What’s Next for Mac OS X?
With all the hubub about Apple's influence in the cell phone and tablet/netbook industry, one platform hasn't received much spotlight recently—Mac OS X.
The operating system that started it all has taken the backseat in the last couple of months. Sure, the iPhone OS has been expanded to other devices like the iPad, but nevertheless it's still a stripped down version of Mac OS X. Ever since the release of Snow Leopard back in August, nothing new or exciting has come out of Apple's headquarters regarding the operating system.
Seeing as how Snow Leopard has had very few updates (it's on 10.6.2 as of this writing) it is rumored that 10.7 will be debuted at WWDC 2010, but it's possible we're going to have to wait one more year until the release of Mac OS X 10.7. If history repeats itself.
Hardware cuts are going to be prominent. Obviously, Apple will cut support on some Macs in 10.7. With PowerPC processors getting the boot on 10.6, we can expect Core Solo/Duo and 32-bit processors to lose support on 10.7.
For small features, I'm hoping Apple will implement something similar to TotalFinder and speed up Safari (can't blame everything on Adobe, Steve!), as well as new features to iChat, Mail, and other standard applications.
But the big, revolutionary features are what makes the Apple community excited about a Mac OS release. There are several possibilities Apple could venture with operating systems on laptops and desktops:
-Apple could implement a Mac OS X App Store similar to the iPhone. It would have relaxed restrictions in comparison to the iPhone's current store, and Software Update will be integrated with the App Store.
-Apple could create a cloud-based operating system, like what Google is intending to do with Chrome. Given that Google has entered Apple's turf with Android, Apple could retaliate by creating a cloud-based OS, possibly integrated with MobileMe or a new service.
-With the focus on mobile computing, Apple could release a server-like OS to the general consumer. As long as the computer is constantly running, an iPhone or iPad could access the Mac's files. Rather than storing data on Apple's servers, users would be storing files on their Macs instead, and accessing them from another Mac, a PC, iPhone, or iPad.
Anything is possible for Mac OS X 10.7, but the only thing we can do is wait. What are your thoughts?