Mac OS X Lion Server Now Standard, Preview Via App Store
Apple has done some interesting things since releasing the official developer beta release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. For starters, sys admins don’t need to to buy a ‘server’ version of the operating system. All the server features are already there — users just flick a switch. Second, there’s no download image for the preview. No disc to burn. No nothing. It’s all via the Mac App Store. Industry implications? There are many. Read on for perspective …
Imagine, for a moment, that the next version of Windows was delivered inside Windows. That’s what Apple is doing with Mac OS X Lion. No longer do users need to buy a new computer or a freshly pressed DVD — they simply plug in a credit card number and hit a button, and they’re done.
Apple is now doing for operating systems what it has done for apps, and that’s kind of a big deal. Physical media is dying, and operating systems were one of the last stops due to their sheer bulk. But I think we’ll soon see DVDs die out in favor of USB keys for quick restores, and most operating system updates will occur via downloads on the network.
One could even call it a cloud strategy.
And what are the server implications? Since Apple has decided to move to one singular version of the operating system, Microsoft now is essentially the only company offering versions of its OS for specific use cases. Any Linux distribution can become a server with a few free switches turned on or downloaded.
A new era of openness and collaboration is near, I can feel it.
Meanwhile, Mac OS X Lion is packed with a list of new features that are insanely innovative and could drastically change the way we use a personal computer. I’ll be looking to get my hands on the developer beta ASAP, even if that means signing up to be a developer. Check back for a full review, including the server features.