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Apple's Lion Is Out Of The Cage, So Where To Now For Apple?

by Graham Needham (BH) on 18th August 2011

Apple is always trying to move technology forward very fast, so much so, that it is often called "bleeding edge" - in fact, sometimes they are so far in advance that some of us users are the ones that bleed from the cuts. For instance, in just the last few years the following have been removed/discontinued by Apple:
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or earlier automated updates
  • Mac OS X 10.5 security updates (if not today, very soon now!)
  • Classic (OS 9) software emulator
  • LocalTalk networking
  • Rosetta PowerPC software emulator
  • PowerPC support in general (hardware, software, backwards compatibility)
  • In house JAVA development
  • ClarisWorks/AppleWorks
  • iDVD
  • iWeb
  • FTP server in Mac OS X Lion client
  • MySQL in Mac OS X Lion server
  • Adobe Flash internet plug-in installed as standard
  • Basic MacBook hardware (albeit still currently available for education)
  • Xserve hardware
In the last few years the following have been dumbed down/become more consumer orientated:
  • Mac OS X
  • Mac OS X Server
  • iMovie
  • Final Cut Pro (Studio)
And unfortunately it's only going to get worse, much worse. Everyone is always asking "what is Apple going to do next"? Well, my personal predictions are:
  • There will be another processor transition from Intel to Apple's own in-house processor (the A6 or A7)
  • The Mac Pro will be discontinued (and there will be NO direct replacement!)
  • No Mac will have an optical drive as standard
  • The only way to install Mac software will be through the Mac App Store (see below)
  • Mac OS X will only have the following basic "sharing" abilities:
    • File sharing (AFP protocol)
    • iTunes media (which will limit media formats to Apple standards)
    • Photos (via iPhoto)
    • Printers
    • DVD / CD
    • Screen (VNC, etc)
  • And the following will probably be removed, discontinued or simply not supported out of the box:
    • FireWire
    • FTP
    • Windows File Sharing (SMB protocol)
    • Web (Apache) (in the client OS)
    • The Terminal (Command Line)
    Mac App Store Software Installation
    In the future the only way to install software on a Mac will be via the Mac App Store. And this will ultimately be the make or break scenario for some people. But these people won't stop Apple doing this. Why? Because right now Apple sells way more iOS devices than Mac OS devices and the number of people who won't like this will be minuscule compared to the number of people who do like this scenario. Hey, it will actually be that computer for "the rest of us", right?

    So why could this be a problem for you? Well basically if you use the Terminal (or other tinkering software e.g. TinkerTool, Deeper, Onyx), non standard software environments e.g. Java, or even software that does not install in the simplistic way that the Mac App Store utilises e.g. Adobe Creative Suite and individual apps, then trouble may be looming. The future of these products are dependant on two very important things: software developers rewriting their installers for the Mac App Store model and Apple approving such software. If these two things don't happen you won't see that software in the future and that may mean saying goodbye to the Mac platform…

    So the big question in the future might be "can you 'jailbreak' a Mac and get to the UNIX underpinnings or not?"…

    The people that should really, seriously think about all of this are:

    • Those that use the Terminal regularly
    • Those that like to tinker under the hood of the operating system
    • Programmers (unless you are exclusively using Apple's own Xcode development environment)
    • Those that use software not currently available on the Mac App Store e.g. graphic designers/publishers/people working in media/science
    • In a business that requires serious server implementations and/or processing power hardware
    And, yes, a lot of the people affected will be those very media people that actually kept Apple going in the 1990s but frankly Apple doesn't give a damn about you anymore - there are many more of those glassy eyed, consumer zombies out there than there are of you. If the software you need doesn't get made available on the Mac App Store and doesn't get approved by Apple, Apple may be waving you goodbye very soon, as they walk you out via the glass door and point you towards the local Microsoft store…

    Blog Post Author = Graham Needham (BH)
    Blog Post Created On = 18th August 2011
    Blog Post Last Revised = 31st August 2017 18:31
    Blog Post URL =

    This blog post is representative of the blog author's individual opinions and as such any opinions that may be expressed here may not necessarily reflect the views of everyone at MacStrategy or the holding company Burning Helix.

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