Apple Not Resting on Its Mac OS X Laurels
by Derrick Story
Apple's World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, CA is showing the muscle of Unix and the flair of Apple innovation.
Last year, the call to developers was to support the new operating system by developing OS X apps as quickly as possible. At times, the tone of the conference had even bordered on threatening, as crystallized by Steve Jobs saying, "The train has left the station."
This year's tone is much different. Now that Apple has managed to ship Mac OS X 10.1, iPhoto, the iPod, and some great new computers, they've been able to take a deep breath and begin a new phase of refinement and innovation.
During the opening keynote at this year's WWDC, developers were granted a peek into the new world of Mac OS X . The goal of the presentation is to provide developers enough time to create third-party applications that take advantage of the OS's new features. So when Jaguar hits the streets late this summer, the new apps that really show it off are there too. Apple seems willing to endure the headache of information control in order to move Mac OS X forward at unprecedented speed.
There's plenty of new functionality built into Jaguar (the code name for the next version of Mac OS X). Here are a few broad brush strokes.
- Mac OS X will continue to be standards-based.
- Your Mac OS X client will interact better in Windows environments.
- The digital hub is for real and improving.
- Networking will be better than ever.
- Apple will continue to develop new applications as well as improve its operating system and building great hardware.
- If you ever had any doubts about the future of Mac OS X, Jaguar will melt those doubts like snow on a hot griddle.
As I sat through the keynote, and the first overview session on Jaguar, one thought kept nagging me. "How did the rest of the computing world let Apple capitalize on desktop Unix first?" Was everyone else sleeping?
Not sleeping but in denial
When you read on Linux on the desktop, most pundits, companies say that LINUX (= the fastest developping Unix) is for servers. They also say that Linux is primarily for the X86 patform.
I think desktop Unix wasn't done anywhere else because the people that used and developed Unix were happy with the command line on the desktop.
NextStep/OpenStep (from NeXT) was "Mac OS X" of the 90's
"As I sat through the keynote, and the first overview session on Jaguar, one thought kept nagging me. "How did the rest of the computing world let Apple capitalize on desktop Unix first?" Was everyone else sleeping? "
Back to the future...
Having a UNIX based OS pushing the edges of the GUI is in some ways a return to the 80's and the excitement over X.