Yesterday I ran a piece on the history of OS X names, and I mentioned that I felt that Lion would be the end of Apple’s nearly ten-year-old operating system. You just can’t really come up with a bigger cat name for another version (although I suggested on Twitter it might be”Mac OS 10.8 Mr. Fluffy Paws” if they wanted to switch to using house cat names), and with the tag of being a decade old, it really seems like it is time to finally progress on to Mac OS XI.
The big question, however, was if there was any evidence in yesterday’s press conference to back up such a claim, and I would have to answer you with a resounding “yes”.
With the concept of the circular nature of their products that Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced yesterday, and the idea that Macs will be getting their own App Store within the next 90 days, it is pretty clear that we will be moving to some form of hybrid operating system in the future. With that said, it’s hard to say how far the idea will go as Mr. Jobs made it abundantly clear that he was not in favor of a touchscreen interface for the Mac laptops, and, by extension, you would assume he would have the same feelings about it for the iMac. Although this still doesn’t totally rule out the rumors we’ve heard of an iMac Touch, even if the suppliers are denying they exist.
So, the question becomes, just how much will they mix together the Mac OS and iOS concepts? The LaunchPad addition to the Mac operating system is a pretty bold move towards a merging of the designs, so could we see Mac OS XI completely dump the dock and go screens full of apps/programs that you swipe through like you do with iOS devices? If you think about it, however, the “i” devices do have a dock of their own already where you keep your most used apps, so it isn’t crazy to think that the Dock would remain. That leaves us with the idea that all apps and programs would go to a home page style architecture, but then that leaves you with the question of having multiple screens open at one time as most people do currently with computers. Gee, guess they kind of answered that with the new Mission Control feature, didn’t they?
Between the new features of LaunchPad and Mission Control, we’ve moved quite a distance into the hybrid OS concept, but something tells me that we aren’t done yet. The iOS devices have breathed new life into the company, and if a non-Mac user could sit down at an Apple computer and feel like they are already at least passingly familiar with the interface, it could go a long way to increasing Apple’s market share which has already grown to a healthy 20.7 percent. If they can begin converting even more of these iPod Touch/iPad/iPhone fans into Mac users, who knows what sort of heights the Mac market share could climb to.
What say you? Is Apple heading towards an even more hybrid OS than we were showed yesterday?