’s strategy, or simply that Microsoft’s strategy is so Apple-like with Windows 8 that it was inevitable the strategies would look similar?
With Mountain Lion we finally see the end of “Mac OS X”. In order to further distinguish its operating systems (iOS and OSX) from the hardware component (iPad/iPhone/Mac), the ‘Mac’ moniker has officially been dropped and now the OS is simply OSX.
This is pretty consistent with Apple’s overall strategy to unify its products, something it was doing long before Microsoft, I suppose.
With Windows 8 you have one OS to rule them all, not just on the PC and tablet, but if rumors serve true maybe even in the next-gen Xbox.
With 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple is bringing OSX and iOS even closer together. OSX Messages is arriving and overall the feel of OSX is starting to seem even more iOS-like, including a new notifications area. Still, they do remain two somewhat distinct operating systems.
There are still many out there that aren’t certain whether it is a good idea to have one OS for multiple platforms, but it seems clear that the computing world is moving in that direction.
Honestly, I think it is a good thing. First off, PC operating systems will start reducing the amount of bloated code in order to make them run effectively on both mobile and non-mobile platforms, and processor speeds on mobile devices will likely continue to evolve and get faster to help keep this performance gap as small as possible.
So is Apple copying Microsoft? Not at all, I just think that the industry is moving to a new level of convergence. Where will this end? Likely with many devices we know and love today going instinct and folding into other technologies.
I have no doubt that sometime in the not-too-distant future technologies like television, computers, smartphones, and game systems will look awfully similar and will likely be running the same base technologies. Who will be the big companies running the shots by the time this comes around? That’s harder to say.
I really think late-2012 is the beginning of many great changes in several different technology sectors. We will have Apple’s Mountain Lion sometime this summer, Windows 8 near the holiday season, Nintendo’s next-gen console Wii U late this year, and maybe even a next-gen announcement for the new Xbox this summer, too. Technology moves so quickly, sometimes it seems a little hard to keep up.
What do you think of the idea of many of these technologies converging? Is it something that is coming quickly or are we still a long way away from such a future?