The Future of OS X

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by Apple2, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Apple2, Jan 30, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012

    Apple2 macrumors member

    Apple2

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    #1
    Not sure if this is in the right section. Mods, feel free to move at your discretion.

    There are many views on what the future of OS X will be. The goal of this thread is to contrast the two opinions, and then deduce what path Apple will likely take in the coming years.

    There are three groups of users: Professionals, users who know their way around a computer, and basic, home users. In the past, Apple has catered to the first two groups. While doing this, they also add little features that provide a gateway for the third group into the Mac world. Recently, however, Apple has begun to start aiming their products at the third group. With the introduction of the iPad, people wouldn't need to get a laptop. They could just have something simple, intuitive, and all around easy to use.

    However, Apple has always been known to focus on one or two things. With branches reaching into the consumer market some of the higher end products are starting to suffer. For example, the computers geared towards professionals and knowledgable users are being updated MUCH less frequently than those that novice users would be more likely to buy. And they are buying, as this chart illustrates

    [​IMG]
    (Macrumors, January 24 2012)

    As a whole, iOS devices are making over 7 times what Apple is making off of their Mac sales. Novice users make up about 85% of the iPad market*, about 45% of the iPhone market* (Which isn't really affected by this article, disregard it), and about 60% of the Mac market.

    *These figures are averages, and do not take into account people who use an iPad for presentations, etc.

    If we take all of this into account, serious users and professionals account for about

    5.6% or about 1/17th of Apple's entire market.

    If Apple 'dumbs down' their computer lineup, more novice users will buy computers, and more money for the company.

    Although professional users buy more expensive equipment, there are so many novice users that the sheer number of purchases dwarfs the income from a professional market. And discontinuing low-sales professional models would cut costs. (This has already been done with the Xserve!) Therefore Apple will make more money and more novice users will buy. Professionals will then switch to Windows, Linux, or Solaris.

    However, we have to look at the marketing trends here. We've got to realize that Microsoft and other PC companies copy EVERYTHING Apple does. For example:

    [​IMG]
    (microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/touch-mouse)

    The "Microsoft Touch Mouse" is basically a magic mouse with a plasticey surface and a Windows badge glued onto it. This happens with pretty much everything Apple does, from the iPad (Galaxy Tab) to the MBA (Ultrabooks). If Apple scraps the traditional operating system and goes to a more novice-friendly setup, then Microsoft will follow suit. Linux will likely do the same thing to increase compatibility. That only leaves Solaris for professional users. And quite honestly, THIS
    [​IMG]
    (Sun Microsystems server rack)

    is not what most users would want for a computer. We need to put our foot down! If this trend continues all professionals and serious users will be standing at a hot rack typing on a KVM (I already do, but that's a whole other story :p)

    In my opinion, Apple is disregarding it's professional users. I understand this. I own a tech manufacturing business and produce products that follow recent trends in technology. We need to cater to the demographic that can make us the most money. However, without a service that allows them to harness their potential, artists and professionals won't be able to produce their best work. My company has already prepared for OS X to go under, and have started purchasing thin clients and Solaris racks for our business. I for one don't want to go down this road, but we might not have a choice in the future.

    It's kind of hard to edit and publish an amazing photograph standing in a server room.

    Thanks for reading, and sorry about the wall of text. Just getting this out there because it is a VERY important issue, and needs to be brought to light. If we can convince Apple that pros and knowledgable users are still an important part of its user base, we might be able to stop this from happening.


    Thank you,

    :apple:2

    I hope I don't need to change my sig to :SOLARIS_SUN:2
     
  2. Apple2 thread starter macrumors member

    Apple2

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    #2
    Sorry, breaking this post into two so it doesn't get any longer than it is.

    Guys, please don't start a flame war. "APPLE WOULDN'T DO THAT!!!!!!1111" isn't a proper response. If that's your idea, give a reason why so we can discuss in a civilized manner. I've seen many threads like this get locked and deleted because of crap like this. Let's keep it civil so that everyone can use this information.
     
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #3
    You make some valid points, Apple will want to grab as much "New User" custom as they can....Ive recently updated all my stuff, so the upgrade path is a way's down the road for me yet.

    I'm pretty sure that Apple will maintain it's support for those of us who use the OSX platform professionally. At least I hope so, the prospect of a Solaris server on my desk is not a happy thought.
     
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #4
    Start your own blog. There's nothing new and therefore interesting about your thesis.
     
  5. Apple2 thread starter macrumors member

    Apple2

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    #5
    The point of the article isn't to share new ideas. I wrote the article so that more people would know about the contents, and possibly act to stop it. I know that the thesis statement isn't new, but believe that the more people hear about it, and the more they come to a realization (Solaris boxes on desk), the more they will be inspired to act.
     
