Hands on: Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview

Mac OS X Lion has been a long time coming. While Snow Leopard was released in the summer of 2009, only a year and a half ago, it came without any substantial new features. There was Exchange support, and a lot of features aimed at developers, as well as a generally more speedy operating system, but overall, it was a minor update for most of its users. Indeed, the last update that had a major impact on users of the Mac OS was Leopard, released way back on October 26, 2007.

With Mac OS X Lion, Apple has shifted their focus not only back to the Mac, but back to the consumer. The operating system is beginning to shape up as a major update to its predecessor, Snow Leopard, both under the hood and atop it. The UI is receiving major changes, from scrollbars to whole paradigms, and many included applications have either an updated UI, or an all new one.

Apple showed off some of Lion's features at its "Back to the Mac" press event back in October, but yesterday was the first time most developers got a chance to actually use the OS. While Snow Leopard was an OS designed to improve the platform of the Mac OS, Lion is putting that platform to good use with new features for the end user.

Setup experience

The setup for the Developer Preview of Mac OS X Lion is incredibly straightforward: developers receive a code to redeem in the Mac App Store, and after entering this redemption code, the 3.5GB download begins. At this point, a clean install does not appear possible; I did a clean install of Snow Leopard, and then upgraded through the App Store. It took about half an hour to complete, although the download took several hours - of course, this depends on your connection speed. Despite the reported problems some developers had downloading, mine came just fine, with only some minor speed issues.

First use

Upon the first launch of Lion, users will notice a few changes: firstly, that their wallpaper has changed to a photo of Mt. Fuji, and secondly, that a new (non-removable) icon now resides right next to the always-creepily-smiling Finder icon. This is to access Launchpad: taking the concept of the iOS home screen and applying it on a larger scale.

At first, this idea seems foolish: that's what the Applications folder is for, isn't it? But the feature has quickly grown on me. Launchpad is an entirely separate layer: you can drag applications in and out of "folders," and move them to separate pages, just as you would on iOS. And it will have no impact on the file system itself. This makes it possible to organize your apps into folders, without destabilizing the system - many applications won't update if they're moved out of the Applications folder on prior versions of OS X. While Windows users have enjoyed something similar with the Start menu, although through a much different implementation, it's an addition that is welcome in Lion.

If you're an avid Exposé user, the next thing you'll notice is that Exposé has undergone a major change: firstly, it's now called Mission Control, and secondly, it organizes your open windows in a different way. It's more similar to WebOS' implementation of stacks of cards than it is to anything else: all your apps are grouped into piles, and your "spaces" - in other words, other desktops where windows can reside - are shown across the top of your screen. You can drag a window to another space from the one you're currently using, or switch to another space by clicking on it. It's a much better way to use Spaces, a feature that has stayed disabled on my previous installs of OS X because the feature just didn't fit into my workflow.

Dashboard fans will also notice that widgets reside to the left of your left-most space, rather than swooping in on top of your open apps as before. This change works very well with Apple's new mouse gestures, which we'll cover in a bit.

A few other small changes are present, including scrollbars that appear only when they're needed, a la iOS, and updated buttons, progress bars, and window borders. Toolbars have gained a slightly brighter shade of grey, similar to that which iTunes acquired in its tenth version, and windows have become rounded at every corner. Another welcome addition, which Windows users have enjoyed for decades, is the ability to resize a window from any window edge - prior to Lion, you could only resize a window from the bottom right using a grabber.

Full screen apps

That green button at the top of every window in OS X has been the cause of contentious debate amongst us geeks for years. Supporters of its default action - to resize the window to fit its contents - have always defended it against those who prefer Windows' action of maximizing a window. Generally, the debate goes along the lines of users wanting to put better use to the screen space they are afforded: viewing a website full screen on a 27-inch monitor is, in all honesty, a waste of otherwise useful screen real estate.

Apple's solution to this issue is to allow developers to add a full screen button on the very right of a window's toolbar. Windows that go full screen lose their standard window chrome, and can implement special full screen behaviour - for example, when Preview goes into full screen while viewing a PDF, it will show two pages, and change the background behind each page to black. Safari takes a simpler approach, instead simply dropping the toolbar and scaling the rest of its interface.

However, the function goes further: every full screen app goes into its own "space," as covered above. The idea is that a full screen application should not have any windows behind it, and so they're taken off the normal desktop and put onto their own. The menu bar and dock are hidden, although accessible with a simple flick of the mouse to the top or bottom of your screen, respectively. If you want to go back to your other windows, you can use a swipe gesture to switch to a space to the left or right of your current space.

This gesture becomes an essential part of functioning in Lion: as I mentioned before, Dashboard is now its own space, rather than being a pop-over interface. If you want to get to Dashboard - for those of you not familiar with OS X terminology, that's where you keep all your widgets - just swipe to the left until you're there. Similarly, if you want to switch from a full screen app back to your main desktop, or even to another full screen application, just swipe to the left or the right until you're there.

If you're using a Magic Mouse, the swipe gesture uses two fingers; on a trackpad, such as on a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air, it's three fingers.

Other changes

There are a few other changes worth mentioning - Apple has made a lot of changes in this preview, and most of the core bundled applications have undergone some sort of change.

Mail - The Mail app has easily undergone the biggest, and most relevant, change to any of the bundled apps in OS X. It now appears in a view similar to that of Mail on iOS, or Outlook, with a list of your messages on the left, and a full view of a selected message on the right. Support for threaded messages is also there, consolidating all message replies into one message view.

Calendar - The Calendar application is now much more like its iOS brother, putting better use to its screen real estate than previous versions. The sidebar, showing the different calendars you have available, have been moved instead into a popover accessed by clicking the "Calendars" button in the toolbar.

Address Book - The Address Book application is now almost identical to the iOS version, adopting a book-like format. Your contacts are shown on the left on a "page," and selecting any contact will show their information on the right hand page.

Finder - The Finder has undergone several minor changes, starting with a reorganization and rethinking of the sidebar. Favourites appear at the top of the sidebar, followed by "Shared," which shows devices available on your network (the "blue screen of death" icon to represent PC's no longer shows up in the sidebar, but is still used), and below that, a "Devices" section, showing your hard drive partitions, external drives, and any mounted disk images. An "AirDrop" feature has also been added, allowing for an easier way to quickly share files across your network. "All My Files" has also been added to the sidebar, at the top of Favourites. This simply lists the files you have accessed recently, and displays them, organized by type, in a CoverFlow-like view. It's a nice implementation.

Other Apps - Almost every app, including third party applications, have adopted OS X's new UI paradigms. Buttons, scrollbars, and toolbars have all been updated, with the exception of a few third party applications - Google Chrome, as a prime example, still uses an Aqua blue scrollbar. Many third party applications will need to update their resources to reflect the new style, but Apple seems to have covered all of their own bundled apps already.

