Mac OS X 10.7 to include Multitouch, App Store [Update]

| Product News

Apple CEO Steve Jobs offered a preview of Mac OS X 10.7, or Lion, on Wednesday during the company’s “Back to the Mac” media event. The next version of Mac OS X will include multitouch support, an App Store for the Mac, and a combination of Spaces, Exposé and Dashboard called Mission Control.

“Lion brings many of the best ideas from iPad back to the Mac, plus some fresh new ones like Mission Control that Mac users will really like,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. “Lion has a ton of new features, and we hope the few we had time to preview today will give users a good idea of where we are headed.”

Instead of relying on screen taps and gestures, multitouch on the Mac will rely on the company’s new Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse. Steve Jobs made a point that touchscreen interfaces work best on horizontal surfaces, and not vertical ones, suggesting that Macs will not have touchscreens any time soon.

The Mac App Store will work just like the App Store for iOS devices, but customers will still be able to purchase, download, or install software for their Mac just as they always have. Developers that choose to take advantage of the Mac App Store will give Apple a 30 percent cut off their sales, just as they do for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The Mac App Store will launch within 90 days for Snow Leopard, as Apple is not waiting for Lion to release the service. 

Mac OS X 10.7 also sports a new feature called Launchpad that lets users group applications just as they do on the iPhone and iPod touch in iOS 4.

The next version of the Mac operating system will include systemwide support for full screen apps. The feature lets users view individual applications in a full screen mode, and switch between apps with a multitouch gesture. It also takes advantage of Mission Control for quick access to other applications and application windows.

Mac OS X 10.7 is set for a summer 2011 release. Apple hasn’t announced pricing information yet.

Mac OS X 10.7

Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”

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40 Comments Leave Your Own

Substance

So far this has been a huge announcement.  And finally we get a Mac App Store, something they should have brought out at least 2 years ago.  I know some here (Bosco) will complain about the cut Apple gets, and I think they have a point, but I think it will drive sales of independent Mac developers.  And that’s a Good Thing. (Go ahead and sue me Mac Observer!)

VaughnSC

Im just wondering if the Mac App store will be the ‘benevolent dictator’ that the phone one is, as far as nixing apps.

Everything else is pretty much in-line with my expectations going in. e.g.: iOS/OSx convergence.

[PS I’m looking for the info to be posted today; but the Mac dev page is still down.]

skinnybear

Mac App Store will be a fantastic hit. I know we will get the usual “open vs. closed” arguments from all sides but please understand, I have many Mac friends. No one cares about open, closed, ajar, locked, unlocked or any other such terminology. Bosco: we know your position. All that feel a need to respond: we know your position. Do not keep insulting our intelligence by being repetitiously redundant.

Lee Dronick

I wonder if our prepaid iTunes cards will work in the App Store.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Price split doesn’t bother me. I won’t do business with them, so it doesn’t matter. What does matter is how much Apple believes that exclusivity contributed to the sales success of its mobile App Store. If you take Jobs’ anti-Android rant at face value, particularly the part about multiple app stores being a disaster, then they rate it a 12 on a scale of 1-10.

I’m definitely not a fan of any of this, and realistically, I’ll probably be writing and selling software for Windows and Linux on the desktop exclusively by the end of 2011. But it is interesting to watch how they exert control, because they will exert control with this App Store. Do they go the exclusive route and force all new software for Macs for 10.7 and beyond to be distributed through their App Store? They’re saddled with at least the threat of regulatory oversight on app requirements if they do that. Or do they clamp down on tools choices if you want your app to appear in the App Store?

Perhaps it’s some mix of the approaches. I can guarantee that whatever they settle on will maximize developer outrage. Developers are no longer partners in Apple’s market view. They are customers. And they are being sold access to users. The price isn’t just 30%, and for free apps, that’s immaterial anyway. The price is lock-in.

Oh, and this will drive title prices way down. A $10 app will be expensive. And that will have more effects on the lock-in when it comes to cross-platform software.

You know, I really like making software that works and feels the same on Mac and Windows (and Linux).There is a whole market of users for whom that is really, really important. They use Windows at the office, Mac at home. Or they are school districts that ebb and flow between platforms, and don’t want to have to reinvest in software. We’ll see whether Apple can put an end to that market. Bookmark my predictions and tell me what an idiot I am in 90 days grin.

VaughnSC

repetitiously redundant

Lead by example raspberry (Just poking fun)

I’d consider 70/30 given the presumed higher visibility of apps in the App Store (think mall). I’d give it a shot alongside ‘normal web sales’.