  6. laudern macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    What is the point of this article? What would you like us to do to change what is happening??
     
  7. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #7
    You might want to check those numbers. For me, 40% of 14% are maybe 6% or so, but not 0.0056%

    Also, I think the basic assumption that Apple used to cater to Professionals and experienced users is wrong. Apple has a very small share of the business computer market, much less than the 10% they have reached now in the consumer market.
    Apple has always been about stuff being simple to use. This was not just the iPod, it's also deep in the roots of OSX.

    Finally, I'm sure that 25 years ago, "knowledgeable users" were wrinkling their noses about the new graphical user interfaces, and I'm sure many of those were concerned that Apple and Microsoft were "dumbing down" the operating systems to make them more appealing to novice users.
     
  8. MrAndy1369, Jan 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012

    MrAndy1369 Guest

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    #8
    I too wonder about the future of Mac OS X.

    On one hand, the writing is sort of on the wall - iOS features such as Launchpad, the new Airport Utility, the ubiquitous linen background, and other features are being ported to OSX. There are constant rumors of iOS and OSX having an estimated merger by 2016. That would mean two more OSX releases (OSX 10.8, 2013, and OSX 10.9, 2015 - based on the past release cycle of every two years). Ultimately, the writing on the wall is telling us Apple wants iOS and OSX to become one, and are actively making an effort to begin the transition now, which basically began with Leopard (several iOS-style interface bits, such as the updated dock matching the iPhone "dock" and the iPhone-like slider introduced in the Time Machine system preferences panel), a bit more in Snow Leopard (App Store), and accelerated with Lion. What this means for 10.8 is, based on the patterns observed so far, 10.8 would have even more iOS features (Siri? iMessages? Game Center/Newstand) ported over, and 10.9 might even allow "pure" iOS apps to run natively in OSX. Apple may come up with a new name for OSX 11, which by then would also be installed on iPads/iPhones/whatever iToy exists at the time. Modes would be utilized - different modes for different models, from iPods to full-featured Macs. Either OS11 would be locked down like iOS is now, or the iPhone/iPad modes would allow a full file system and more control - that's still something that has yet to be determined. Jailbreaking of Macs in 2016? I sure hope not. (All this are just my predictions/theories)

    On the other hand, we still have full control over OSX, and classic vestiges from System 1.0 in 1983 still remain in Lion, such as Finder - even with the "classic" icon used for so many years. Name any classic vestiges found in iOS. Also, developers need OSX to develop their programs. We may be heading into an era where touch is all the rage, but it's not practical nor convenient for everyday usage. We still need full-featured laptops and/or desktops. It could be possible Apple is experimenting right now with Lion and seeing how far they can go with the iOSification, and maybe by OSX 10.8, Apple will have received enough feedback to realize iOS isn't the direction people want OSX to be headed in, and will introduce more control to users and offer the best of both worlds (keep some popular iOS features many newcomers could use, but keep OSX as a full-featured system). Perhaps even integrating iOS/OSX isn't Apple's intention, and they are just trying to bring the best of iOS to OSX to make OSX user friendly? By OS11, Apple will keep it full featured and completely separate from iOS, and users would enjoy the continued access to full control. Apple can't be foolish, and while Pro users are a small base, they are necessary if we want to continue to develop revolutionary ideas and make movies, programs, etc. - without OSX and open source, that's gonna be impossible.

    Those are two possible scenarios that run off the top of my head ATM. I have no clue what the final outcome will be - and if Mac OSX is coming to an end. Some say Lion is the last Mac OSX version, and on Apple's website, "Mac" has been pruned from the OS X header pretty much everywhere. Is that a sign or some kind of hint? Kind of makes me sad all the uncertainty these days (Mac Pro? Optical drives going to stay? OSX/iOS going to be merged? OSX staying a full-featured, powerful system?), because I remember a few years ago wondering what OS11 would be like, and imagining it'd be a truly revolutionary OS that would introduce excellent new features and full control to users, while protecting them from any threats/viruses/whatnot... now, I'm just afraid it'll be a bigger iOS.

    My two cents.
     
  9. Gomff macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Microsoft won't follow suit and kill the operating system as we know it like you say, for the same reason that Apple is focusing on twitter and facebook users. For Microsoft, it's where the money is. Banks, Schools, Hospitals, Businesses and Industry all have embedded Windows infrastructure which has inherent revenue potential in upgrades and support. Even for creatives, you could argue that Adobe stuff runs more smoothly in Windows these days.

