TWENTY SIX YEARS AGO Microsoft launched a GUI for its disk operating system (DOS) called Windows. Now, more than a quarter of a century later, Cupertino's photocopiers have finally warmed up, allowing the company to copy this Microsoft feature in its Lion-themed OS. We were playing with our Android phones during the keynote, so we weren't listening closely, but we're sure Jobs called this feature "magical" and "life changing" and, although we were playing our free copy of Angry Birds, we got the distinct impression that Jobs also implied it will get you laid.
OS X Lion also adds some other groundbreaking features, like disabling support for apps coded for the PowerPC Macs of old and introducing a new scrolling system that makes no sense at all. The company has also 86'd Front Row, leaving some users yearning for a Windows Media Centre PC. This comes at a time when professional video editors are all wondering why their new version of Final Cut Pro can no longer access the cinematic projects that they've toiled over for months or years.
Additional innovative features in Apple's Mac OS X 10.7 Lion include an ability to see all your apps in one place, something Microsoft did decades ago with Program Manager, and later, the Start menu. Apple also now has something called "Mission Control", which it's so very proud of, and it allows you to access running programs, much like Task Manager under Windows, and see open documents and web pages.
Apple has also given sharing files a makeover. Now, it's possible to share documents with other Apple users through something called Air Drop. To do this, find someone else in your vicinity, then drop that file called "naked fun times and happylulz" onto their name. Soon, they'll have your .sit file with that Macdefender payload and your credit card information will propagate widely. Hurrah!
Apple has also put the Mac App Store in a new, prominent position. This is great for Apple, because it has finally managed to con users into accepting that it controls all app stores they will ever use. This means it can deny access to apps it doesn't approve of whilst creaming off a juicy 30 per cent cut of the rest for itself. It's inspired marketing by total control. And what's more, when it introduces a system that locks software apps to one computer, no one will be able to do anything about it.
Apple's Mac OS X Lion costs £20.99 and is available via the Mac store. Apple also intends to make it available for sale to its fanbois on USB sticks, which is a feature Microsoft pioneered decades ago.
Apple is catching up with Mac OS X though, however slowly. µ
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