In the end…

Lion is still early in its development cycle - undoubtedly, Apple has more tweaks, or even major new features, waiting to be unleashed. Even in this hands-on, we've only scratched the surface, as the changes go very deep into the operating system. However, the new Mac OS, even this early on, is very stable, and feels complete. While it may be a little bit rough around the edges - third party applications need to be updated to support some new UI elements, and there are a few visual glitches or app crashes every once in a while - Apple is off to a great start. This update looks to take a nice blend of iOS features and Mac OS X features - they aren't just scaling the iOS interface to a bigger screen, but are instead only using them where necessary. They've still got a few months left, and a lot can happen in that time - make sure to keep your browser aimed at Neowin for all the latest updates.

If you want to keep up with the absolute latest developments, check out our thread on the forums - it's quite active, and new features are being discovered by the hour.

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117 Comments

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I really want to try a Mac. Like for a week. It looks really nice but with only being to play with it for 5 minutes at a time is hard to like it.

david said,
I really want to try a Mac. Like for a week. It looks really nice but with only being to play with it for 5 minutes at a time is hard to like it.

Rent one, maybe?

GS:ios

Really cannot wait to get Lion when it's released. Not sure if I can be bothered installing a beta though.

Will be nice to get rid of the aqua style scroll bars too. They seem out of place in comparison to how they were in Tiger.

A clean install is possible. I installed Lion to a brand new, completely clean external hard drive last night. However, a full install is anywhere from 6-9 GB, while upgrading from Snow Leopard only adds about another 1 GB. When presented with your primary hard drive (or w/e one contains the Snow Leopard install), just select another hard disk on your computer. So long as it's the right format, you can install a clean Lion OS to it.

hiding the menu bar? iOS like? gag.... OSX is eventually going to become iOS..... people say it wont, but this is the first steps.....

neufuse said,
hiding the menu bar? iOS like? gag.... OSX is eventually going to become iOS..... people say it wont, but this is the first steps.....

It makes sense. But it needs to happen intelligently, step by step. People are saying it'll happen in under 1 week, which I don't agree with.
Apple took the features from iOS that would make sense on the Desktop platform, and as of now, it's fine IMO.

Technically speaking, apparently it is another meh-update disguised as a major upgrade.

Is amusing to see that Apple list every single update, including trivial updates, it is like Microsoft will list all updates, including the updates to Notepad.

Didn't read the whole thread... quite long... but the closest thing to a clean install I managed, was to install 10.7 into new partition on my current system. You do need an up-to-date 10.6.6, but thereafter the new install is as clean as a whistle.

To thenetavenger who said "Vista's video added some very significant new concepts for the entire computing industry, like GPU virtualization and GPU scheduling. Which is as significant as when computing moved to CPU pre-emptive multi-tasking. Vista gives this ability to the GPU by handling the scheduling and threads and even RAM allocation of the GPU, just like most OSes handle a CPU."

Really? You think that is new? Since OS X 10.2 apple has been sending stuff to the GPU. It was called Quartz Extreme and since then they have off-loaded more stuff to the GPU, heard of Open CL. Apple completely rewrote their Video architecture in Snow Leopard. Vista was way behind on using the GPU for tasks.

There shouldn't be a reason for the OS to offload any work to the GPU(other than displaying parts of the OS, and excluding media playback), and also remember OpenCL is not a Apple innovation, in the same way DirectCompute is for Windows.

Edited by LiveAndFight, Feb 28 2011, 6:06am :

Before everyone jumps all over my above post(edit button was disabled ), I meant to say even though Apple came up with the initial specs for OpenCL and than gave it to the Khronos Group but as useful as having a cross platform gpu library is it still doesn't compare to DirectCompute on Windows.

But either way it doesn't matter and is completely off topic, this paticular release of OSX adds no feature that one could consider innovative.

Hopefully it gets even more. Right now it looks like someone smashed a iPhone together with SL....which is Leopoard 2, so is this Leopard 3 or maybe 2.5

Face it iOS is the future of Apple products. Not a bad thing as I know LOTS of users that never should have touched a computer.

Can you resize a window on any edge yet? How about a real backspace key?

Incidentally, Linux is also capable of 3d hardware accelerated graphics.

Jose_49: The grayness is long been a nod to designers, some (many?) of whom claim that too much color in the UI distracts them from their work. There are hacks that change the color, but I suspect you're happy with whatever OS or OSes you use now, and that's all good.

Okay, trying to post comments from a tablet means accidental early posting. My bad.

. . . I didn't post 50 features of OS X to add to the silly OS wars, just to point out that many people don't bother to read up on all the changes that go into OS X updates. Win updates are similar. Apple and Microsoft advertize the features that people can grasp without having to read an in-depth article (Ars Technica is one of my fav sites for deep articles).

And I'm never going to "win" against NetA's powerful OS sorcery. Because, um, it's fantasy. Though I will tell you OS X has systemwide automation so incredible that Microsoft and Linux would have to throw out their entire code bases and start over to match! No, not really.

Bot

Ex2bot said,
Okay, trying to post comments from a tablet means accidental early posting. My bad.

. . . I didn't post 50 features of OS X to add to the silly OS wars, just to point out that many people don't bother to read up on all the changes that go into OS X updates. Win updates are similar. Apple and Microsoft advertize the features that people can grasp without having to read an in-depth article (Ars Technica is one of my fav sites for deep articles).

And I'm never going to "win" against NetA's powerful OS sorcery. Because, um, it's fantasy. Though I will tell you OS X has systemwide automation so incredible that Microsoft and Linux would have to throw out their entire code bases and start over to match! No, not really.

Bot

Which part(s) of thenetavenger's comments were "sorcery" or fantasy? It read dead-on accurate from this end.

TechDudeGeorge said,
You post this, yet don't post hardly any/late news on Windows 8 (Like the leaked image the other day?) Favouristm I must say.

Get a grip.

the thing i don't get about the icons on the desktop mirroring the look they get on the ipad, is that you could always do that... and the functionality of app folders still puzzles me

To bitstwiddler or whatever his name is, features added to OS X since 10.1:

Journaled filesystem, 3D hardware accelerated UI in 10.2 (~2003) that didnt't show in Win until Vista, Expose, revamped Finder, Spotlight fast search, dictionary, calendar, much improved Mail, disk imaging and restore, secure disk erase, UNIX System V compatability, hardware accelerated window manager for X Window, Bonjour--version of ZeroConf, CUPS --robust Unix print system, widgets, Open Directory, MS-DOS FAT and NTFS (the latter read only) support, Time Machine super simple sequential backup, directory hard links, Core Data--database engine, Core Animation--available to developers to simplify UI and other animation applications, Core Image--image processing that is notably used by Pixelmator, I believe, Spaces--virtual desktop, tabbed windows for Terminal app, Automator--modular automation "programming", Filevault--encryption, WebKit--HTML engine, Rosetta--amazin PPC emulator that facilitated transition to Intel, X Grid--distributed processing, address randomization (limited), Access Control Lists (yes, stolen from Windows), sparse bundles (to aid sequential backups), Front Row--TV media interface, Cover Flow--Finder file view similar to Cover Flow in iTunes, Quicklook--quick file preview in Finder I find myself using more and more, Preview PDF viewer and picture format converter (also 900 times less annoying than Adobe Reader, and much faster), Fast user switching, IChat text, audio and video conf., Voiceover-for visually impaired with improved text-to-speech, Boot Camp--support for other Intel-based OSs, Microsoft Exchange Server (2007-) support built in support in 10.6, Grand Central Dispatch--enhanced support for multiple mp cores, Open CL--new standard for using graphics cards to crunch numbers, and more I've left out. Saying OS X hasn't evolved much since the early days is a gross misperception.

eviltwigflipper said,

Read what thenetavenger posted.

