Is this not a website for PC enthusiasts who care about Windows and about gaming and modifications to their computers?· Yes, yes it is. But there are several reasons why the PC world should look towards Lion as a way that the entire PC world may end up going.
The latest version of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system shipped earlier this week. Among Apple fan boys, like myself, it is referred to as Lion, but is also known as 10.7. It has launched to mixed reviews; some people seem to really enjoy it, while others seem to believe that it is a step backwards in OS development. Some people have even gone as far to say that this version of the operating system is the Apple equivalent of Vista. Those are some harsh words.
Article by: Chad Kirchner
I am admitted drinker of the Steve Jobs magic Kool-Aid. I am CompTIA A+ certified and an Apple Certified Support Professional. I presently work in technology retail sales. I am a fan of all things technology and wish to bring my insight, perspective, and analysis to the world of technology. You can visit me on the web (under construction) at http://www.chadkirchner.com or follow me on Twitter @chadkirchner.
The Mac App Store
The Mac App Store is not a new feature of Lion, but has been around for a few months. However, the Mac App Store is an extremely important development in the computer world, and a change from the status quo that has existed for decades.
When you purchase an app in the Mac App Store, you can immediately download it. There are no product keys to keep track of, because Apple keeps track of the licensing for you. You can install the software as many times as you would like, across as many computers as you would like (as long as they are all linked to your Apple ID), and the Mac App Store program also makes sure your software is up-to-date. If you ever have to reformat your hard disk drive, reinstalling software is a breeze. Just access the Purchased tab at the top and you are on your way to reinstalling every piece of software you own with a single click.
Many Mac users have wildly adopted the Mac App Store, and developers enjoy the ease of distributing their software (even if Apple claims their 30% commission). I do very well see Microsoft doing something like this in the future, because everyone seems to benefit. One of the many complaints about Apple is their closed ecosystem, but from the average consumer’s perspective, a closed ecosystem does generate a better user experience, which should put us enthusiasts on notice for the way things are going.
Launchpad is iOS meets the desktop, and quite honestly, I do not see the point. I am not using the multi-touch gestures (at least not yet), but the Launchpad does definitely resemble the iPhone and iPad interface. Apple does seem to want to simulate iOS across all of their platforms. Why does it matter to you? Well Windows 8 will have a start screen (that can be disabled) that does resemble the Windows Phone 7 interface.
Inexpensive Price Point
This is where Microsoft should take notice. The differences between Apple and Microsoft are huge, however the major one that should be noted is that Apple is a hardware company, whereas Microsoft is a software company. This is why I think Microsoft will adopt some sort of App Store in the future. Since Apple takes 30% of the revenue of every app sold in the App Store, they can do things like offer Lion for an extremely low price of $29.99. When there was speculation on the price, I actually firmly believed that the software would basically be free since they make so much money on the apps and the hardware.
If Microsoft wants a strong home consumer adoption of Windows 8, they will have to offer the software at a lower price than they are even offering it for now. Most people do not get a new operating system for their machine until they purchase a new computer. On the Mac side of things, the newest operating systems are often widely adopted by users. Running the latest operating systems has more benefits than just making Microsoft and Apple more money; they provide the latest security updates and the best-optimized code and new features. Legacy support will always be an issue with Microsoft software, but a lower price point will definitely encourage people who would not normally upgrade to upgrade.
Most of you probably still do not care about Mac OS X but with seeing some of the early news about Windows 8 it is clear that Microsoft (at least in some respects) is attempting to mimic the Apple model. And it is definitely a good model to follow (in many cases).
Hopefully the PC community will place pressure on Microsoft to offer Windows 8 (at least the home and enthusiast version) at a price point that will encourage people to upgrade. Also, the community needs to place pressure on Microsoft to make sure that their “interface enhancements” are something that can also be disabled for the people who are used to how things are. With Mac OS X, if you do not want to use Launchpad and the App Store, you do not have to, but that is not to say that at some point in the no-to-distant future you will be forced to use them.
There has to be a Windows App Store at some point in the future; I believe it is a great way for Microsoft to increase the revenue that they have (which is not to say that they do not make money, they make loads of it), but something like that would benefit consumers as well as the shareholders. It will increase the barrier of entry for someone wanting to write a software program for Windows, but there are also some great benefits by paying the developer fee and having Apple (or Microsoft) to host the software for you.
The future is coming quickly, and there are going to be significant changes to computer operating systems in the not-to-distant future. Both Mac OS and Windows are very mature systems, so UI changes and enhancements are going to be the only real way to differentiate the systems from each other, and also encourage users to upgrade.