However, if you have a cross-platform product, you’d still need a different system for Windows. (Just thinking out loud here if they’ll do a Win app store or keep it as a platform differentiator)

VaughnSC

do they clamp down on tools choices if you want your app to appear in the App Store?

I was wondering the same thing (vis-?-vis Real Studio)

Greg Lawhorn

I for one will be shocked if Apple attempts to force ALL software to be sold through an App store. Most major developers will scream bloody murder if forced to give Apple 30% of their income. Instead, the App store will give small, living-room-based developers the opportunity to get their product to users. I’m no programmer, but I imagine that it would take a pretty serious rewrite to block the installation of non-App store applications. We won’t see that sort of rewrite on Snow Leopard.

Lee Dronick

nstead, the App store will give small, living-room-based developers the opportunity to get their product to users.

I am thinking of the donationware utilities that I buy. I wonder what the return is on donationware and shareware. If they are priced right on the App Store then the small time player may make more money.

There is another thing. The new MacBook Air is sans optical drive. Downloading software from the internet is not not the only way to install, but probably the easiest.

VaughnSC

Greg: This is like having a small boutique across the road from a mall. The latter becomes a de-facto standard (one-stop or first-stop -shop) with no need for an edict: Simpler installation, licensing and payment.

I do agree this will cause some pricing pressure despite the higher up-front cost and ‘all-your-Mac-are-license-says-Us’.

mrcqm

I’m very interested in learning more about the mac app store.  30% sounds like a large cut but is it really a huge cut when it covers the distribution and marketing to a very specific audience?  I know I’ll immediately get up to speed on the OS X stuff within Xcode—probably fairly easy to transition from iPod dev to OS X and well worth it given the new app store.

daemon

That 30% does not cover advertising.

Any ways, I can’t wait until the next big thing is jailbreaking your Macbook.

Scavenger

When a program like Office or Photoshop, or even Delicious Library, is sold at the Apple Store (the retail brick and mortar stores), what percentage of the price goes to Apple?

Standard retail is a 30-50% markup from their cost, for like books and clothes…is it the same for software?

MOSiX Man

The new MacBook Air is sans optical drive. Downloading software from the internet is not not the only way to install, but probably the easiest

Actually, with as prevalent as SD card slots are becoming on computers, I’ve been wondering how long it will be before physical copies of apps start being distributed on (relatively low-capacity) SD cards. Even if software is distributed only on CD/DVD, for a lot of people who have another desktop Mac, they can copy the installer to an SD card or just use the CD/DVD sharing tools.

Lee Dronick

Actually, with as prevalent as SD card slots are becoming on computers, I?ve been wondering how long it will be before physical copies of apps start being distributed on (relatively low-capacity) SD cards

Good point! Although I don’t remember Steve mentioning it I can see what looks like an SD card slot on the new Air.

Nemo

Bosco and Daemon:  You two can calm down.  Mr. Jobs expressly said in his presentation that the Mac App Store is only one option for distributing OS X apps and that the current methods of acquiring and installing software on a Mac will still be available.  So side-loading apps from other websites and installing shrink-wrapped apps will still be available, though the new MacBook Airs will require a USB or FireWire drive to install shrink-wrapped apps.

And though Mr. Jobs didn’t speak directly to what tools will be permitted to develop Lion’s apps, that the traditional means of distributing apps will still be available implies that all the existing third-party tools for developing apps will also be permitted for developing apps for OS X devices.

So gents lower blood pressure.  And Bosco, you can return to attacking the iOS and Mr. Jobs.  However, given that Apple is now selling 20.7% of all PCs—and I suspect that percentage is rapidly increasing—your decision to develop apps only for Windows and Linux and not for OS will impose a punishing opportunity cost on you, in addition to the tremendous opportunity costs that you’ve incurred in abandoning the iOS.

MOSiX Man

That 30% does not cover advertising.

So, you don’t think that an app being in a central location, in which it can be quickly and easily found via keyword searches, be prominently displayed in ‘top 50’ or ‘favorites’ lists (if it deserves to be) is advertising? Then I guess that being able to demo your wares, with nicely laid out copy and scrollable screen shots, without having to host your own website (along with a simple to use, online purchase system) isn’t helping to advertise/market, either.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Fact check Nemo. That is 20.7% of PCs sold through retail. Amazon.com, NewEgg, etc. don’t count.

And Nemo, in your cheerleading, you missed the subtlety of my question about tools. That’s OK. You’re free to call me an idiot in 90 days when this thing debuts. But the “cost” to developers is not 30%. That’s negligible, even reasonable. There will be control/review issues because that’s how Apple “integrates”.

