• Mac OS X Lion Created To Lure Users of Microsoft Windows

    Normally, when Apple releases a new version of Mac OS X, there is enough new features and performance improvements that most users want to upgrade. Mac OS X Snow Leopard had very few new features, but had significant enough performance improvements and a sweet price tag of $29, which made it an obvious upgrade choice for those who had been using Mac OS X Leopard. But what about the upcoming version of Mac OS X Lion? It's not designed to encourage current Mac OS X users to upgrade, but rather designed to attract potential switchers from Windows to the Mac platform.

    There are millions of users of iOS, the software that drives the iPHone, iPad, and iPod touch. These users have become familiar with the sleek interface, the intuitive nature of the software, its ease of use, and its advantages over competition. But for whatever reason, a large percentage of those millions have not made the switch to the Mac platform. This has always baffled me. I have several family and friends who love the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but refuse to switch to the Mac because they mistakenly think it is too hard to use, doesn't work, or is all too foreign to them. Apple is planning on fixing those hangups with Mac OS X Lion, and I'm not all too happy about it.

    As if there weren't enough ways to get to applications in Mac OS X (Stacks, Finder, Spotlight, Command+tab) Apple is introducing another way to get to apps: Launchpad! It looks, feels, and behaves as the list of apps do on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. They are organized in a grid, just like on the i devices. Launchpad offers no advantages of managing apps that isn't already available in Snow Leopard.

    The reason Apple has developed Launchpad is to attract users who are familiar with iOS but have refused to consider switching to the Mac. "See, the Mac isn't as difficult to use as you thought. The apps can move, jiggle and gyrate just like on your iPhone and iPad!"

    Apps in Mac OS X have another iOS feature: the ability to run in full screen mode. Meh. Such a feature is nice for mobile devices when you have limited screen real-estate, But with a Mac, there is more than enough room to host multiple apps on the same screen. This is just another feature to give Mac OS X an iOS look and feel that potential switchers are already familiar with.

    The act of scrolling, scroll bars, preference tabs, and text in Mac OS X Lion all have an iOS feel to them. Not only that, but there are also some animations, pop-up windows, and status bars that have a Windows 7 look and feel to them, further attracting potential switchers.

    Why do I not like this? Because it feels like Apple is starting to design Mac OS X to appeal to Windows users instead of designing it for Mac OS X users. Instead of improving upon what Mac OS X already has to offer, Apple is merely adding pointless eye-candy to attract the typical Windows user. Apple seems to care more about possible users of Mac OS X than they do about current users of Mac OS X. In the case of Launchpad, giving users yet another way to manage apps is just plain stupid. Full screen mode? Who wants their Word document to fill a 27" screen?

    iOS is a great operating system, but it is designed for touchscreens on small mobile devices, not for notebooks or desktop computers. Mac OS X is designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, and adding iOS elements is silly.

    As a Mac user, I want my family and friends to switch to the Mac platform so they can have a better experience with their computer. But I don't want them lured to the platform because of pointless eye-candy or superfluous features. I'd rather have them switch because of the true advantages of the Mac and Mac OS X.

    Copyright © 2011 Nillabyte LLC.
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. Kyle Buckley's Avatar
      Kyle Buckley -
      I'm only marginally excited about Lion. There are some improvements to VoiceOVer, but I don't know if I would be willing to spend tons of cash to get the improvements. Snow Leopard is working fine for me. I think the only way I would consider upgrading is if the price will be the same as Snow Leopard.
    1. rayy's Avatar
      rayy -
      I agree that over all, Lion is more like a pussy cat. AirDrop kind of intrigues me though.
    1. George's Avatar
      George -
      Even AirDrop isn't appealing to me. Mac OS X already has tons of sharing features and it works fine for me.

