Apple parades its Mountain Lion

Well, now we know what the next release of OS X will look like. Apple has officially lifted the curtain over OS X Mountain Lion, putting up a sneak preview subsite, rolling out a developer preview, and giving journalists first dibs on the new software.

The guys at The Verge whipped up a nice hands-on piece. From the looks of it, Mountain Lion is merely an evolutionary step up from last year’s release, Lion, but it goes further along the same path—namely, bringing in features from iOS to make Apple’s desktop and handheld experiences more consistent.

The latest iOS hand-me-downs include Notification Center, iMessage, Game Center, Notes, Reminders, and OS-wide Twitter integration. Behind the scenes, Mountain Lion also borrows iOS’s walled garden approach to third-party software. There’s now a system preference to disallow apps not downloaded from the Mac App Store. Aside from that, Mountain Lion still looks like the same old OS X, with the dock at the bottom, menu bar at the top, and stoplight buttons at the top left of windows.

It’s interesting to see how differently OS X and Windows are evolving. Apple and Microsoft are obviously trying to blend their desktop and handheld experiences. Apple is taking a best-of-both-worlds approach, making OS X more like iOS without fundamentally changing its identity. Meanwhile, Microsoft is taking the opposite approach with Windows 8, offering clean-slate and legacy experiences side by side.

Starting with a clean slate is nice for sure, and I really believe Metro will make computers easier to use for non-techies. As a power user, though, I think there’s something to be said for the slow, gradual, and non-disruptive renovations OS X is undergoing.

Comments closed
    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 8 years ago

    Still no new file system or ZFS. I’ve worked with macs before and until they get rid of HFS+ there’s no way in hell I’ll do any in depth work on one again.

    I also despise the Finder. Strangely enough I felt the NeXt got damn near everything right UI wise (if a tad too 2D for this day and age but only a tad).

    The focus on games is interesting – not something they really valued before. It looks like the most palatable version of OS X so far so that’s nice. I’ll probably talk my mac friends and my mom into getting it/buy it for her. No way I’m installing it though.

    Reminders, Notes, and Notification look well laid out and seem to be practically genius. There should be something that easy and simple on every OS.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    If anything, this makes me appreciate Ubuntu 11.10 a bit more.

    • sdghjyukty
    • 8 years ago
    • Corrado
    • 8 years ago

    If you use VMWare Fusion DO NOT install the dev preview. VMWare summarily refuses to start because ‘It was not written for this version of OS X’. I’m sitting at my office since 4am this morning doing maintenance because when I went to start up my VM to do it, I was greeted with the previous message. And Parallels works fine… but won’t convert the Fusion VM, and Virtual Box refuses to even acknowledge Fusion VMs.

      • aceuk
      • 8 years ago

      To get 10.8 working in VMware Fusion 4 see this website…

      [url<]http://www.robservatory.com/?p=809[/url<]

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    I’m a Mac guy and I wasn’t in favor of the direction that Lion took, seeing that it’s going further down this path disappoints me even further. I’ve learned that with so many things I actually want to do with a computer (which isn’t really that much, mostly web browsing, multimedia consumption and gaming) I have much more control and freedom over those activities in Windows than i do on a Mac. Even the few great games that are able to be played on a Mac have certainly never been optimized for it (starcraft 2 is a prime example). Add in the lackluster hardware for the price and I’m beginning to realize that the only reason I still own a Mac is because I’ve been locked into the ecosystem with iTunes and my iPhone and whatnot.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 8 years ago

      That doesn’t make sense to me – what does iOS support in OS X that it doesn’t on Windows? It’s been a while, but I thought iOS did a really good job linking up to GCal or Outlook just as well as iCal. i know OS X integration is smoother, but I’ve owned an iPhone since June of 2007 and haven’t noticed any big issues with binding it to my Mac or PC. And now with iCloud, I’m not sure that even matters anymore.

      Also, how do you have more control and freedom in Windows vs. OS X? I can see that angle from a hardware perspective, but software wise I don’t understand outside of gaming. And if you’re a gamer, then having a Mac as your only computer is a very expensive case of the wrong tool for the job. 🙂

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    You know, I’ve spent a good amount of time in three more-or-less walled gardens now – Google’s Android market, the Apple App Store, and Amazon’s App Store. The last two are far better off than the first one because they do police their apps and keep off malware. My understanding is that Microsoft’s Win Phone 7 store is the same way.

