#os x mountain lion

Frederic Lardinois reporting for TechCrunch from Microsoft’s Build developer conference:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft sold 4 million Windows 8 updates since the operating system went on sale last Friday.

That’s 4 million in 3 days. Solid, right? Sure. Though it has to be noted that Apple sold 3 million copies of OS X Mountain Lion in 4 days. Microsoft likes to poke fun at the small OS X install base, and now it works both ways. Apple got nearly as many people to buy the update for OS X in the same amount of time despite a sliver of the overall footprint.

Also, not apples-to-oranges, but even more impressive given the price: Apple sold 5 million iPhones 5s in the first 3 days. Yes, Apple sold more $199-$299 iPhones in the first few days than Microsoft sold $40 Windows 8 updates in the same span.

Apple:

Apple today announced that downloads of OS X Mountain Lion have exceeded three million in four days, making it the most successful OS X release in Apple’s history.

For some context, Apple announced that OS X Lion sold one million copies in one day — which might imply it was selling a little faster than Mountain Lion. But by October, about two months later, Lion had moved six million copies. Mountain Lion is selling faster — seemingly much faster.

Mountain Lion, Facebook, And The Fall

This morning, Philip Elmer-DeWitt wondered if the lack of Facebook integration in the release build of OS X Mountain Lion is the result of a new rift between Apple and Facebook ala the Ping situation in 2010. 

Jim Dalrymple was quick to point out something Elmer-DeWitt clearly missed:

Apple has said since WWDC that Facebook would be integrated with Mountain Lion in an update to be released this Fall. On it’s Web site, Apple was very clear that the feature would be “Coming Soon.”

Still, I was a bit confused when the review copy of Mountain Lion that Apple gave out did include Facebook integration. And the functionality seemed to work just fine, but Apple told me as well that the plan was still to release it in the fall. Why?

Read More

If you’re looking for something a bit more comprehensive than the mere 2,000-word reviews of OS X Mountain Lion, might I suggest the eBook that MacStories published this morning.

For $6.99, you get 127 pages of everything you want to know about the new OS. It’s extremely well-done. And the best part is that 30 percent of the proceeds are going to the American Cancer Society. 

maniacalrage
maniacalrage:

I keep my OS X dock on the left side of the screen so this won’t really mean much to me long-term, but the new dock design in Mountain Lion is much nicer. I played around with it for a bit on my MacBook Air, and one nice change is even though it still reflects things on the screen like a jackass, the effect is far subtler.

Agreed. It is much nicer — though I too am a left-edge dock kind of guy.

maniacalrage:

I keep my OS X dock on the left side of the screen so this won’t really mean much to me long-term, but the new dock design in Mountain Lion is much nicer. I played around with it for a bit on my MacBook Air, and one nice change is even though it still reflects things on the screen like a jackass, the effect is far subtler.

Agreed. It is much nicer — though I too am a left-edge dock kind of guy.

Speaking of tech writers not actually knowing what they’re talking about, Henry Blodget wrote the following words this week:

The NYT’s gadget guru, David Pogue, did get a sneak-preview review copy of Apple’s new operating system for a week, which is another favor Apple PR gives to approved journalists. But he does not appear to have gotten access to Apple’s execs, the way John Gruber and the WSJ did. 

Compelling, when you consider that such a move could be backlash for The New York Times’ “iEconomy” series. The only problem? Total bullshit.

As Gruber himself corrects:

By sheer coincidence, I can report that this is nonsense. When I left my briefing with Schiller last Wednesday in New York, waiting in the hallway for the next briefing was: David Pogue.

See also: Blodget taking a shit on Twitter’s product direction days before it’s revealed that Twitter will now be built into each and every copy of OS X Mountain Lion.

John Gruber’s take on OS X Mountain Lion is just as much about the way it was presented to those of us in the press:

Handshakes, a few pleasantries, good hot coffee, and then, well, then I got an Apple press event for one. Keynote slides that would have looked perfect had they been projected on stage at Moscone West or the Yerba Buena Center, but instead were shown on a big iMac on a coffee table in front of us.

And:

But this, I say, waving around at the room, this feels a little odd. I’m getting the presentation from an Apple announcement event without the event. I’ve already been told that I’ll be going home with an early developer preview release of Mountain Lion. I’ve never been at a meeting like this, and I’ve never heard of Apple seeding writers with an as-yet-unannounced major update to an operating system. Apple is not exactly known for sharing details of as-yet-unannounced products, even if only just one week in advance. Why not hold an event to announce Mountain Lion — or make the announcement on apple.com before talking to us?

That’s when Schiller tells me they’re doing some things differently now.

My first question after the presentation wrapped up was the same: why announce Mountain Lion this way instead of a big press event? 

The answer I got was much more vague and more along the lines of “not sure” or “we didn’t think about it”. It also wasn’t coming from Phil Schiller.

I think Gruber is right in that Apple wants to keep their events sacred, and the only way to do that is to limit them. Had they done an event for Mountain Lion, it would have been three events back-to-back-to-back in a short amount of time (iBooks -> Mountain Lion -> iPad 3). 

Given the fact that Mountain Lion, while it has some big, important changes, is more of a incremental upgrade also undoubtedly played into this. As did the knowledge that they’ll probably talk about the software again at WWDC in June (the Mountain Lion launch isn’t set until “late summer”).

With Lion, Apple essentially gave a preview of the software twice — once at the unveiling in October 2010, and then again at WWDC 2011. It seemed a bit redundant. 

This time, only a few members of the press saw the first unveiling. I suspect everyone else will (with a few new additions) at WWDC.

I also think this way of doing things leads to better stories about the software. During a big keynote, all of us would have been rushing to file as quickly as possible. That leads to sloppy work largely repeating (and often mis-repeating) what was said on stage. This way, we got to use the software and to think about it for a week before actually writing about it.