      If Apple wants to attract Windows users to switch, they should make multiple versions of Lion and charge an enormous amount to get the full version. I hope Apple enjoys all the Windows users calling in for support asking where the control panel is.
    1. macelly's Avatar
      macelly -
      Quote From George View Post
      I hope Apple enjoys all the Windows users calling in for support asking where the control panel is.
      And asking where the blue E is that "opens" the internet.
    1. Piper J's Avatar
      Piper J -
      I recently looked at the list of new features of Lion. What a disappointment that the features they hype the most are useless to people who are already accustomed to Mac OS X.
    1. pinkyANDtheBRAIN's Avatar
      pinkyANDtheBRAIN -
      I remember how excited people had been for Tiger, Leopard and to a lesser extent, Snow Leopard. I know of no one who is excited for Lion. It seems that Apple has dropped the ball.
    1. timrichardson's Avatar
      timrichardson -
      Quote From pinkyANDtheBRAIN View Post
      I remember how excited people had been for Tiger, Leopard and to a lesser extent, Snow Leopard. I know of no one who is excited for Lion. It seems that Apple has dropped the ball.
      Well, I'm really looking forward to it. Snow Leopard was a lot of work under the hood, but not a lot of user-facing innovation. Lion is highly innovative. There are a ton of new features and new ways of doing things. And detailed reviews reveal that there a lot of opportunities to revert to more traditional behaviour. There is a reason why the iPad and the iPhone are so successful: they just work. That's was always the selling point of OS X anyway. Snow Leopard looks complicated compared to the iOS devices, so why not simplify? It's going to re-open the gap to Windows which Windows 7 closed substantially. I also note that the linux desktops are heading in the same direction.
      My main concern is that there's so much innovation in Lion, it may be better waiting until the first point release.
    1. macelly's Avatar
      macelly -
      Quote From timrichardson View Post
      Well, I'm really looking forward to it. Snow Leopard was a lot of work under the hood, but not a lot of user-facing innovation. Lion is highly innovative. There are a ton of new features and new ways of doing things. And detailed reviews reveal that there a lot of opportunities to revert to more traditional behaviour. There is a reason why the iPad and the iPhone are so successful: they just work. That's was always the selling point of OS X anyway. Snow Leopard looks complicated compared to the iOS devices, so why not simplify? It's going to re-open the gap to Windows which Windows 7 closed substantially. I also note that the linux desktops are heading in the same direction.
      My main concern is that there's so much innovation in Lion, it may be better waiting until the first point release.
      I'm glad you are excited about Lion, but what exactly is innovative about it? How is a new way of opening apps innovation? I'm sorry, but it seems like it is more like re-inventing the wheel when the wheel already works. UI changes are not innovative at all in my opinion, just eye-candy.
    1. Eric Clark's Avatar
      Eric Clark -
      Quote From timrichardson View Post
      There is a reason why the iPad and the iPhone are so successful: they just work. That's was always the selling point of OS X anyway. Snow Leopard looks complicated compared to the iOS devices, so why not simplify?
      Mac OS X doesn't need to be any more simplified because it is fine the way it is. As I stated in the article:
      iOS is a great operating system, but it is designed for touchscreens on small mobile devices, not for notebooks or desktop computers. Mac OS X is designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, and adding iOS elements is silly.
      I stand by that.
    1. fumoboy007's Avatar
      fumoboy007 -
      Just wait for June 6. Steve will reveal Apple's reasoning for this "iOS-ification" at that time.
    1. shawn of the dead's Avatar
      shawn of the dead -
      Quote From fumoboy007 View Post
      Just wait for June 6. Steve will reveal Apple's reasoning for this "iOS-ification" at that time.
      Huh?
    1. dogcutter's Avatar
      dogcutter -
      It's funny how many Apple fanboys there are here. Just curious, have any of you actually ever used Windows 7? Because, well at least for me anyway, it just works.

      And to those people saying "oh no they charge so much for the operating system", you do realize that Macs themselves are double the price of an equivalent Windows PC? I know you'll all probably say "Haha stupid Windows person, there's nothing equivelent to Mac." But I beg to differ and this is coming from someone who owns a Mac and an iPhone and think they're both great but Windows is just as good.