The NetAvenger appears to have read about improvements to Windows, but then he describes some of the new tech in Windows as some kind of powerful sorcery that no one can touch. It's laughable b.s.! I won't deny that Microsoft has done some impressive updates in Vista and Win 7 to make Win more powerful and secure.

A couple quick rebuttals to the fantasy:

OS X comes from NEXTStep / OpenStep, which offered a more modern programming environment and a display compositor many years before Windows. Of course, it lacked apps ansd was not very commercially successful. Of course, OS X has been.

If you read my post (and go do some reading on OS X tech), you'll see that, as I said, OS X has had a display compositor since day 1 and 3d hardware accelerated graphics in 10.2 (Windows got both in Vista). As far as I can tell, NetA didn't understand exactly what Microsoft had done to Vista's display system and didn't know that OS X has had a sophisticated compositor from the start.

As far as security, OS X has UNIX security (you're all familiar with the basics of that, right?). For example system files are protected from overwrite. That was *not* true in XP bus has been true since Vista. OS X also stole Microsofts Access Control Lists, which allow finer control of files. Apple has been working on sandboxing WebKit, limited address space randomization, etc. It's behind Microsoft in some of this. 10.7 continues the security lockdown.

Ex2bot said,
To bitstwiddler or whatever his name is, features added to OS X since 10.1:

versus windows 7 / 2008r1 sp1

Additional support for communication with third-party federation services

Improved HDMI audio device performance

Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents

Dynamic Memory

Microsoft RemoteFX

Enhancements to scalability and high availability when using DirectAccess

Support for Managed Service Accounts (MSAs) in secure branch office scenarios

Support for increased volume of authentication traffic on domain controllers connected to high-latency networks

Enhancements to Failover Clustering with Storage

Changes common to both client and server platforms

Enhanced support for additional identities in RRAS and IPsec

Support for Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX)

Improved Support for Advanced Format (512e) Storage Devices

796 Hotfixes and Security Updates

No brother it's not free its only for developers and i hope there is so many other hidden features which come with final version of mac os x 10.7 Lion.

Lamp0 said,
yep ....

Legally, no. You need a special developer account at Apple, which costs $99.
Illegally, yes it is.

Typical Apple customers love locked down machines and having to play by Apple's rules. I hope Mac OS doesn't follow this trend though, I'd like to see how Lion runs on my eeepc.

red_rider said,
Typical Apple customers love locked down machines and having to play by Apple's rules. I hope Mac OS doesn't follow this trend though, I'd like to see how Lion runs on my eeepc.

Hardly. Locked down phones and mp3 players are typical no matter which brand you go for. OS X is a different story and is not locked down any more than Windows. In fact, if anything, I find it more flexible.

Laura said,
Hardly. Locked down phones and mp3 players are typical no matter which brand you go for. OS X is a different story and is not locked down any more than Windows. In fact, if anything, I find it more flexible.

Hardly. My Zen lets me do whatever I want, no iTunes requirement, no bs. Try accessing the filesystem on an iPad or transferring whatever files you want on it, you have to play games and play by Apple's rules. Also I never said OS X was locked down, that was my point, it's still one of the few Apple products that is a good deal and lets you do what you want without stupid requirements. I hope OS X stays not locked down and doesn't become too iOS-ish. Either way I'll try it on my desktop.

There's only 1 problem, a problem stated much beforehand but i must mention anyways: It's so closed, software's restricted to the App Store. No feature they add can make up for that.

MASTER260 said,
There's only 1 problem, a problem stated much beforehand but i must mention anyways: It's so closed, software's restricted to the App Store. No feature they add can make up for that.

This is incorrect. Software on Mac OS X computers is not and has never been restricted to any App store.

FYI I can write my own software in a multitude of languages that have compilers for OS X, and run whatever I like that is compiled for it. Since OS X sits on top of certified UNIX it's also highly compatible with a lot of Linux software.

It's amazing that you're already so confused when the App store for Macs is so new.

Laura said,

This is incorrect. Software on Mac OS X computers is not and has never been restricted to any App store.

FYI I can write my own software in a multitude of languages that have compilers for OS X, and run whatever I like that is compiled for it. Since OS X sits on top of certified UNIX it's also highly compatible with a lot of Linux software.

It's amazing that you're already so confused when the App store for Macs is so new.

He is incorrect for now. I would bet my left leg that Apple has this goal in the very near future though.

teriba said,

He is incorrect for now. I would bet my left leg that Apple has this goal in the very near future though.

I can't see it myself. They would lose a lot of users if they locked down their PCs in such a manner. It just doesn't make sense. It's a very different platform to their iOS devices where hardware resources may be limited.

teriba said,
He is incorrect for now. I would bet my left leg that Apple has this goal in the very near future though.
I highly doubt they will. Their Mac App Store rules are very strict, and a lot of big name apps don't meet them (Microsoft Office and Adobe CS, to name just two). For indie developers, the App Store is great - it's an easier way to push your app out to users, although the 30% cut isn't ideal - but they simply can't make it a requirement. If they did, their decision would be struck down in court.

teriba said,

He is incorrect for now. I would bet my left leg that Apple has this goal in the very near future though.

I agree.

And about Office, Adobe, etc. Apple would simply bend the rules for them.

teriba said,

He is incorrect for now. I would bet my left leg that Apple has this goal in the very near future though.


That would go against what Steve Jobs told us when the Mac App Store was introduced. He explicitly claimed that OS X would remain open. He has done nothing to indicate otherwise since then. And there's no reason to believe the current philosophy would change.

For a starter, if they did lock it down, they'd instantly lock out a number of apps that don't qualify for the Mac App Store. Small applications like Adobe Photoshop. And all their professional users who use them. They'll never bend rules for these, since they can't without changing what the Mac App Store is. It's not supposed to require administator rights, for a start.

So. Won't happen anytime soon.

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 27 2011, 11:43am :

Examinus said,
It's always confronting to know that while I pay a subscription fee to remove ads and help Neowin, staff block ads.

