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?


2002-05-07 01:47:20
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.

Given the improvemnents in KDE, GNOME, MOZILLA, OpenOffice as highlights, given the uptake of Linux on the Mainframe and empbedded systems. The world is changing against the nay-sayers.

Apple proves two things, it does not all happen on the server and the desktop is where it also happens. Great stuff

PS I too am thinking on bying an OS-X system in stead of a x86. Because the things that happen are the good stuff that helps computing forward.

2002-05-07 11:48:32
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.

I also think there was a fear of breaking standards. Unix /was/ the command line. Efforts to change that were splintered and resulted in a self-fulfilling prophesy: they were non-standard.

What we now consider a no-brainer actually took a visionary to deliver: using an operating system that was once used exclusively for applications like controlling radio-telescopes to be used on the desktop, seeing what features were required to get it there, and pushing this system in a single, coherent way. Linux on the server got there by accident. OS X on the desktop was a very deliberate action, and a world of difference away.

2002-05-08 22:36:44
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? "

...everyone in UNIX world (IBM. SUN, HP, OSF (you've got an idea)) has been "sleeping" for quite a long time, in that case, as Next Computer (then renamed NeXT Software) had been working very hard to bring Unix to the desktop via its great technologies, so little apparently known by now, like Display PostScript, AppKit etc.
If it was not NeXT alone working on that for almost 10 (TEN!) years, we would not be talking about the greatness of Mac OS X NOW.
Who forget past does not have a future.

2002-05-09 10:52:52
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.

WHen I came to computing then, the exciting visuals where all on SUN and SGI Systems, which the PC world still stuck in DOS.

Apple pushed the GUI, but UNIX boxes where integrating the new-hardware that their then fast boxes could run.. A case in point was CD-ROM.

Sadly, though the UNIX world's habit of fragmenting affected X as well, with SGI focusing on 3D, SUN on OpenView and the rst on Motif. UNIX GUI development became a matter of conformance and not innovation.

Thanks to Apple for pushing the client-side forward again.