Mac OSX Lion feels like a hybrid OS, it’s iOS and OSX at the same time. With Apple leading the charge, the unified OS model supported by the AppStore distribution model looks to be the future. If functionality can be streamed directly to where it is needed, that revolutionises the prevalent distribution and support model. In the long run, the IT organisation structure as we know it today will become obsolete.
My experience with the upgrade and running OSX Lion is very positive so far. It feels stable, confident and trustworthy. The only surprise was that Java runtime wasn’t available right after the reboot. I had to google for a link to a separate download, I feel that was a little obnoxious of them. Other than that, I have a stable and fast OS. Since I removed Flash plugin, upgraded Skype, and now only rely on Google Chrome for flash functionality, I have a very good setup indeed. The fact that my esoteric collection of software runs so far without a glitch, without me having to tweak anything, suggests that OSX Lion builds on a solid and a stable API, most probably enabled by Snow Leopard.
It’s hard to imagine Apple maintaining OSX Desktop line and iOS in parallel, I reckon only iOS will ship in the future and the device where you run it will determine its runtime persona: mobile, desktop, server. For companies that cannot port their products to the new unified model, OSX Lion would become their Rosetta.
I’ve read a post on Windows 8 which indicated that Microsoft is already moving in that direction, a single unified OS for all platforms.
The implications of this change in the industry, lead by Apple, is that the AppStore model will become prevalent. When we reach that point, organisations with large IT teams dedicated to platform support will start looking derelict. Those would still remain the largest number, but they may find it really hard to remain competitive.
Why is it that Apple is seemingly succeeding with a vision that once was actually Microsoft’s pioneering idea: one platform for all your computing needs? They surely didn’t have more money or available potential talent than Microsoft.
Looking a little further, adding Facebook and Google to this mix, the battle for control of the consumer mindshare and purse (indirectly corporate mindshare and purse) is truly exciting. I think most of the mainstream press would have us believe in a zero sum game, which I think is just the same game really: seeking control of the mindshare. Analysing the full spectrum of all the tech titan battle grounds is beyond this posting. I’m only looking at the front where Apple is causing a storm in at the moment.
With all this going on, I have hard time engaging in debates about the definition of things like architecture, enterprise, business, any combination of those. I’m not sure what problem such debates will solve, especially when denial is ingrained in many contributions. I think the only viable debate to be had is the one about “the future of computing“, and that gets my attention.