How do you know staff don't pay Subs too?

Examinus said,

I see ad-placeholders.

I don't think our author here would do a half assed job if he was blocking them and then leave evidence of it. I could be wrong on that but it seems unlikely to me.

Laura said,

I don't think our author here would do a half assed job if he was blocking them and then leave evidence of it. I could be wrong on that but it seems unlikely to me.

It's been explained that, apparently, they're just broken.

Lachlan said,
Those gadgets remind me of windows vista..

The ones from Vista remind me of Mac OS X Tiger...
When was the last time you used OS X to say something like that?

PyX said,

The ones from Vista remind me of Mac OS X Tiger...
When was the last time you used OS X to say something like that?

Mac OSX Tiger reminds me of Longhorn which they blatantly copied features from. But it's okay, since Longhorn (which eventually turned into Vista) was in early development and the general population wasn't aware of it. And because it's Apple.

And all of these GUI innovations still remind me of when I first saw them all...

...on my Amiga some 20+ years ago. 8D

Know your roots.

floopy said,
Mac OSX Tiger reminds me of Longhorn which they blatantly copied features from. But it's okay, since Longhorn (which eventually turned into Vista) was in early development and the general population wasn't aware of it. And because it's Apple.

Nothing actually worked in Windows Longhorn.

.Neo said,

Nothing actually worked in Windows Longhorn.

Sure it did. It worked fine, especially for the beginning of a code cleanup.

GreyWolf said,

Sure it did. It worked fine, especially for the beginning of a code cleanup.


In the Longhorn time, I tried a few betas because I didn't switch to Macs yet and was really eager to see the final product. Unfortunately, this whole "train wreck" that Paul Thurott was talking about was the best description you could give to it. Every Longhorn beta was completely different than the last, but nothing actually worked.

While we're at it, I remember having Konfabulator installed on Windows XP back then in 2005, and I know Mac OS X Tiger already had Dashboard.

PyX said,

The ones from Vista remind me of Mac OS X Tiger...
When was the last time you used OS X to say something like that?

never used a mac.. I was just saying. It was just a comment in the "comment" section.

excalpius said,
And all of these GUI innovations still remind me of when I first saw them all...

...on my Amiga some 20+ years ago. 8D

Know your roots.

Oh SNAP!

My A2000 and A4000 were SWEET and a dream to program on.

Nice article and interesting read.

However, "Lion is still early in its development cycle" ...even though it is being released in what, 6 months time? I'd say it is quite late in its development cycle.

Fid said,
Nice article and interesting read.

However, "Lion is still early in its development cycle" ...even though it is being released in what, 6 months time? I'd say it is quite late in its development cycle.


Same here. I don't agree there. It's a bit like the Windows 7 Public Beta in my opinion. Probably only minor changes from now on, and stability + performance fixes.

To clean install boot off the disk (well if you didn't get it the developer way), quit the installer from the menu bar and it will give you access to disk utility, format the partition or drive you want to use and its done. Then choose to go back to the installer.

Brian Miller said,
Can this be run in a virtual environment? I don't have a spate Mac to run it on.

Does PearPC exist anymore? That's what I was running before owning Macs at home. But it was dog-slow.

And I believe 10.7 is not support yet, especially an alpha build...

Brian Miller said,
Can this be run in a virtual environment? I don't have a spate Mac to run it on.

Nawcom and TonyMac would like to have a word with you...

I can't really see any new feature that evens resembles a major change to the OS. Apple is turning into EA just recycling the old garbage over and over without doing anything innovative.

eviltwigflipper said,
I can't really see any new feature that evens resembles a major change to the OS. Apple is turning into EA just recycling the old garbage over and over without doing anything innovative.

....wow. Seriously? Did you just compare Apple to EA?

This is still OS X, specifically 10.7, it's not 11, it's 10.7, as opposed to 10.6 right now.

LiquidSolstice said,

This is still OS X, specifically 10.7, it's not 11, it's 10.7, as opposed to 10.6 right now.

Probably because after a decade of selling OS X, they don't want to change/lose that branding. They may never get past version 10.

eviltwigflipper said,
I can't really see any new feature that evens resembles a major change to the OS. Apple is turning into EA just recycling the old garbage over and over without doing anything innovative.

Why would you leak a big feature in a developer preview? Major features like Spotlight and Time Machine don't require much additional developer input, and thus can be kept secret much longer than full-screen, auto-save, and resume support.

LiquidSolstice said,

....wow. Seriously? Did you just compare Apple to EA?

This is still OS X, specifically 10.7, it's not 11, it's 10.7, as opposed to 10.6 right now.

Yeah I did : ) and how many years has it been "OS X 10.x", Apple really hasn't don't anything innovative with there desktop OS since 2002, hence they have just been recycling the old garbage over and over again.

eviltwigflipper said,

Yeah I did : ) and how many years has it been "OS X 10.x", Apple really hasn't don't anything innovative with there desktop OS since 2002, hence they have just been recycling the old garbage over and over again.


That's the second time you've said that and you're still no nearer to making any sense.

eviltwigflipper said,
Apple really hasn't don't anything innovative with there desktop OS since 2002

Dashboard, Exposé, Spotlight, Time Machine, Spaces, Quick Look, Stacks, Mission Control, Versions, Touch gestures, App Stores, they don't represent anything to you? :-\

I guess based on this criteria, Windows hasn't evolved either...

PyX said,

Dashboard, Exposé, Spotlight, Time Machine, Spaces, Quick Look, Stacks, Mission Control, Versions, Touch gestures, App Stores, they don't represent anything to you? :-\

I guess based on this criteria, Windows hasn't evolved either...

Dashboard("mini apps") - how many times are you going to actually view mini apps? To me there just as useless as the sidebar apps in windows, just extra crap thats running the background that you don't really need.

Expose - Just like Windows key + tab, useless how many times are you really going to need to see each app at one time?

Spotlight -

Time Machine - If I wanted a archival backup of a folder id just use a source control system, or if I wanted automatic back-ups in case of a hardware failure a RAID setup would be better.

Spaces - I don't get why people need multiple desktops, having dual screens at least for me alleviates any screen realistate issues that I have.

Quick Look - If your name your files properly when would you ever need to preview them before opening them?

Stacks - Just folders with a different name.

Mission Control - See above when would you need to view the contents of all your open windows at one time? Usually people work with two or three apps at a time which goes back to my dual screen statement.

Touch gestures - Haven't used it yet so idk, seems somewhat interesting, although I'm more waiting for a kinect gesture implementation for Windows/OSX.

App Store - Depends on the type of content that gets put up there, that sad part it most of those apps will probably get pirated within a few days of them getting posted on the store , but who knows only time will tell for that one.

