Here's something you don't see every day: Apple
There was no big gathering or press event -- just a press release and a new page on its website that details some of the new features to expect, while a preview was released to its army of developers. The next version will be 10.8 and follows the feline nomenclature with "Mountain Lion."
Back to the Mac
In comparison, when Apple unveiled OS X 10.7 Lion, it hosted a small "Back to the Mac" event to show off all the new features. At the end of the presentation, Steve Jobs' customary "one more thing" was the redesigned MacBook Airs, which have promptly taken off in popularity, leading Intel
Source: Apple press release.
Lion brought a lot of the features of iOS back to the Mac, and Mountain Lion continues that trend even further. Cupertino is adding yet more characteristics of iOS, like iMessage, AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center, and Notification Center, into OS X. The company is also introducing a new feature called GateKeeper, which is being presented as a security feature. It allows you to block installation of apps outside its Mac App Store, which not so subtly encourages you to shop for software in Apple's 30%-cut environment.
Another thing that stood out was that Apple highlighted new features specifically geared for China, including built-in integration with popular Chinese Internet services such as Baidu, Youku, Tudou, and SINA's Twitter-esque Weibo. Still need more evidence of the region's importance and growth potential? I don't.
A few words, Mr. Cook?
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, CEO Tim Cook said, "We see that people are in love with a lot of the apps and functionality [in the iPhone]. So, anywhere where it makes sense, we are going to move that over to Mac." He also said he already considers iOS and OS X effectively unified but that each has "incremental functionality."
He was asked about the possibility of having iDevices and Macs all running on the same processors, which is a clear reference to the rumblings that Apple has considered putting its custom-designed ARM Holdings-based chips into Macs, although it doesn't seem likely any time soon (as Intel breathes a sigh of relief). Cook simply responded: "We think about everything. We don't close things off."
On the other hand, he virtually confirmed that Siri will make its way to the Mac, as he smiled and deflected the question. The possible inclusion of Siri in all future Apple devices could potentially be a boon to Nuance Communications
Everyone's doing it
There really aren't any revolutionary new perks or game changers, but rather a continuation of the evolutionary trend that Lion started with the convergence of operating systems. Desktop and mobile operating systems are quickly heading toward the same destination, and while Apple may have started the movement with Lion, it's not alone.
What we're seeing is a major convergence of operating systems being pursued by the three biggest players that define the vast majority of our computing experiences. That's a massive shift, and it's one that investors won't want to miss out on. The mobile revolution is set to become The Next Trillion-Dollar Revolution, and The Motley Fool has just released a new special free report on one company that will help power the revolution, while also banking on China's explosive growth. Get the free report now.