Mountain Lion. Clever?

Apple just announced the next version of (Mac) OS X: Mountain Lion. And they did so in an rather unusual fashion. Grubes has the scoop:

The recurring theme: Apple is fighting against cruft — inconsistencies and oddities that have accumulated over the years, which made sense at one point but no longer — like managing to-dos in iCal (because CalDAV was being used to sync them to a server) or notes in Mail (because IMAP was the syncing back-end). The changes and additions in Mountain Lion are in a consistent vein: making things simpler and more obvious, closer to how things should be rather than simply how they always have been.

But a lot of the chatter (chirping?) on Twitter concerns the name:

I “get” what Apple’s doing with the name. Mountain Lion (10.8, presumably) is to Lion (10.7) as Snow Leopard (10.6) was to Leopard (10.5): a refinement, a continuation of the same direction in OS X’s evolution as the version that preceded it.

But it is rather odd, if you think about the actual cat names involved, especially since a mountain lion is essentially the same thing as a cougar, also known as a puma or… a panther, which Apple already used as the “big cat” codename for Mac OS X 10.3 way back in 2003.

Beyond that, Lion always seemed like something Apple was building up to… the “king of the jungle.” That version 10.7 was named Lion seemed to suggest the “big cat” lineage, version 10.x of Apple’s Mac OS, and perhaps even the “X” (which is pronounced “ten” after all) was done. And here we have… Mountain Lion? A decisive step backwards in the awesomeness of the big cats. Heck, mountain lions have even been spotted here in Minnesota for crying out loud!

So… anyway… I think the point is: Apple is not taking this whole “big cat” thing too seriously, and neither should we. Mountain Lion looks pretty great. I can’t wait to try it out!

Update: After some research, it turns out Apple already used Puma, too, for 10.1. But as I recall, they didn’t start using the big cat codenames in marketing until 10.2, Jaguar. And I still have the Jaguar mousepad on my desk to prove it!

9 thoughts on “Mountain Lion. Clever?

  1. Good thing for that last paragraph. I’m not usually one to “get a life, people” people, but that has to be the silliest thing I ever heard.

    That being said, I’d prefer a step back than more Lion. I’m running Snow Leopard and have no plans to Lion-ize my computer. If I want an iPad, I’ll get an iPad (i don’t want one.)

    When the whole FCPX thing went down, I got this deep-in-the-gut feeling that Apple was telling me, directly, to piss off. Looking at Mountain Lion, I feel that my gut was right.

  2. Have you actually used Lion at all? The iPad-like stuff is pretty marginal. I don’t use any of it, but I am quite happy with Lion otherwise. (Plus, I think it’s futile to resist. Sure, Lion may seem unnecessary now, but in a year or two or three, hanging onto Snow Leopard would be like staying on Tiger now. Enjoy your eMac.)

  3. If I’m not going to use any of the bullshit they tout in Lion, why upgrade? I looked over the 200+ changes when they launched it, was severly underwhelmed. I haven’t heard about anything that Lion does that would make it worthwhile for me. I have a computer that runs exactly the way I want it to, why change it and risk something getting jacked?

    I’ve been thinking about it a lot (prompted, as I mentioned, by FCPX) and I feel like I may be done with New. I’m not interested in what’s new in technology. I don’t really care about the Internet. I’ve stopped building Web sites because I just don’t care about tablets and HTML5, and computers that don’t have DVD drives in them. I don’t want or need to talk to a phone like it’s a person.

    The direction that Apple is going has just diverged from what I want, and the things they promote are things I dislike. I like Logic Studio 8, and Adobe CS3. I can be happy for the rest of my life with that level of development.

  4. I should also mention, the first thing on the Mountain Lion page, other than the name, is this:

    “OS X Mountain Lion arrives this summer. With all-new features inspired by iPad, the Mac just keeps getting better and better.”

    That statement is in direct conflict with my preferences.

  5. Can’t stop the train… but feel free to jump off wherever you like. ;)

    (I felt compelled to edit this and add the wink because I meant it as a joke, but I realized I kind of sounded like a dick.)

  6. Don’t worry, I know you well enough to know that no matter what punctuation marks you use, you’re a total dick!

    It’s true about the train… except maybe it’s more like the train in The Fugitive.

    Do you ever get a sort of out-of-body feeling, like you’re pulling away from the ground, and you can sort of see yourself from above? I used to get it on stage in choirs, probably a mix of heat, light, anticipation and dread all mixed together. I feel it certain times when thinking about the future, because I want to abandon everything but know that it’s hard to do that. I really did feel like the Web was going down a path that I understood. I thought I was seeing further down the road, but it was just one of those Wile E. Coyote paintings.

  7. Heh… fake tunnel painted on the side of a cliff. *CRASH*

    I can see how you’d be frustrated. On the other hand, I’ve never been more excited about the web. Flash is withering away, we can use real fonts, CSS3 is actually gaining wide browser support, jQuery makes JavaScript comprehensible and consistent, and mobile is finally starting to not suck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>