Now talking about Windows, aside from the consistent UI improvements(not counting Vista), the first thing that comes to mind is Direct3D 10, 10.1, 11. After D3D9 MS forced graphics card venders to release graphics cards that supported the full feature set of the D3D version it was certified for, which led to more stable drivers and less bugs in games that related to the variety of graphics cards t and inconsistent driver implementations which cause unforseen issues with OpenGL games(*caugh* ATI cards).

Granted this is more of a IHV problem than a Apple problem but Apple is stuck with OpenGL and has little to no control over the quality of video card drivers which apparently isn't a problem for Apple according to Gabe Newel(forgot the link). But D3D is a huge part of Windows and is a huge innovation and a huge feature over anything Apple has been able to come up with yet.

So anyway back on topic I see OSX Lion has a souped up '91 Honda Civic, there is only some much stuff you can add to a old car before you need to buy a new one.

PyX said,

Dashboard, Exposé, Spotlight, Time Machine, Spaces, Quick Look, Stacks, Mission Control, Versions, Touch gestures, App Stores, they don't represent anything to you? :-\

I guess based on this criteria, Windows hasn't evolved either...


actually, Windows has had 4 complete overhauls (major improvements/changes to kernel/structure of OS) and 1 (almost complete) rewrite in the past decade.
has OSX had this? or linux?

Shadowzz said,
has OSX had this? or linux?
Uh... OS X has, yes. Linux is different, because it's the pulling together of different pieces of open source software. Not having to completely rewrite the kernel every release is also a plus.

OS X actually underwent a complete rewrite when it was released; it is a completely different OS from OS 9. The switch from Power PC to Intel was a major one. The changes in each release may be minor compared to, say, Windows Vista, but from the beginning of the decade to now, I'd say it's undergone the same amount of change as Windows has.

Shadowzz said,

actually, Windows has had 4 complete overhauls (major improvements/changes to kernel/structure of OS) and 1 (almost complete) rewrite in the past decade.
has OSX had this? or linux?

The only rewrite was going from ME to XP just like when Mac's went from OS 9 to OS X. The changes for NT based Windows releases are comparable to OS X's so do some more research before talking about something you know nothing about.

matt4pack said,

The only rewrite was going from ME to XP just like when Mac's went from OS 9 to OS X. The changes for NT based Windows releases are comparable to OS X's so do some more research before talking about something you know nothing about.

Wrong Windows XP came from Windows 2000 which is part of the NT branch which has nothing to do with Windows ME. Maybe you should do your research before attacking somebody else : ).

Back on topic again, back in the days of Windows XP I always thought OSX was superior in a lot of ways both graphically and feature wise. Now Apple is really behind the times and adding a few features here and there and recycling the old stuff over and over again which is why I would never consider using Mac it would feel like a step backwards.

Edited by LiveAndFight, Feb 27 2011, 2:24am :

eviltwigflipper said,

Dashboard("mini apps") - how many times are you going to actually view mini apps? To me there just as useless as the sidebar apps in windows, just extra crap thats running the background that you don't really need.
.....

So basically you just don't *like* the innovations Apple do. So OS X isn't for you. And that's fine. But it makes no sense to pretend something doesn't exist just because you don't like it.

Laura said,

So basically you just don't *like* the innovations Apple do. So OS X isn't for you. And that's fine. But it makes no sense to pretend something doesn't exist just because you don't like it.

I would never pretend OS X doesn't exist I'm just point out my own reasons why people shouldn't get so excited over this release because it doesn't bring anything useful to the table. I'd love to hear someone argue against anything I said above regarding the new features in OS X 10.1 - 10.7, because in reality you really want use any of them on a regular basis besides the e-mail client but that must be one crazy e-mail client .

eviltwigflipper said,

Wrong Windows XP came from Windows 2000 which is part of the NT branch which has nothing to do with Windows ME. Maybe you should do your research before attacking somebody else : ).

Back on topic again, back in the days of Windows XP I always thought OSX was superior in a lot of ways both graphically and feature wise. Now Apple is really behind the times and adding a few features here and there and recycling the old stuff over and over again which is why I would never consider using Mac it would feel like a step backwards.

I was comparing the consumers versions so yes XP Home was the upgrade to ME. NT/2000 were for the business market and not intended for consumers so XP was the first NT based OS for consumers smart guy.

eviltwigflipper said,
Expose - Just like Windows key + tab, useless how many times are you really going to need to see each app at one time?
So, it's not useful to you to be able to see all your open windows at once? Because it's sure as hell useful to me. Windows get lost behind other windows. Being able to hit a key and find a window immediately is a godsend.

eviltwigflipper said,
Time Machine - If I wanted a archival backup of a folder id just use a source control system, or if I wanted automatic back-ups in case of a hardware failure a RAID setup would be better.
And what's so wrong with mixing version control and backup solutions together?

eviltwigflipper said,
Spaces - I don't get why people need multiple desktops, having dual screens at least for me alleviates any screen realistate issues that I have.
That's great that you have dual screens. I do too. Not everybody does, however.

eviltwigflipper said,
Quick Look - If your name your files properly when would you ever need to preview them before opening them?
Sometimes it's more efficient to Quick Look at a picture than to open it in Photoshop or Preview. Scratch that... it's always more efficient to use Quick Look.

eviltwigflipper said,
Expose - Just like Windows key + tab, useless how many times are you really going to need to see each app at one time?
So, it's not useful to you to be able to see all your open windows at once? Because it's sure as hell useful to me. Windows get lost behind other windows. Being able to hit a key and find a window immediately is a godsend.

eviltwigflipper said,
Time Machine - If I wanted a archival backup of a folder id just use a source control system, or if I wanted automatic back-ups in case of a hardware failure a RAID setup would be better.
And what's so wrong with mixing version control and backup solutions together?

eviltwigflipper said,
Spaces - I don't get why people need multiple desktops, having dual screens at least for me alleviates any screen realistate issues that I have.
That's great that you have dual screens. I do too. Not everybody does, however.

eviltwigflipper said,
Mission Control - See above when would you need to view the contents of all your open windows at one time? Usually people work with two or three apps at a time which goes back to my dual screen statement.
Because apps can spawn multiple windows. I can get a pretty cluttered workspace when I'm using Photoshop, Textmate, Illustrator, Transmit, etc. all at once.

eviltwigflipper said,
App Store - Depends on the type of content that gets put up there, that sad part it most of those apps will probably get pirated within a few days of them getting posted on the store , but who knows only time will tell for that one.
And pirating makes the App Store any less appealing?

eviltwigflipper said,

Now talking about Windows, aside from the consistent UI improvements(not counting Vista), the first thing that comes to mind is Direct3D 10, 10.1, 11. After D3D9 MS forced graphics card venders to release graphics cards that supported the full feature set of the D3D version it was certified for, which led to more stable drivers and less bugs in games that related to the variety of graphics cards t and inconsistent driver implementations which cause unforseen issues with OpenGL games(*caugh* ATI cards).

