People often talk about the timeless design of Porsche’s cars: on paper they might not have deviated too much from the original idea, but in reality they have added more oomph, more features, and newer technologies into the car. I suppose one could say the same about Apple’s OS X operating system. I first started using OS X on the first Titanium machine released in September 2000. Sometimes the subsequent upgrades would leave my laptops wheezing, and other times they would make them zesty. But for nearly a decade, Apple has made OS X better and better.
The most recent version, Mountain Lion, went on sale today for $20 a copy and it is a welcome relief for those of us who have been stuck using OS X Lion. Mountain Lion’s predecessor was caught between the past (desktop) and the future (mobile) and as result it was cluttered and had a dazzling array of confounding choices. It was a cacophony of ideas and design. Those choices were in stark contrast to the simplicity of iOS and the subtle improvements Apple made on its mobile devices.