    Microsoft's hold on the PC market dwarfs Apple's. In fact, it's likely that this is a big reason why Apple is concentrating on iGadgets....As Steve Jobs said, the PC wars are over and Microsoft won (I'm paraphrasing but you get the idea).
     
  10. Simplicated macrumors 65816

    Simplicated

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    #10
    He said that in 1996.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #11
    Apple has long decided that the professional market where they once were so entrenched is not a segment they wish to continue to cater.

    Just look at how Aperture was changed to be more iPhoto adding more consumer features

    FCPX dropped required features for professionals in lou of consumer features.

    The Mac Pro the epitome of a professional machine. It has not been updated for an extended period, the prior refresh came after an extended delay as well. Rumors of apple's decision to kill the MP off now or after the this next refresh are abound the internet.

    One can question the wisdom of moving away from that sector, one thing is evident; however Apple is more focused on consumer products. This should not come as a surprise when apple changed their name from "pple Computer to Apple

    The future of OSX will follow this trend as well, we're already seeing some of the fruits of that change. That is the iPadification of OSX. While some of the features are nice or interesting the addition is not an aberration but a trend that we'll see in subsequent versions of OSX
     
  12. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

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    #12
    People don't like change. The more similarities the easy my life would be. I'm happy to embrace the way Apple is heading and to have the ultimate continuity between devices.

    This is just me though. I want to simplify my life as much as possible.
     
  13. Simplicated macrumors 65816

    Simplicated

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    #13
    ... To the detriment of features that give you fine-grained controls to suit your needs? The newly released AirPort Utility 6, Final Cut Pro X and Mac OS X Lion all prove Apple's shift in direction from being pro-friendly to thinking everyone is an idiot.
     
  14. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

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    #14
    So to Simplify something makes it for idiots? Blimey, your life isn't going to be pleasant for the foreseeable future.

    Good luck with that.
     
  15. Simplicated macrumors 65816

    Simplicated

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    #15
    Don't get me wrong, I am all for simplification of UI for mere users, but NOT at the expense of more advanced features.
     
  16. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #16
    I'm sorry, did you just lump the whole of "Linux" into some big monolithic entity ? Somehow, your lack of understanding of how exactly the open source community operates and what exactly is Linux leaves me questionning your entire post and paranoia.

    "Linux" isn't something that can "do the same", since Linux is not an entity. It's a kernel upon which many different groups build up many different systems. If one such group heads into the "novice-friendly" setup, other groups will fill the void for the rest of those who want a "traditional" operating system.

    ----------

    Then don't buy that. Last I checked, Solaris ran just fine on x86_64 boxes. Sun has been shipping Solaris for x86 since was it version 7 ?

    And why wouldn't you want Oracle hardware running on Sparc ? It used to be that "Professionals" didn't have Macs or PCs, they had specialized workstations running Unix (SGI O2s and Octanes running IRIX for graphical work, Sun Sparc or DEC Alpha workstations for scientific research and engineering, even HP PA-RISC desktops). Why not go back to those days ? That hardware was quite better than what we're left it today, as most of the world as embraced Windows.

    ----------



    Hum, I hate to break it to you, but even the old AirPort Utility did that. In fact, Apple's range of Airport products has always been dumbed down and unflexible.
     
  17. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #17
    I don't really understand the purpose of most of the jabber in the OP... but still this is a topic that I have often wondered about. One that gives me pause about the purchase of a new Mac with the fear that perhaps the very next OS release will be able to accomodate a touchscreen interface. I know Apple won't completely do away with the mouse/trackpad input (at least for 5-10 years), but still I would be frusterated if I purchase a Mac now, and next year it is released with a touchscreen in addition to the trackpad.. but that's beside the point.

    Ok so here's some more stats. OS X has been out for over a decade... PC market share is hovering around 6%. iOS has been on phones for less than 5 years... market share is somewhere around 30%. iOS has been on tablets for less than 2 years... market share is somewhere between 80-90%.

    Apple must realize that if their success is to continue it relies on iOS, or some derivative, not OS X. Hence the iOS-ification in Lion. But how will that trend continue?

    Is the answer a dual interface a-la windows 8? Will OS X simply continue as we know it, with optimization and iOS-ification a-la Lion? or what...?

    I think it's an exciting time to see what apple comes up with. It'll be interesting to see how windows 8 does also
     
  18. Apple2 thread starter macrumors member

    Apple2

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    #18
    Yeah, I did kind of oversimplify linux. I though solaris only ran on SPARC architectures? When I was referring to 'Linux', I mostly meant the big players: Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc...