    If Google did that, then sure you could still allow loading apps from unknown sources, but if you had that disabled at all times then you’d be safe from stuff like this:

    [url<]http://www.geek.com/articles/news/mutating-malware-is-infesting-the-android-market-2012026/[/url<] [url<]http://thehackernews.com/2012/01/another-malware-from-android-market.html[/url<] [url<]http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/14/russian_sms_trojan/[/url<] Yes, they have finally started taking steps towards policing the market with existing apps, but they need to have a "check first and approve later" strategy.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Maybe its me but this sounds like a patch more than a new OS.

      • plasticplate
      • 8 years ago

      Its not just you 🙂

      • jdaven
      • 8 years ago

      Last OS upgrade costs $29. I’m guessing this one will too.

      Edit: By the way a little history. Windows 98 SE cost $209 retail, $109 upgrade from Win95 and $20 from Windows 98. The SE edition was definitely a patch.

        • bthylafh
        • 8 years ago

        It was a “patch”, but you still had to pay for the SE update; I think it was something like $20 for users of original 98.

        I didn’t buy it at the time because the only user-visible difference was IIRC “web folders”.

          • jdaven
          • 8 years ago

          Here’s another good one.

          MS started the Windows Anytime Upgrade program with Windows Vista/7: $80 for the Home Premium, $130 for Ultimate (it was less the first few months after release in order to get people to impulse buy). This fee wasn’t even to get a patched version of windows but to just unlock features in the same version of windows.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 8 years ago

      It’s an Apple thing. They call their Service Packs new OS’s and charge their users for them. At least now they’re not charging very much and doing it via account instead of per license like they used to.

      Don’t talk about Service Packs to Apple users. They might burst into tears.

      Then again, Microsoft lifted the Apple strategy when they renamed Vista SP3 to Windows 7 and charged for it. Perhaps that’s the future of updates. Another innovation to the software industry brought to you by your friends at Apple.

      How DO they come up with these fresh, bold, great new ideas?

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 8 years ago

        What features did Windows 7 SP1 add?

        Did Microsoft change how application states were preserved across concurrent accounts and power states to save on battery life? Did they add new multitasking UI paradigms? Did Microsoft roll out substantial improvements to the bundled application suites? Did they included the ability to restore and repair the OS install with nothing more than an internet connection? How about improvements to their near realtime, de-duplicated backup suite? Improved mutli-touch gesture support? Add an App store?

        …naw I’m kidding, Windows 7 SP1 was a roll up of security patches and added support for Intel’s AVX. But that’s the same thing as a feature delta that’s on par with that between Windows 7 versus Windows 8, right?

          • TakinYourPoints
          • 8 years ago

          The move from 10.3 to 10.4 alone was more substantial than the move from XP to Vista. I should know, I made both upgrades myself. The idea that OS X updates are similar to Windows service packs is asinine

    • Arag0n
    • 8 years ago

    Im not sure that a set of aps that are commonly bundled with Microsoft live essentials for windows classifies as OS update…..

    • tviceman
    • 8 years ago

    So Mac’s are going entirely to itunes based apps? How does this affect software bought elsewhere, like from a B&M store or steam?

      • blastdoor
      • 8 years ago

      No.

        • Kurlon
        • 8 years ago

        It’s the 2nd step in introducing the walled garden to the desktop. First they place the gate with the app store, now they’ve raised the walls half way up by default but give you an off switch. Expect the defaults to get stricter and the opt out routes to decrease with each further release.

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 8 years ago

          So? As someone who’s done desktop support in the past, I’d love it if MS did something like this with Windows 8. It’d sure cut down on the hideous volume of malware that users seem to just love installing (“but the internet said I had a virus so it must have been true!”).

          Argh.

          I think it’s funny that the same people who see it as a source of pride that they root their cellphones, build their own computers, and customize their OSs are also the ones complaining most loudly that a company (whose products they’d never buy anyway) would ask power users to possibly perform two mouse clicks to disable an unwanted feature. And then try and defend this position by calling upon a slippery slope fallacy as if Apple were some sinister cabal looking to banish freedom and choice from all of computing for eternity.

      • BestJinjo
      • 8 years ago

      I am amazed someone is smart enough in this thread to bring this up.

      Apple to block non-App Store games (and applications)
      [url<]http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/25985-apple-to-block-non-app-store-games[/url<] "While Apple will be bringing its gaming platform from iOS to OS-X, they will also apparently add a new security feature that is said to be called “Gatekeeper;” it will block games and applications by default that are obtained outside of Apple’s App Store offerings. This does not sound like the best of strategies to us when the platform is trying to attract developers to their platform." But you know what Apple fans will say, keeping the ecosystem closed is "better". So much for the idea that once you buy a computer, you can do whatever you want with it, right? Not with Apple. There is only 1 logical thing to do: Take advantage of sheeple by buying Apple shares and benefit while we still can before Apple makes the world "1984". Soon, they'll store all your iMessage history from your computer and know everything about your life based on what you do on the Apple iOS......and then convince you it's "better" for you.