Granted this is more of a IHV problem than a Apple problem but Apple is stuck with OpenGL and has little to no control over the quality of video card drivers which apparently isn't a problem for Apple according to Gabe Newel(forgot the link). But D3D is a huge part of Windows and is a huge innovation and a huge feature over anything Apple has been able to come up with yet.

So anyway back on topic I see OSX Lion has a souped up '91 Honda Civic, there is only some much stuff you can add to a old car before you need to buy a new one.

I'm guessing somebody's a serious gamer if they have such a lopsided view of "innovation".

matt4pack said,

The only rewrite was going from ME to XP just like when Mac's went from OS 9 to OS X. The changes for NT based Windows releases are comparable to OS X's so do some more research before talking about something you know nothing about.

Ok no...

1) Going from ME to XP was not a rewrite. It was moving consumers to a different Operating System all together. There is NO Win9X/ME code in Windows NT (2K,XP,Vista,7).

2) Windows NT from Windows 2000 to Windows 7 has gone through several major changes, far more substantial than OS X and far more than even good technically minded people realize.

For example if you look at just the changes from WindowsXP to WindowsXP SP2/Windows 2003 server, the entire code base was revised with new security mechanisms based on the major security shift inside Microsoft. This is why XP SP2 and especially Windows 2003 server were far more secure, and why instead of Server 2001, it was Server 2003, as Microsoft stopped production on all software and developed new security models, coding practices, revised their compilers and built security center banks for automated code testing.

The changes in Windows XP RTM to Windows XP SP2 have more core code changes than going from OS X 10.0 to 10.6 does.

Next you have Vista, and again, many people see some glass, but all their applications look and run the same. However, Vista's video system alone is entirely new and the fact that applicaitons look and draw the same on the screen is an illusion and a tip of the hat to the brilliance of what Microsoft did with Vista.

Vista added a new video model that is technically very complicated to fully explain or understand. It changes how the NT kernel works with the driver and also adds on new layers of functionality that still do not exist in any other operating system.

Because of the NT architecture, this was all able to be added without any model changes in NT itself, which would be impossible on OS X or Linux due to their kernels and their non-object based *nix OS models.

Vista's video changes were extensive enough that for Apple to make this level of changes, they would have to literally rewrite OS X's kernel, restructure the driver model, and then redesign the upper applicaiton and drawing layers.

Vista's video model and WDDM integrates inherently with the NT architecture, and also works along side the previous XPDM, as with NT, the older video model did not have to be removed, since NT is an object based OS. (This means that calls don't have the *nix model of dependencies and don't have to deal with generic parameter based operations that would fail if the parameters or information returned was different than what is expected.)

Vista's video added some very significant new concepts for the entire computing industry, like GPU virtualization and GPU scheduling. Which is as significant as when computing moved to CPU pre-emptive multi-tasking. Vista gives this ability to the GPU by handling the scheduling and threads and even RAM allocation of the GPU, just like most OSes handle a CPU.

And this is something OS X and Linux cannot do, and probalby won't be able to ever do unless the entire video subsystem in OS X and Linux is re-written, which as I mentioned would require major kernel and OS model changes.

Vista's video system also then adds a Vector based Composer that is the top layer in managing screen writes. Vista also introduced an entire new drawing API model based on XAML that replaces the GDI system that was used since Win 3.x if developers want to use the new model However, the older GDI system is still in place if developers want to use it instead, and for old applications.

Just the video ALONE in Vista is enough that it would be seen as a 10 year type of revision to an OS, and it only took Microsoft from 2003 to 2006 to design, incorporate into NT and have it work flawlessly to the level that 99% of the world doesn't even realize that everything is being drawn differently on Vista, even if it looks the same as XP.

Vista also did the same level of changes to the Audio system and the Network system, as well as a new memory management model.

And these are just core changes, and don't include things like the Search system, the new caching systems, extensive UI and applicaitons changes and features like Windows 'Previous Versions' which is what Time Machine tries to replicate on OS X.

And this is just the tip of the changes in Vista, and the changes in Win7 are almost as big as the changes in Vista, even if it doesn't look much different.


BTW, regarding Previous Versions on Windows and Time Machine...

I saw a person defending Windows say they didn't want Time Machine, which tells me that people still don't understand Windows already has all the Time Machine features, in addition to non-backup based file and folder timelines.

Just right click on any file or Folder from anywhere, and select 'Restore Previous Versions' You are presented with a timeline of different versions of the file or folder that are on the hard drive, in addtion to the versions saved on your backups. It is just there and works, and isn't even something you have to turn on or setup. (If you hookup an external hard drive, you can click on the Setup Backup button, and your backup is automatically setup and all the 'Previous Version' backup timelines are there from your backups as well.)

OS X's Time Machine only has the backup portion of the Windows 'Previous Versions' feature. Windows 'Previous Versions' also uses NT's copy-on-write to keep versions and a timeline of file and folder changes that haven't been backed up, which OS X does not and cannot do due to its File System limitations.

Microsoft still has never marketed 'Previous Versions' outside of the corporate world, so most people don't realize Windows has all the functionality of Time Machine and more, and has had it since Vista shipped, a half year before Apple added Time Machine to OS X.

Any Windows user that wants Time Machine, you have it, in fact a better version, just try it, right click on a file or folder and select 'Restore Previous Versions' . You can look at the timeline of versions and even open folders and view them from that 'time'.

For Mac users that have to work on a Windows PC, this is also handy to know, as you get the same features of Time Machine, in addition to the non-backed up file and folder versions as well. So you can work like you do on your Mac and not worry about having access to a previous save of your document, and can go back and access documents and folders from earlier in the day, last week, last month, or even last year if you backup is large enough.


Final thought, OS X is a good OS, but it hasn't changed a lot, and still has some of the same fundamental problems that 10.0 shipped with. Most of the changes over the past 10 years are cosmetic changes to the GUI and applications Apple ships with OS X, a few library revisions and core technology library changes, without any substantial OS level changes. (Apple also needs to change things, there is no reason a band-aid library is needed for applications to work around the kernel's funnel lock issues.)

thenetavenger said,

Final thought, OS X is a good OS, but it hasn't changed a lot, and still has some of the same fundamental problems that 10.0 shipped with. Most of the changes over the past 10 years are cosmetic changes to the GUI and applications Apple ships with OS X, a few library revisions and core technology library changes, without any substantial OS level changes. (Apple also needs to change things, there is no reason a band-aid library is needed for applications to work around the kernel's funnel lock issues.)

Damn well said

eviltwigflipper said,

<snipped>
So anyway back on topic I see OSX Lion has a souped up '91 Honda Civic, there is only some much stuff you can add to a old car before you need to buy a new one.

Okay yeah, just don't use OS X - even though I doubt you ever really gave it a chance - and leave us alone.

eviltwigflipper said,

Dashboard("mini apps") - how many times are you going to actually view mini apps? To me there just as useless as the sidebar apps in windows, just extra crap thats running the background that you don't really need.