      Usually if they screw up its the hardware's fault not the software and that's usually because the person's bought the cheapest computer possible so it's they're own fault.

      I'm not trying to be a troll here but I'm just trying to get the truth out even though you'll just say it's lies. Now I think about you can probably compare Windows to the first amendment and Apple to a communist party or something out of a George Orwell book. Yes they might have good products but as a company I really do hate Apple and while I used to hate Microsoft they are getting better.

      That's all from me for now but seriously, next time you turn your computer on (I know your thinking "it's not computer, it's a Mac", you should probably look up the definition) do think about who's really more evil: Micro$oft or the poison Apple? And have you ever really used a Windows? They're no that bad.
    1. macelly's Avatar
      macelly -
      Quote From dogcutter View Post
      It's funny how many Apple fanboys there are here. Just curious, have any of you actually ever used Windows 7?
      Everyday at work.

      Quote From dogcutter View Post
      And to those people saying "oh no they charge so much for the operating system", you do realize that Macs themselves are double the price of an equivalent Windows PC?
      Source?


      Quote From dogcutter View Post
      I'm not trying to be a troll here
      That's good, but I must say that your post does sound quite bitter and indignant.
    1. rayy's Avatar
      rayy -
      Quote From dogcutter View Post
      It's funny how many Apple fanboys there are here. Just curious, have any of you actually ever used Windows 7?
      I used to all the time at work, but the computer admin there got sick of repeated BSOD hampering his job, so he had the department switch to Macs. Has made his job a lot easier.
    1. glorybean's Avatar
      glorybean -
      Quote From dogcutter View Post
      It's funny how many Apple fanboys there are here. Just curious, have any of you actually ever used Windows 7? Because, well at least for me . . . .<snip>
      Wow, did a wasp fly into your underwear or something?
    1. Daeruin's Avatar
      Daeruin -
      Launchpad is really enticing to me. It looks like it's going to make finding and accessing all my applications easier. Better organized and easier to find stuff than both Stacks and the Finder. Perhaps slower than Spotlight in some cases, but there are some times when Spotlight doesn't give me exactly what I want. Command + tab only works for currently open applications, and gets annoying when you have more than 6 apps open at a time. And no, I don't own an iPad or an iPhone. I have no investment whatsoever in iOS and could care less what Apple's agenda is on that front. But Launchpad really appeals to my sense of organization. I've never been fully satisfied with OS X's current ways of organizing applications.

      As for full screen, I ALWAYS wanted full screen on my Mac . . . until I got this monstrous 27" widescreen. Full screen apps aren't so useful anymore on a widescreen monitor. The nifty little app ShiftIt, on the other hand, is freaking awesome. The main reason I wanted full screen apps was to eliminate clutter. I don't like having a hundred windows sprawling all over the screen, overlapping and hiding each other. ShiftIt combined with Expose fixes all that.

      I'm excited about the four-corner window resizing ability. All the other little changes don't really interest me one way or the other.

      You have a point about iOS being designed for small touch screens, but on the other hand, Apple is continually trying to shift OS X closer towards touch and gesture controls. Case in point: Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, the continually enlarging touch pads on their line of laptops. My guess is that pretty soon there will be no keyboard, just a large touch surface with a backlit keyboard projected on it for typing. Perhaps little ridges to help your fingers find the keys. Just speculation on my part.

