It's fitting that Mac is calling their new OS Lion. It's fitting because it is the OS that is going to tear though and conquer everything. Windows? It's dead.
Apple has built an empire on the phrase, "It just works." And you know what? It does. Next time my parents need a computer, why would I get them a Windows? With Apple, more so now than ever with Lion (due out Summer 2011), the learning curve is virtually gone. Why does the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad work? Because you can sit down with them and know how they work with little effort.
What's more, Apple is now the computer of choice for just about every single college freshman. Microsoft had a similar tactic when I was in college--I paid only 15 bucks for the Office Professional suite and 25 bucks for Windows 98 at the college bookstore. Apple is at nearly every college campus in the country, offering discounts and, of course, Apple credit cards to pay for them. For the ones not willing to pay $1000+ on a laptop, they give an iPhone.
People want things that look the same. It's only logical that people want a computer that interacts as simple as their phone. The new iMovie program in iLife is enough to make any parent lust to have it in their home--so their kids too can create videos that blow their peers away. And iPhoto is iCandy to every senior’s eye--a photo suite that makes it simple to print out albums. It's cool, and there's something for everyone.
Apple is doing something that Microsoft hasn't figured out: they're making their consumer see how their life will be easier if only they could have on.
Microsoft has a nasty habit of innovating after innovation--Zune is better than iPod in many ways, but it came too late; the same can be said of the latest Windows mobile. If the rumors are correct, they too are working on an app store for computers/tablets, but time will tell if it comes too late.
Windows, for now, will remain the computer of businesses, but I suspect Android will soon take care of that.
Things change. The giant today is the dwarf tomorrow. So why should it matter? Because, while I love Apple, and have four in my house, the idea of having a computer with apps means the ultimate end to customization. Sure we can tweak the computer, but soon it will only be in a way that Apple wants.
I like Apple. I like apps. They're simple. But the idea of someone having them deciding what apps are approved and rejected is worrisome.