Expose - Just like Windows key + tab, useless how many times are you really going to need to see each app at one time?

Spotlight -

Time Machine - If I wanted a archival backup of a folder id just use a source control system, or if I wanted automatic back-ups in case of a hardware failure a RAID setup would be better.

Spaces - I don't get why people need multiple desktops, having dual screens at least for me alleviates any screen realistate issues that I have.

Quick Look - If your name your files properly when would you ever need to preview them before opening them?

Stacks - Just folders with a different name.

Mission Control - See above when would you need to view the contents of all your open windows at one time? Usually people work with two or three apps at a time which goes back to my dual screen statement.

Touch gestures - Haven't used it yet so idk, seems somewhat interesting, although I'm more waiting for a kinect gesture implementation for Windows/OSX.

App Store - Depends on the type of content that gets put up there, that sad part it most of those apps will probably get pirated within a few days of them getting posted on the store , but who knows only time will tell for that one.

Now talking about Windows, aside from the consistent UI improvements(not counting Vista), the first thing that comes to mind is Direct3D 10, 10.1, 11. After D3D9 MS forced graphics card venders to release graphics cards that supported the full feature set of the D3D version it was certified for, which led to more stable drivers and less bugs in games that related to the variety of graphics cards t and inconsistent driver implementations which cause unforseen issues with OpenGL games(*caugh* ATI cards).

Granted this is more of a IHV problem than a Apple problem but Apple is stuck with OpenGL and has little to no control over the quality of video card drivers which apparently isn't a problem for Apple according to Gabe Newel(forgot the link). But D3D is a huge part of Windows and is a huge innovation and a huge feature over anything Apple has been able to come up with yet.

So anyway back on topic I see OSX Lion has a souped up '91 Honda Civic, there is only some much stuff you can add to a old car before you need to buy a new one.

let me get this straight,if wasn't for *Dahsboard you won't be seeing any Gadget on windows desktop which introduce during the launch of [Vista] *Expose is mostly probably the easiest feature to use by looking all your current windows at once unlike windows vista/7 flip 3D that already taken your 5-9 second seeking the App you choosing. *Mission Control just take it to the next level as unified all the stuff in together by not having to switching ALT-TAB (Windows vista/7) INSTEAD (MAC) using a gesture with Magic Mouse,Magic Trackpad to ensure which kind of stuff you looking for and within a second it's done! *Stack- you can create a specify application/document/music/video right on the dock without extra clicking on [Windows vista/7) SuperBar. Time Machines* you can't be that bozo? with just a click you get to backup everything from your wish list ! Windows 7 also provide a period of restore system if any BSOD Or Issues occur and not saying is a bad idea. ( Windows Vista/7) you talking about their improvement of graphic instead of New feature that Microsoft brought over the years...make not much sense on your comment..A lots of stuff you overlook. i'm skeptical that do you really use mac os x for long enough before making such a comparison on both of differences..or else just stay out of it.

Edited by Priceless90, Feb 27 2011, 5:09am :

PyX said,

Okay yeah, just don't use OS X - even though I doubt you ever really gave it a chance - and leave us alone.

I have used OS X and back in 2002 I would agree OS X was a powerful operating system. But now its just the same thing with a few features which I touched on above so now when I'm using it I feel like its a technological step backwards with the reasons I stated above.

If you find those features useful than by all means use it, if you think about it I don't care what OS you guys are running I'm simply stating the lack of innovation in OS X since 10.0.

If you guys think OS X hasn't changed since it was introduced, you obviously haven't a) used it for a significant amount of time, or b) done any amount of developing on it to see the changes Apple is constantly making to it's API's. I'm not going to talk out of my *** with a bunch of acronyms to make it look like I know what I'm talking about - you guys are impossible to convince anyway - but the OS has been in no way lacking innovation. Even Snow Leopard underwent far more change than it was given credit for. Microsoft does great things with Windows, and you won't necessarily see even half of it unless you're a developer using it's technologies. The same is true of Apple, and thinking otherwise is simply ignorant.

thenetavenger said,

Ok no...
.
.
.

You just made me fully appreciate the wait from XP to Vista - I had no idea the level of redesign was so fundamental and thorough.

Loved the article also, it shows an interesting way of using all of the new features Apple have come up with over the years that I have mostly been "meh" about. If they get the ease of use and speed just right, I may give it a try. I never used to get on with multiple desktops, but this may be a good use of them, especially with switchable full screen apps, unlike windows with Alt-Tab. Mostly works, but some games crap out or simply disable the use of it entirely. If you could assign a 3rd/4th/Nth mouse button to switch to mission control (haha, it is a pretty pretentious although correct name for it), you could retain the functionality of full-screen app compatibility with games and so on.

I wonder if this could be done in Windows somehow?

eviltwigflipper said,

Yeah I did : ) and how many years has it been "OS X 10.x", Apple really hasn't don't anything innovative with there desktop OS since 2002, hence they have just been recycling the old garbage over and over again.

of course they have thay just add a new feature or icon and everyone gets giddy its nothing ground breaking same architecture from the past i've used an ipad i have a mac pro desktop i still don't see what the big deal is about nothjing more than a polished linux os

eviltwigflipper said,
I can't really see any new feature that evens resembles a major change to the OS. Apple is turning into EA just recycling the old garbage over and over without doing anything innovative.

The same thing can be said about Windows, but that would be making another false statement.

Priceless90 said,

let me get this straight,if wasn't for *Dahsboard you won't be seeing any Gadget on windows desktop which introduce during the launch of [Vista]
<snipped>


Windows Vista's alpha in 2002 already had a sidebar with gadgets.

thenetavenger said,

Final thought, OS X is a good OS, but it hasn't changed a lot, and still has some of the same fundamental problems that 10.0 shipped with. Most of the changes over the past 10 years are cosmetic changes to the GUI and applications Apple ships with OS X, a few library revisions and core technology library changes, without any substantial OS level changes. (Apple also needs to change things, there is no reason a band-aid library is needed for applications to work around the kernel's funnel lock issues.)

Everything you just said could be said for Windows but both would be untrue. If you want to do some more reading about all the under the hood changes made to OS X in the last 10 years which you seem to know nothing about while going on about how Windows has changed under the hood here are some links. Maybe you can learn something and stop looking like a fool.

arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2009/08/mac-os-x-10-6.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2007/10/mac-os-x-10-5.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2005/04/macosx-10-4.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2003/11/macosx-10-3.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2002/09/macosx-10-2.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2001/10/macosx-10-1.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2001/04/macos-x.ars/

eviltwigflipper said,

Dashboard("mini apps") - Quite often actually. I have them set on my second monitor... has everything from news to weather, etc.