Funniest thing is, my blood pressure isn’t up over this. I’m pretty much ambivalent. It’s not my scene. But it’s an interesting case study.

VaughnSC

you don?t think that an app being in a central location, in which it can be quickly and easily found via keyword searches, etc…

I’m with MOSix on that, but I think Apple may again prove draconian with its eligibility guidelines, e.g. duplicate functionality/‘looks too much like an existing Apple app’, use of unsanctioned APIs, or even plain-old ‘we dont like the looks of you’, etc.

MOSiX Man

The affect that the Mac app store could have on software pricing is an aspect that I didn’t think of in the first place. Could that actually be a strategic move on Apple’s part?

Just for arguments sake, imagine that the Mac app store eventually becomes the most popular method of getting Mac software, and the model of the store does end up significantly reducing the average price for apps (while keeping profits for app sales relatively level, due to reduced costs for distribution and greater sales volumes). Will that, in turn, put downward pressure on what developers of Windows and cross-platform apps? If that happens, and the affected Windows/cross platform app developers can’t find a way to compensate (maybe a Windows app store?), lower prices for apps could become another key selling point for Macs.

skipaq

Standard retail is a 30-50% markup from their cost, for like books and clothes?is it the same for software?

My experience as a Department Store Manager is somewhat dated but the breakdown was like this:

Software (ie. clothing) 30-35%
Hardware (ie. toys, tools) 45-75%
Snackbar, Novelties 100%

There are also other types of retail where shelf space comes with a premium. If you consider that 30% buys you the whole thing (no shipping, packaging, stocking or distribution charges) then it is not unreasonable. You would also have the benefit of Apple’s huge customer base having access to your goods. That is a part of advertising.

MOSiX Man

...Apple may again prove draconian with its eligibility guidelines…

You may be right about that, but does it really matter much? Unlike on the iOS app store, if developers can’t sell their apps through the Mac app store, they can still sell them through the traditional means. Due to that fact, if Apple gets abusively restrictive with the apps they allow through the store, devs will likely ignore the store, rendering it a big money pit for Apple. I’m sure Apple is aware of that, and will therefore be somewhat more lenient on how they judge Mac apps, than they are with iOS apps.

skipaq

I find it rather humorous that the Mac App Store is scary to some. The Mac is not an iOS device. You can run windows on the thing for crying out loud. Anyone predicting that duplicate functionality, censoring or whatever is afoot just doesn’t understand the difference. This App Store will be one of many places to buy Mac apps.

No developers are forced to sell through this one store. But it will be convenient. The closest brick and mortar store to me is a Best Buy 1.5 hours away. The closest Apple Store is 4.5 hours away. The Mac App Store will be one more online option for me.

JonGl

Bosco said

It?s not my scene. But it?s an interesting case study.

Odd, for it not being your scene, you sure waste a lot of my screen real estate with your non-interestedness, non-interesting, self-love. I could wish for a way to ignore your posts… hm… now I need to go look to see if there is a way…

-Jon

Nemo

Yes, that is 20.7% of apps sold through retail, which, given that Macs are outgrowing the industry by 2.5 times this year and have been outgrowing the industry by wide margins for four and a half years, is certainly an underestimate of the Macs actual sells.  Amazon, for example, has routinely had Macs among its top selling devices and leading their respective product segments. Thus, the opportunity costs to you is probably far greater than 20.7%.

And if your question about tools was whether apps for the Mac App Store can use any thing other than Xcode, I didn’t miss that.  It is just that it doesn’t matter for two reasons:  (1) I think that Mr. Jobs’ presentation implies that developers can use any third-party tools for apps on the Mac App Store, but we will see, and (2) it doesn’t really matter, because if a developer doesn’t like the rules and/or business terms for the Mac App Store, whatever they will be, you can always distribute your app using traditional means, thus, avoiding whatever Apple requires to be on the Mac App Store.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@MOSIX Man: There’s another way this can play out. According to Nemo, Jobs said that the Mac App Store will be the “best” place to get apps. True or not, that message will be in everyone’s face if they use any Apple apps, which of course, will be updated through the Mac App Store. It won’t fail, regardless of their policies. The only number that will matter is how quickly they have 1000 fart apps. It’ll be a completely meaningless stat (like app count) that will signal success because nobody knows how to demonstrate how meaningless the stat is yet. grin

VaughnSC

does it really matter much?

It matters plenty if end-users stick to the confines of App Store, which is bound to happen. It costs a pretty penny to get a software link under their noses as it is. Rest assured that App Store searches will not include Google/AdWords results alongside (ex.: App Store results + Web results)

MOSiX Man

It?ll be a completely meaningless stat (like app count) that will signal success because nobody knows how to demonstrate how meaningless the stat is yet.

