Apple Now with Multiple Operating System Versions

Living with Microsoft Windows for a long time, I have gotten used to “Home”, “Premium”, “Professional” and “Ultimate”. Apple users are finally getting a taste of the same thing, but without it being marketed this way. With the introduction of the iPad, Apple has introduced another new OS, which is clearly an enhancement of the iPhone OS, and a clear step down from Mac OS X. This is not identical to the Windows situation since the Apple choice of software is dictated by choice of hardware, but the user experience for each is not identical. If Apple can drive convergence, where the same operating environment is leveraged across all form factors, then the world of seemless integration will be a reality. When technical limitations are overcome, and the iPad can run Mac OS X (or, more likely, its successor), the true game changer will hit the market; until that point, the iPad is a great start. A good hint at Apple’s overall direction may be in its next generation iPad’s and iPhone operating system releases.

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