        • Questar
        • 8 years ago

        What part of “by default” don’t you understand? The system is not closed, the user has the option to run non-signed software.

        Rather than paying attention to Fudzilla, you would be better off to read what Gatekeeper really is.

        [url<]http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-57379636-245/security-experts-apple-did-mac-os-x-gatekeeper-right/?tag=mncol;editorPicks[/url<]

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 8 years ago

        [quote=”BestJinjo”<] Soon, they'll store all your iMessage history from your computer and know everything about your life based on what you do on the Apple iOS......and then convince you it's "better" for you. [/quote<] Oh, you mean like Google already does (by default) with GTalk, Google+, Gmail and Android's location services? ...or is this new because OMGAPPLE?

        • TakinYourPoints
        • 8 years ago

        Incorrect.

        Regarding Gatekeeper’s default settings, any applications that are from the App Store or not sold in the App Store but signed with a developer certificate (the free one you get for registering with Apple) can be launched without any warning. If you want to launch an app that hasn’t been signed then you either get a UAC style warning, or you can just turn Gatekeeper off globally.

        [i<]Easy.[/i<] The entire point is that Apple wants to be able to blacklist developers who write malware. Mountain Lion does a check of that blacklist once a day. Without this security method, Apple can only blacklist app identifiers, which take 5 seconds to change, and even the malware can adapt to work around that (simply hijack safe identifiers). But there is no easy way for malware to hijack other developer's certificates because they are encrypted like any other security certificate is. In one fell swoop Apple gains control of easily blocking malware, all while making it brain-dead simple for developers since they can be whitelisted without even needing to release their software through the App Store. If a developer chooses not to get on the whitelist, they can still release their software and users (the same ones technically savvy enough to turn off Gatekeeper or manually dismiss it per application) can install it. App signing to protect users from malware is a great way to go to solve that problem. Some Linux distributions have been doing this for years already, and it is a good next step to push it to the developer level. It is a great approach, and I think it would be fantastic if Apple adopted it for iOS.

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]So Mac's are going entirely to itunes based apps?[/quote<] Nope. iTunes has nothing to do with it: "For maximum security, you can install and run only apps from the Mac App Store. You can choose to install and run apps from the Mac App Store and apps that have a Developer ID. Or you can install all apps from anywhere" Your question about Steam is a good one. Apple has built in a temporary override prompt so Valve may use that.

    • pedro
    • 8 years ago

    It’s got Twitter!

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      OS-wide Twitter integration is positively barf-worthy. The other features they’re adding look nice, though.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    MS intends for Windows 8 (NT 6.2) to be for mobile platforms.

    Windows 7 (NT 6.1) is going remain a desktop/workstation platform for several more years, until they make next major kernel change.

    They learn the hard way that businesses (their main market) don’t like to upgrade platforms like clockwork with the painful XP to 7/Vista transition.

    IMHO, Windows 8 = second coming of Windows ME.

      • flip-mode
      • 8 years ago

      IHMO? You just wait till Meadows sees that. Gonna be epic.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        It’s His Moronic Opinion.

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 8 years ago

          Not impressed.

          • Krogoth
          • 8 years ago

          Typos are SERIOUS BUSINESS!

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]MS intends for Windows 8 (NT 6.2) to be for mobile platforms.[/quote<] Not true. Microsoft is clearly moving full steam ahead with Windows desktop in Windows 8: "But if you do see value in the desktop experience—in precise control, in powerful windowing and file management, in compatibility with hundreds of thousands of existing programs and devices, in support of your business software, those capabilities are right at your fingertips as well. " [url<]http://goo.gl/NAV9R[/url<]

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        Clearly, you are out of touch with the current market.

        Average Joe isn’t getting desktops anymore. He is getting into mobile platforms. Apple and Microsoft are reacting to market demand which is why their next OS are built around mobile platforms.

        The difference is that Microsoft’s primary desktop customer (not mobile platforms) are businesses while Apple are the few average joes who still want desktops and video editing/desktop publishing houses. Apple’s big money makers are electronic gadgets and mobiles.

        Microsoft learn the hard way not to upset the needs of their business customers. They will most likely skip over Windows 8 in favor of their Windows 7 (most business by now have already just made the move from XP to 7) and they will wait until the next big kernel change.

        Windows 8 is just Windows 7 mobile 2.0 relabeled. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has rework a lackluster product and relabeled it the hope that it will fair better. (Vista => 7, MSN Search => Bing)

    • End User
    • 8 years ago

    It looks damn good.