      Overall, I'm looking forward to Lion. I might not buy the first iteration, but it will definitely be on the agenda, as long as the price isn't too high.
    1. purpletatoe's Avatar
      purpletatoe -
      I agree. I love my macbook pro with snow leopard. I find it very user friendly and still powerful (I can run X11 programs and ssh into linux boxes to run programs remotely without having to install some emulator). The direction OS X seems to be headed in (to be more like iOS) is to cheapen it. I find iOS burdensome and borderline garbage. I see Apple's itouch, ipad, and iphones as toys and not productivity devices. If they turn Mac OS X into a toy as well I will be extremely disappointed. I hope they are aware of this and continue to innovate on the OS X side and push it over to iOS.
    1. magician13134's Avatar
      magician13134 -
      Quote From macelly View Post
      I'm glad you are excited about Lion, but what exactly is innovative about it? How is a new way of opening apps innovation? I'm sorry, but it seems like it is more like re-inventing the wheel when the wheel already works. UI changes are not innovative at all in my opinion, just eye-candy.
      I understand that this is your opinion, but I can honestly say that your opinion is wrong. How can I say that? You're picking and choosing your facts on which to report like a biased news station in election season. I count three things you listed as changes in OS X 10.7 (grouping "scrolling, scroll bars, preference tabs, and text" into one "eye-candy"). My opinion about these three is slightly different than yours:
      Launch Pad: I understand it may seem a little silly at first, but have you ever tried organizing your apps in Finder? It works great putting them in folders like "Media", "Games", "Office tools", until you come across a stubborn program (like VMWare Fusion to name one off the top of my head) which refuses to launch when placed in a location other than the applications directory. Launch Pad gives users a way to group, organize and otherwise manage their apps without ever moving the actual file from it's location in Finder. If you're more comfortable with Spotlight, Alfred, Finder, or Command + Tab, by all means, use them. I for one, have been using Launch Pad since DP1 and won't be switching anytime soon.
      Full screen: Your only rebuttal for this feature seems to be one example of a program which certainly appears to have been picked for no reason other than that it makes full screen seem useless. Microsoft Word is designed to be the size of a piece of paper, plain and simple. Fullscreen on Word will add very little, if anything at all, to the user experience. However, until you have tried running iPhoto, Garageband, Safari, etc. in full screen, I don't think it's fair to make an opinion about it. Those programs are a force to be reckoned with when running full screen. The extra pixels you get may not add that much of a difference from "maximized", but keeping focused on just one task is getting harder and harder and I, for one, think that full screen is a great way to stay on task and work more efficiently.
      Eye candy: Sure, maybe the eye candy doesn't add much to the overall experience... Oh wait... Yes it does. Look at Tiger, it looks so old and depreciated even though it was "state of the art", "bleeding edge" and probably "magical" as recently as 2007. Adding/upgrading eye candy is just about keeping up with the times. I hardly think a leather bound iCal, effects on popup windows or a slightly smaller close button will attract a single Windows 7 user. Those are there for us. The Mac users. The people who have used Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard (maybe even Panther or before for some) and will appreciated the subtle differences that show Apple is still trying to make our experience as good as possible.

      However, like I said, those are just my opinions. You had yours, those are mine. But your articles hinges on the fact that these are the only changes in OS X Lion and that couldn't be further from the truth. I've used all three Developer Previews (and still do on a daily basis) and I can say that there are a plethora of features that make Lion far more innovative than you would have us believe. What about Mission Control? This is the most innovative feature I have ever seen on any computer since I saw Exposé on my first PowerBook. What about the new dynamic Spaces control? I could be wrong about this since I don't use Linux often, but I don't believe ANY other operating system makes it so easy to add a new space/desktop/workspace; no settings, no menus, just click the plus button and you're in business. Likewise, they can be deleted with one click as well. What about Air Drop? Sharing files between two Mac users without MobileMe, IP addresses, iChat or third party software? Sign me up (actually, you don't have to sign up, it's built in). Versions? Autosaved copies of all of your documents every few minutes. I can't tell you how many times that would have saved me in college. Restore programs and windows after a reboot? New versions of all of their major software? Where were these features in your article? Don't get me wrong, I'm not happy with everything that Apple has done recently (Facetime, for instance, making me pay for video chat software when I would rather use iChat... That's low) but your article is based so loosely on fact that I felt I must give the other side of the story to allow readers to make up their own minds.

      Just my two cents.
    1. Eric Clark's Avatar
      Eric Clark -
      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      I understand that this is your opinion, but I can honestly say that your opinion is wrong.
      I could say the same thing about yours.

