Apple’s Abdication and the Imminent Death of OSX.

After all the time, money, and momentum put into years of “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ads, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave nothing short of a concession speech on Wednesday.

Cook’s comments (wrapped around his iPad introduction) are an acknowledgement that Apple has all but given up on servers…and desktops….and soon notebooks. Interesting counterpoint to my recent post on the “Post PC Era.”

Now, Apple compares Apples to Oranges (yuk yuk) by saying that this new-form technology is in the same market as traditional notebook and desktop PCs. It isn’t.  The vast majority of people creating stuff…writing, coding, shooting video, running Quickbooks…are doing so on desktop and notebook computers. Yes, lots of creative-types love their Mac OS notebooks…but Apple’s roadmap for those devices is to make them more like the iOS that runs on iPhones and iPads….the one-thing-at-a-time iOS that runs on iPads and iPhones. The everything-you-want-to-do-requires-touch iOS that runs on iPads and iPhones.

Your new computer. Because you can’t handle more than one thing at a time. You’re welcome.

The first step in this dumbing-down is OSX Lion. With its “simple” interface and introduction of the OSX App Store, this is  part of the roadmap. As Devin Coldewey wrote, “The features added have become increasingly imitative, restrictive, and questionable from a user-experience point of view.”

These features make easy things easier and difficult things impossible. It’s not a problem if you want to install Quickbooks on a single system and run it only on that computer. It is a problem if a network administrator wants to run Quickbooks Enterprise from a server, as in most cases file formats and features are different between Windows and Mac versions of the same program. It’s a problem when you want to do things like connecting to a standard corporate Virtual Private Network, a feature that seems to work in even-numbered version of Mac OS but stops working in odd-numbered versions (without any real ways to fix).

As much as I’ve like Mac OS and recommended it to people, and as much as I like my iPhone, they are not the same and it’s nonsense to try to apply iOS (which is a very good phone/tablet/touch OS) concepts to a desktop or notebook PC.

It was just as ugly when Microsoft tried to apply their desktop concepts to the phone/tablet/touch OS space.

Remember these? Widows Mobile with the “Start” button. Sorry. We’re trying to forget too.

Bottom line: Given Apple’s development strategy and recent developments, I wouldn’t trust that the Mac OS that we’ve known and loved for years will continue to be a useful desktop & notebook operating system in the long run. Good thing you can load Windows on them…

Yes! A real desktop/notebook system! Oh, Metro. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea after all…


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