Bosco, for once (and only this once, dagnabit!) I agree with you. The ‘we have more apps’ claim is meaningless, after a certain point, because it really doesn’t represent any added value. However, it was all-to frequently used to tout the superiority of Windows PCs over Macs, for years, so I think Apple turning it around, for a while, was somewhat justifiable. At this point, Apple should drop it. Besides being pointless, I think that a lot of people are starting to become savvy to the fact that having two hundred apps for one purpose (fart or otherwise) is no better than having a few good apps, for the same purpose, to choose from.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

JonGL, I will help you out. See that gear at the right of the taupe heading of this comment. Mouse over it, wait a couple seconds, the choose “ignore member”.

Nemo, if you’d actually Googled for “Mac market share” and clicked the “news” link, the second item is an article by the esteemed Bryan Chaffin, reporting that IDC says Apple is now #3 in US PC sales with a 10.6% market share in 3Q2010.

MOSiX Man

Vaughn,

Do you think that if iOS device users could get any 3rd party app they wanted, without having to jailbreak their iOS device, that Apple would be so restrictive about what they sell through the app store? If they were, they would make a lot less revenue from the store, with a lot of devs opting not to use the app store.

If Apple decides to go nuts with what they allow through the Mac app store, those devs that can’t afford to sell apps through any means other than the app store, will be the only ones who ‘have’ to deal with restrictions. Others might choose to live within the confines of the Mac app store, but I think the number of dissenters would be rather significant.

Nemo

Bosco:  Sales and market share are two different things.  Tim Cook was referring to sales for the Quarter, which is a pretty important number for developers. It is even more important, because Apple’s customers are both wealthier, so they have more money to buy apps, and they are the knowledge workers who use more apps for work and leisure. However,  Apple’s sales and market share have one thing in common:  They are both growing rapidly for the Mac.  So either get on train or be left at the station.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Math professor Nemo: I have a complicated math question for you. If Apple has 20.7% of retail sales and 10.4% of all sales, will the percentage of non-retail sales be above, below, or equal to 10.4%. Assume those numbers all apply to the same time period and geographic region (which is close enough to the facts).

Nemo

Bosco:  I’ve got a question for you.  Where did you get 10.4% of all sales from?  Apple, according to IDC, has 10.6% of market share, which means that 10.6% of folks are using OS X; that is not the percentage of Apple’s sales over any given period of time.  So there isn’t enough information to know what Apple’s sales through other channels are based on knowing that it has 20.7% of retail sales for this Quarter.  To answer your question, one would need to know what percentage of total sales are represented by retail sales.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

10.6%, not 10.4%. I got “sales” not “marketshare” from reading the article that Bryan wrote. There’s a chart with a column “3Q2010 shipments”. I looked up “shipments” on UrbanDictionary, an it was pretty clear that the term means “sales” not “installed base share”. This would make a very good LSAT question, no?

BTW, the answer Nemo, is that non-retail sales are less than 10.6%. I didn’t ask for a particular number, just some relative thinking.

Nemo

Bosco:  I just looked at your reference.  IDC, and shame on it for doing so, doesn’t give sales number for Apple or any of the other vendors for the Third Quarter.  IDC’s numbers show the change in Apple’s U.S. market share; the number of units shipped for each vendor in the channels that IDC meausres, which is not total sales through all channels; and the total number shipped for the Quarter.  Now, I don’t recall how IDC calculates the number of units shipped, but it does not purport that its numbers are the total of number of units shipped for the listed vendors through all channels.  Nor does IDC provide any information on what the relationship of its number of units shipped for each vendor has to the total number of units shipped for that vendor, and of course units shipped does not tell you what was actually sold.  So, as I said, supra, there isn’t enough information to provide even a reliable answer to your question even in relative terms.

MOSiX Man

Wow… Something smells like someone over-fried fish with chocolate sauce around here. Ugh. It reeks! raspberry

gslusher

“Mac OS X 10.7 also sports a new feature called Launchpad that lets users group applications just as they do on the iPhone and iPod touch in iOS 4.”

F10 Launch Studio does the same thing—and has done since 10.3.

cb50dc

The closest brick and mortar store to me is a Best Buy 1.5 hours away. The closest Apple Store is 4.5 hours away.

Skipaq, thanks for the reminder that lots of us need. Not everyone has the luxury.

mhikl

Is waiting 90 days the law? Wy wait. I’d be worth the jail time.

VaughnSC

Is waiting 90 days the law?

LMAO. This had me scratching my head for a few seconds, but by all means; you’ll have that ‘first-mover’ advantage.

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