      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      How can I say that? You're picking and choosing your facts on which to report like a biased news station in election season.
      I have never claimed to be unbiased, nor will I ever.

      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      Launch Pad: I understand it may seem a little silly at first, but have you ever tried organizing your apps in Finder?
      Sure. Right-click on the app and Make Alias. The alias, or shortcut, could then be moved wherever you want and into whatever folder you want. But this became rather superfluous when Apple gave us the ability to launch apps via Spotlight. I have found it much faster to press Command+spacebar, type a few keys to bring up the app I need, then press enter. Way faster then clicking through folders with the mouse.

      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      . . . but keeping focused on just one task is getting harder and harder and I, for one, think that full screen is a great way to stay on task and work more efficiently.
      Some of us don't get distracted that easily. Plus, a big thing with computers is the ability to multitask. Several of us are using more than one app at a time while working on a project, we need to switch back and forth between apps to complete certain tasks for the projects. Full screen mode makes multi-tasking a pain in such situations.

      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      Eye candy: Sure, maybe the eye candy doesn't add much to the overall experience... Oh wait... Yes it does. . . . . . <snip>
      Look has nothing to do with function. Eye-candy is evolutionary, not revolutionary or innovative. The new UI elements in Lion have a look and feel of both Windows 7 and iOS, thus lending support to my theory that Apple is hoping Lion will attract Windows users who use the i devices.


      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      However, like I said, those are just my opinions. You had yours, those are mine. But your articles hinges on the fact that these are the only changes in OS X Lion
      No, the article presents a theory that Apple has designed Lion to attract Windows users who use Apple's i devices, it was not to offer a laundry list of new features of Lion. The title of the article presents the theory, the article presents the possible evidence.

      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      What about Mission Control? This is the most innovative feature I have ever seen on any computer since I saw Exposé on my first PowerBook.
      Mission Control is hardly innovated, it is Exposé repacked and with a new name.

      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      What about the new dynamic Spaces control?
      When compared to Spaces in Snow Leopard and Leopard, Spaces in Lion is crippled.

      Quote From magician13134 View Post
      What about Air Drop? Sharing files between two Mac users without MobileMe, IP addresses, iChat or third party software? Sign me up (actually, you don't have to sign up, it's built in).
      Mac Os X has had file sharing built in for a long while now. AirDrop is just another label to put on it.
    1. Daeruin's Avatar
      Daeruin -
      I agree with some of what magician13134 said, but not all of it. I don't want to get involved in your war of opinions, but I do have a few thoughts you may be interested in.

      Quote From Eric Clark View Post
      Sure. Right-click on the app and Make Alias. The alias, or shortcut, could then be moved wherever you want and into whatever folder you want. But this became rather superfluous when Apple gave us the ability to launch apps via Spotlight. I have found it much faster to press Command+spacebar, type a few keys to bring up the app I need, then press enter. Way faster then clicking through folders with the mouse.
      I tried using aliases and folders to organize apps once. I hated it. Very cumbersome to maintain over the long run. Spotlight works awesome, except the few times when it doesn't. I have well over a hundred apps, and sometimes I can't remember the exact name of an app, especially if I only use it every once in a while. In that case, it would be nice to have apps sorted in screens and folders based on my own way of organizing things, so I can find whatever I want with ease. Besides, that just appeals to my personal workflow anyway.

      Quote From Eric Clark View Post
      Some of us don't get distracted that easily. Plus, a big thing with computers is the ability to multitask. Several of us are using more than one app at a time while working on a project, we need to switch back and forth between apps to complete certain tasks for the projects. Full screen mode makes multi-tasking a pain in such situations.
      That's not an argument against full screen mode. Nobody is forcing you to use it. There are times when focusing on one app could be useful. Having the function available is a step forward for many people (even if it's not exactly innovative). But I do agree with your point for the most part. I used to love full screen mode in Windows, but I seldom find a use for it anymore on my huge 27" iMac. I still don't like to have tons of open windows cluttering up my screen, though. Which is why I find the little app ShiftIt so useful.


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