With the release of OS X Apple set out to create an OS that was the center of our digital life. They evolved their setup and kept on improving upon it until they finished this setup with OS X 10.4 Tiger. Tiger, with iSync, iTunes, Front Row and iLife was the perfect media center on a Mac.With the release of Leopard, and especially Snow Leopard, Apple moved their focus from digital hub to a modern OS connected to the internet, where their platforms, iPod, iPhone and iPad are interconnection via what was then called MobileMe.
Working on my Mavericks review, and I’m lost in the weeds. I have no idea if this release feels more like an end or a beginning. - Stephen Hackett
When reading this App.net post, a thought occurred to me: in a way, if we look at both Snow Leopard and Mavericks, they have on thing in common: they both are logical evolution upon prior systems that introduced major new features.
Snow Leopard was code optimalization of Leopard, and lay the foundations of MobileMe and Apple's Cloud platform. In a perfect world where MobileMe worked as expected, Apple could iterate on that in Lion and finish their Cloud OS with Mountain Lion as a fully capable cloud-aware OS.
But MobileMe was a failure. With Lion Apple pressed a giant reset button and rereleased their cloud vision as iCloud. Lion contained only a bare minimum of features, and it's only with Mountain Lion that iCloud became something more than OS X + cloud sync.
And now with Mavericks, Apple has a platform that has iCloud backed in, with cloud storage, preference syncing, keychain sync etc.
Mavericks could have been 10.7, but MobileMe made us wait a couple of iterations more for Apple's cloud-aware OS to become reality.
So in my opinion, Mavericks is an end. And what's next will be new. It'll be as different from Mavericks, as Mavericks is from Tiger. Tiger was a finished media hub, Mavericks is a finished cloud-aware system, and the next major system could be a fully cloud based system, or something else completely different that we can't grasp right now.