    I'm not sure what we should do to stop the downfall. I've been using my Mac Pro vs my Sun rack cluster because I found it a powerful yet intuitive interface. Yes, I could do everything I do on my mac on my racks, but I prefer to feel more involved in the process. That's why I've used Apple, and I don't want to see the computer do everything, as is in iOS.

    Before you guys go off saying "You'd be more involved in the process on your sun racks!", what I mean is that I like to be able to SEE what I'm doing, vs just a kernel boot. It's a bit odd, but I'm a bit of an odd guy :p
     
  19. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

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    #19
    I expect any prolonged uncertainty will start costing them developers for both OS X and iOS. You cannot build software efficiently with touch interfaces and virtual keyboards*, and there's little profit in building software for an OS that'll slip away over the next few years.
    The big question is what sort of bones will Apple throw its professional/prosumer Mac base. If not many at all, then Apple's destined to become a phone company that makes all its own hardware and software.



    ----
    *Perhaps Apple will surprise us all with an outstanding, out of the box, efficient 'Xcode for iPad'? I doubt it. I don't think that can be done with current tech.
     
  20. KnightWRX, Jan 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012

    KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #20
    Why would RedHat re-enter the consumer market after leaving it ? Fedora is the consumer branch. Same for Novell's SuSE, they mostly moved to enterprise desktops/servers. Anyway, all those distributions are horrid and bloated, nothing like the real nice stuff that Arch Linux or Slackware provides.

    Ubuntu is but one player, and frankly, who cares if they move towards the "dumbed-down" (what's dumbed-down about a OS with a POSIX compliant bourne shell anyway ?), in fact, they already mostly did with Unity. Gnome has been dumbing down their stuff for the last 10 years too. The fact is, the rest of the community will still be there to give us the nice Enlightenments, KDEs, Xmonads and other great stuff.

    And again, what would be wrong with the Sparc architecture ?

    What can you do ? Buy Macs and use OS X. Provide Apple feedback. If there's enough of you (and me, I'm in it for the Unix!) out there, Apple will continue giving us a great Unix workstation like they have been for the last 10 years.

    That's why Sun has shipped an XDMCP enabled X display manager since... well forever. They had CDE before, they switched to Sun Java Desktop (a Gnome variant that's not dumbed down) in Solaris 10 I believe. You can get a graphical UI on your remote "rack" locally on your computer using Xceed, Xorg or any other XDMCP compatible X server.

    Of course, you can also run it locally on a beige box. Solaris has been shipping x86 binaries forever (Sun even provides AMD based workstations and servers, and support for x86 was in Solaris 2.1! ).
     
  21. tobychur macrumors newbie

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    #21
    40% of 14% is 5.6% for me too, where does 0.0056% come from?
    I don't experience Lion being dumbed down, almost the opposite with its comprehensive logs in the Console utility.
    What I do find is it's buggy (problems aplenty on the net); my (new) iMac has a conflict between Lion and (wait for it) iTunes.
     
  22. Apple2 thread starter macrumors member

    Apple2

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    #22
    Oops, my mistake. Thanks for clearing this up.
     
  23. tobychur macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Infuriating the way the decimal point hops 3 places, isn't it! I've done it too before now :)
    I wonder if you can help:
    Fast-click/release on the Apple-menu, it stays open.
    Slow it down, it closes on release.
    Question 1: why, when M$ see no need for this time-dependency?
    Question 2: how do I adjust this?
    Nb it's a shorter time in Mail, and an even shorter time in Syst Prefs > Show all (an undocumented feature, there are many)
     
  24. Apple2 thread starter macrumors member

    Apple2

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    #24
    Yeah, sorry about the decimal thing. Posted this late at night and might have not been doing my math clearly :p.

    Edited original post to correct.
     
  25. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #25
    Still wrong. 1/23rd = 4.3%
    5.6% is about 1/17th

    Where did you get the 60% novice users for Macs?
    A new mac user is not necessarily a computer novice - many are probably switching from a different OS, and at least some of those will fall into the Professional or at least "know their way around computers" category.

    I'm also usually confused by the definition of "Professional" when it comes to mac users. I would assume that this includes business users (i.e. bought by a company for use by employees) and users for which the Mac plays an important part in their daily work.

    Apples share of the server market seems to be tiny to non-existent. The clusters and super computers I come across at work all run some form of Unix. For me it's very comfortable accessing that stuff through the Terminal. As long as OSX doesn't drop the underlying Unix structure, I'm happy.
    I don't mind if they experiment with new (simpler) ways for the user to interact with the machine. I doubt that anyone here would prefer to go back to punch cards and floppy discs.
     

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