Expose - Quite often. I switch back and forth at least 100 times a day. Especially helpful on my MacBook Pro

Spotlight - CMD+Space is my best friend

Time Machine - Ask my mom what a RAID setup is. Now that you've asked her that... ask her what Time Machine does.

Spaces - I have dual screens too... on both my iMac and my MacBook Pro. The only problem is... I don't always want to carry my second screen with me when I bring my laptop around.

Quick Look - What if I'm looking for a specific line of text in that file but I don't want to open a program to view it?

Stacks - You have a point there... I've never actually used this feature since it was shown off.

Mission Control - See Expose.

Touch gestures - Kinda nice since I have a Magic Mouse and a laptop with a multitouch trackpad.

App Store - I've used it about 15 times already... and bought some damn good apps.

thenetavenger said,

Ok no...

1) Going from ME to XP was not a rewrite. It was moving consumers to a different Operating System all together...


Awesome post man! A great read that only underlines how some people underestimate the effort that MS has put into developing Windows.

Simon said,
Uh... OS X has, yes. Linux is different, because it's the pulling together of different pieces of open source software. Not having to completely rewrite the kernel every release is also a plus.

OS X actually underwent a complete rewrite when it was released; it is a completely different OS from OS 9. The switch from Power PC to Intel was a major one. The changes in each release may be minor compared to, say, Windows Vista, but from the beginning of the decade to now, I'd say it's undergone the same amount of change as Windows has.


Forgot about the switch from PPC to Intel. so thats one complete overhaul for OSX

eviltwigflipper said,

Wrong Windows XP came from Windows 2000 which is part of the NT branch which has nothing to do with Windows ME. Maybe you should do your research before attacking somebody else : ).


hah, thanks saves me replying to that

matt4pack said,

I was comparing the consumers versions so yes XP Home was the upgrade to ME. NT/2000 were for the business market and not intended for consumers so XP was the first NT based OS for consumers smart guy.


The difference between WinXP Home and Proffesional is in FEATURES not in kernel, design or anything else.
And Windows2000 might've been intended for cooperate uses, many people used it as an desktop OS aswell. As it has DirectX and any other functionality a consumer OS would need.

and i wasnt talking about how it would be for consumers, but about the OS itself.

matt4pack said,

Everything you just said could be said for Windows but both would be untrue. If you want to do some more reading about all the under the hood changes made to OS X in the last 10 years which you seem to know nothing about while going on about how Windows has changed under the hood here are some links. Maybe you can learn something and stop looking like a fool.

arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2009/08/mac-os-x-10-6.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2007/10/mac-os-x-10-5.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2005/04/macosx-10-4.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2003/11/macosx-10-3.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2002/09/macosx-10-2.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2001/10/macosx-10-1.ars
arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2001/04/macos-x.ars/


Didnt completely read all of that, but skimmed through it and most is about changes to the appearence and hardware..

did find something interesting tho:
The PowerPC instruction set was designed with a 64-bit implementation in mind; its "transition" to 64-bit was really nonexistent.

seems their switch to 64bit Intel hasnt been such a big step either.

AnthoWin said,
No major overhaul with the finder is a loss for me.

Hmm, it did get a number of changes in 10.7. It's just not covered in this overview, although I think it's still a pretty good overview.

PyX said,

What do you need it to do ?

Make me a cup of coffee, walk the dog and handle household maintenance. It would be nice if it could impersonate me at work as well.

If you're an avid Exposé user, the next thing you'll notice is that Exposé has undergone a major change: firstly, it's now called Mission Control, and secondly, it organizes your open windows in a different way.

Yes, sounds like a major change... lol

Upon the first launch of Lion, users will notice a few changes: firstly, that their wallpaper has changed to a photo of Mt. Fuji, and secondly, that a new (non-removable) icon now resides right next to the always-creepily-smiling Finder icon.

Oh look, another major change! lol

rfirth said,

Yes, sounds like a major change... lol

It actually is a pretty major change. Instead of being organized by window, Mission Control now organizes everything by context (application and space/desktop). It doesn't look much like how Exposé looks.

rfirth said,

Oh look, another major change! lol

Use OS X and you will understand that the first one is.

And indeed the second one is not a new feature... did you ever see Apple mentioning it was? Or the author of this article. Because I didn't.

rfirth said,
Don't worry, I wasn't being serious.

Oh... We really need <sarcasm> tags in the next draft of HTML5. That's going to help a few people like me understand these kinds of posts

Living4Christ said,
Do users need more icons scatter across their desktop? It looks messy to me.

I wouldn't consider them messy, those are just different sizes and you notice on one of the images you can set them across horizontally in an orderly fashion like Windows 7's Thumbnail Preview on the taskbar. But now on the desktop with Lion!!!

Living4Christ said,
Do users need more icons scatter across their desktop? It looks messy to me.

Don't you read? Launch Pad is a layer that needs to be activated. It's invisible during regular work.

.Neo said,

Don't you read? Launch Pad is a layer that needs to be activated. It's invisible during regular work.

Indeed, it doesn't mess up your desktop one bit more than it ever did before...

What I'm really wondering is, what is the advantage of having a Launch Pad icon in the Dock over having a Stack with all the applications in in?

PyX said,

Indeed, it doesn't mess up your desktop one bit more than it ever did before...

What I'm really wondering is, what is the advantage of having a Launch Pad icon in the Dock over having a Stack with all the applications in in?

For touch display configurations would be my guess. This is the same thing Microsoft is adding to Win7 and Win8, a new UI layer for touch users so they don't have to work with the default desktop for launching applications.

PyX said,

Indeed, it doesn't mess up your desktop one bit more than it ever did before...

What I'm really wondering is, what is the advantage of having a Launch Pad icon in the Dock over having a Stack with all the applications in in?

It makes the end user want to reach for his/her iOS device. It is the best product placement ever. It will probably also eventually work with touch (if it doesn't already).

It is beginning to look like OS X is simply turning into a universal hub for iOS devices. You still get a full desktop experience (sorta) and Apple gets to shift the focus to iOS. This actually isn't bad given that in the next decade a significant percentage of users won't have desktops/notebooks, though they will have iPhones/iPads and lightweight subnotebooks like Mac Book Air/ultra low profile desktops (like Mac Mini).

PyX said,
What I'm really wondering is, what is the advantage of having a Launch Pad icon in the Dock over having a Stack with all the applications in in?

1. Consistency across devices.
2. You can group applications anyway you want without messing with physical files.

.Neo said,

1. Consistency across devices.
2. You can group applications anyway you want without messing with physical files.

Well if they want more consistency, why don' they merge this feature with Stacks? So you can have multiple Launch Pads at the bottom, with other folders than just apps. I can't help but wonder why they did that ONLY for applications, especially when an App Stack already works fine.

Didn't think about the second one though. I will finally be able to regroup my iLife apps into a folder and it's actually going to detect that I have it installed and that it needs updates