    I find it Interesting that Microsoft is moving towards a one OS for all strategy while Apple is sticking with a dual OS strategy (while both iOS and OS X are based on the same core I view them as two disctint OS’s). Apple continues to embrace the classic desktop OS while Microsoft has turned its attention to Metro.

    Will Microsoft switch gears and match Apple’s yearly upgrade cycle?

      • Decelerate
      • 8 years ago

      I think Apple’s dual-OS is only temporary. Microsoft’s merging of Windows 8 is like smashing 2 meteorites on a head-on collision, while Apple does it at the pace of a critical surgery.

      Given the circumstances (Microsoft being way behind on mobile/tablet marketshare and ), I can’t exactly blame them for the current course of action.

        • blastdoor
        • 8 years ago

        I’m not so sure about the dual-OS strategy being temporary, at least when it comes to user-visible aspects of the OS. I suppose we could end up in a situation where you dock your iPad/iPhone via a thunderbolt cable to a monitor with keyboard+trackpad, and then the UI switches from iOS-like to OSX-like. But I doubt we’ll ever end up in a situation where you see a Finder window on an iPad.

        But in terms of core OS stuff, sure — it’s kinda the same OS now, and will probably become more so in the future.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          It’s temporary in that they’ll hold onto it until they’ve allowed OSX to die off. :p

          Apple obviously prefers pushing the iOS way of doing things to more people. There will undoubtedly be people using Mac Pros for professional video editing or whatever for years to come, but that’s a niche that they already have in the bag, not a market they can expand.

          Laptops are stagnating, and without price cuts to Macbooks, iPhones and iPads will quickly overtake them. We’re not going to see laptops in general do much of anything new until probably 2015, which will probably be too late to bother if they still want to keep their starting price at $999.

        • plasticplate
        • 8 years ago

        I still like the idea of switching GUI’s in Windows 8 tho. While i am not completely satisfied with the desktop UI in the developer preview, those small flaws could easily be fixed by MS. OSX is just not viable for me since most of the engg software i use is available only on windows. And i would like to have a centralized OS for all my devices. Better communication among devices and better standard support that way.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      HAHAHAHHAHHA

      NEWS FLASH AT 6: FANBOY THINKS NEW APPLE PRODUCT LOOKS “DAMN GOOD”

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 8 years ago

        For $29 it does look good. 🙂

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          why? cause you get a “notification centre”? or what about twitter access? A gatekeeper feature you’ll immediately turn off/never use? oh wow! game center! great! why? who cares? you don’t game on osx. why would you spend 29$ on this? i can see it from a general consumer perspective, but why as a power user would these features seem valuable to you. Not counting any new api’s etc, purely features, why is this worth 29$. are you THAT much of a twitter fiend?

            • End User
            • 8 years ago

            Game Centre. Wow. That alone is worth the price of admission. There are 100 million plus iPhone and iPad users out there. The ability to network game with them on a Mac is just awesome.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            are YOU going to actually play these games? I doubt it. you spend half your time talking about your windows gaming rig, you’re suddenly going to be addicted to angry birds on your desktop? i find that hard to believe…

            • End User
            • 8 years ago

            I play iOS games on my iPhone and iPad. I’d love to extend those games to both of my Macs.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            does the game center BRING iOS games to the mac, or is it just a communication/tracking feature like windows/xbox live? if it’s just windows live style connectivity, f that. that’s not worth anything. i’m sure the games could be made on mac already, so basically, you’re saying you would be happy to pay 29$ for windows/xbox live? that sounds crazy to me.

            • End User
            • 8 years ago

            Same game across Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

            My guess is that Apple will give Xcode the ability to build ARM/Intel apps so that iOS devs can easily bring their games to OS X.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 8 years ago

            I hear you can cross-platform network with other gamers on “steam”

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 8 years ago

            Notification center, AirPlay mirroring, and Messages mostly. That and the additional polish a new OS release brings. As was implied, is this was a typical Microsoftian $200+ for a full license, I’d be mehful about it. But I spend well more than $29 on lunches in a week, so Mountain Lion seems like a fantastic value.

            And if Lion is any indication, the features I end up loving aren’t the ones that Apple touts in the platform previews (like the ability to do an OS restore with nothing other than an internet connection).

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        I was leaning towards a quad core Sandy Bridge-E for my upcoming workstation build but I am inspired by how batsh*t crazy you are so I am going to go with the 6 core 3930K C2.

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          That’s what I’m here for

      • d0g_p00p
      • 8 years ago

      Apple will merge the iOS and OS X code base in the next couple of years so and apple hardware will run iOS, count on it

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        OS X and iOS already share the same code base.

          • Corrado
          • 8 years ago

          And they have since day 1. iOS uses the same Darwin kernel as OS X.

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