OS X pro/consumer split seen in the tealeaves
By Stephen WITHERS
I have a lot of time for Ted Landau - he's been around and he knows his stuff. And he seems to be firmly in the 'end of the Mac as we know it' camp.
Over at The Mac Observer, Ted's speculating that the absence from WWDC of a substantial revision to the Mac Pro or new iMacs (plus hints from executives that they will follow in 2013) could foreshadow a major change to OS X. How major? A split into 'consumer' and 'pro' editions.
The pro edition would be the next generation of OS X as we know it today, while the consumer version would work much like iOS in that software could only be installed from the Mac App Store, and that "system-level utilities" such as Terminal would be removed from the OS (and there would be no pathway for third parties to offer such tools). Oh, and maybe no Finder: Launchpad lets you start applications, and applications manage their own data a la iTunes.
In this scenario, OS X Pro would run only on pro hardware (MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro or whatever succeeds it), while the consumer version would be included with the MacBook Air and iMac.
I'm not wholly convinced, but it's not inconsistent with what we can see going on, including the recent integration of Aperture and iPhoto libraries. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it if that did happen. Maybe Ted and I are both grumpy old men wedded to old usage models, but I don't believe that is the case. There are some tasks where the iOS model works well, and others that call for more flexibility to be left in the hands of the user. F'rinstance, I'd really miss AppleScript if it disappeared or became restricted in what it can do.
So why wouldn't I go 'pro'? An iMac-like machine suits me just fine, thanks.
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