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As smartphone shipments surge, the mobile market remains dominated by two operating systems: Android and iOS. Android maintains a commanding lead, with over 68% of all smartphones shipping with the young and robust OS. This, of course, comes at the expense of its elders, such as BlackBerry and Symbian, while iOS keeps its small but steady pattern of growth as it gears up for the release of its next grand iteration.
No surprises as the latest Nielsen numbers show Android and iOS leading U.S. smartphone market share. Both operating systems continue to gain at the expense of RIM — who has all but fallen into the “Other” category. Speaking of the “Other” category: Windows mobile, Windows 7, Symbian, and Palm/WebOS were all grouped together, combining for a measly 5.9% market share.
One thing Apple has done really well over the past few years is eliminating fragmentation in its operating systems. The install base of iOS 5 is over 75%; OS X Lion is around 50%. That’s in less than a year for both operating systems.
To put those numbers in perspective, consider this. Google’s latest operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, still runs on just 1% of all Android devices after a year, and Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system hovers at around 50% after almost three years.
Apple’s secret is simple. They charge as little as possible for their operating systems, giving it away free if they can. It’s a good strategy that prevents Apple from having to endlessly support older OSes. And now, Microsoft’s finally going to take a page from Apple’s book.
If you’d asked me to bet on it, I would have said that OS X 10.7 Lion would be the last iteration of the Big Cat family. After all, where else is there to go? All of OS X’s releases have been named after successively bigger cats, and with Lion, Apple finally reached the biggest cat of them all.
Apparently, though, Apple envisions at least one more version of OS X before retiring the Big Cat OS once and for all. MacRumors reports that Apple is already testing OS X 10.8 internally.
Any bets on what the next version of OS X will be called? There aren’t any bigger cats, at least not without dipping a toe into cryptozoology, which would be awesome. I still favor ‘Manticore.’
Ten years ago Apple bestowed a new operating system unto the world, Mac OS X. A merger of NeXTStep and the Classic Mac OS, OS X finally delivered Apple’s first major evolution in OS design after a half decade of failed attempts: Taligent, Copland, Rhapsody…
To teach new users how to use its new creation, for a few years Apple included an explanatory brochure titled Welcome to Mac OS X with every copy. These booklets provided a helpful introduction to the new OS. In honor of the tenth anniversary of OS X, here’s a look back at how Apple described things in 2001.
It’s taken them over three years to respond to the revolutionary shift in the mobile operating system landscape posed by iOS, but Microsoft has finally done it and released a properly modern, properly app-laden and properly multi-touchable successor to the Windows Mobile series: Windows Phone 7. But what differentiates Windows Phone 7 from Windows Mobile 6.5, Windows Mobile 6 and a host of even crappier mobile operating systems squirted out by Microsoft?
Quite a bit, actually, and it’s quite a bit better… but it’s still two years behind the curve of iOS.
Somehow, Cult of Mac managed to completely miss OS X’s ten year birthday yesterday… an embarrassing lapse to be sure. Luckily, MacWorld was not going to let the anniversary pass without baking a cake, and so we’d take the time at this point, if you haven’t already seen it, to read their incredible retrospective on the first decade of OS X.
The entire article is worth a read, but this quote at the end from Avie Tevanian, the former VP of Software Engineering at both Apple and NeXT, was extremely interesting to me:
Apple had a 20 to 30 year lifespan in mind for OS X during its development, says Tevanian, but he suspects its fundamental underpinnings may last even longer.
Given OS X’s ten year birthday, that means that unless Apple has reconsidered its position, their Mac operating system may still be around in another decade or more. Even more striking is Tevanian’s insistence that the underpinnings of OS X will last more than 30 years: given Linux Unix is 41 years old, it’s not unheard of for the fundaments of an operating system to last that long, but it’s amazing to see just how long-sighted Apple’s vision for the best desktop operating system on Earth actually was even in its nascent years. It seems like we can expect OS X not only to last until 2020 or later, but make its way through the entire zoological gamut of jungle cats before it finally sheathes its claws.