Apple Releases OS X Mountain Lion

Apple released the next version of the Mac operating system today, calling it “Mountain Lion.” Their main goal in this iteration has been to evaluate applications and design concepts that have worked wonders on the iPad that lots of users might enjoy on the Mac. Some of the features include a Notification Center, Messaging application, Share buttons from the iPad, Reminders, Game Center, and (I’m pumped about this) AirPlay mirroring.

I’m all for OS X adopting more and more of iOS because it’s great for the user experience. However as a hacker it feels wrong to have a computer that is as locked down as iOS devices. But, Apple showed me that they are listening and still want to cater to developers when they announced GateKeeper.

I have a few friends who are switching to Unix instead of Mac OS X because of the direction it’s going. For me, it’s going to be all about how much Apple allows developers to innovate on their platform. We’ll see what happens, but GateKeeper is a very good sign.

The other notable news about this release is Apple’s marketing strategy. Normally Apple would hold a large, concert-like event where they have an extremely polished and rehearsed presentation and demonstration of their new products, tantamount to a rock show for nerds.

This time around, Apple is realizing that their showtime events should be used less often in order to maintain their effectiveness. They just used one to release iBooks2 and iBooks Author, but they’re not about to just put a press release online about one of their flagship products and not talk about it. It’s important that they help people understand their intentions and aspirations with this release, so they’ve been giving individual presentations for the last couple of weeks to a handful of tech journalists and bloggers in a one-on-one setting.

The most fascinating report of one of these experiences has been from John Gruber, here