Step 2 is the hard part.

Matt Ginzton writes here.

Off-the-cuff Reaction to OS X Mountain Lion

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After reading about Apple’s new Mountain Lion, including coverage from Daring Fireball and Ars Technica, my immediate reaction is:

  • Address Book is being renamed Contacts? Great. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed Command-Space, C-O-N, trying to launch Address Book via Spotlight.
  • So long Growl? I already said “so long” to Growl months ago, since I don’t like the way old notifications pile up. Notification Center, at least in its iOS incarnation, is much less intrusive.
  • Messages (the app, with support for, er, messages via iMessage) from the desktop makes perfect sense.

But top to bottom, from today’s announcements, this feels much more like a collection of iOS apps appearing in OS X, not a revamp of the OS itself. Where are the system-level changes? OK, Notification Center is system-wide, and there’s more iCloud support including document save/load directly to iCloud, and there’s Gatekeeper (the ability to ban installation of unsigned apps). AirPlay mirroring will be useful, but it’s too bad the current AppleTV limits the output to 720p. Still, most of the changes (as documented today) are at the surface.

On the other hand, recent OS X releases (especially Snow Leopard, but also to a large degree Lion) were about laying new system infrastructure, so maybe this is perfectly appropriate. Also, compared to Windows, OS X distinguishes itself more and more by its useful collection of built-in apps, so improving and extending that collection is fair game. And finally, the name signifies it’s a new lion, not a whole new cat.

From which I conclude the meta-news here is that with a plan to update the OS annually and the ability to roll out these upgrades via the Mac App Store for $30, we should get used to regular incremental updates, not revolutions every blue moon. Which is a pretty sane way to develop quality software, really.