John Gruber of Daring Fireball emphasises the incremental nature of improvements that have come with every release of OS X. Mountain Lion, he says, is not not billed as a blockbuster release, and it isn’t priced like one: “It’s just nicer. And it’s the little things, the attention to detail that show it best.”
…… to understand what Mountain Lion really is, you really need to look at it not as a standalone OS release, but as a step in a series of releases. Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion — none of these have been radical releases of Mac OS X. But taken together, there have been some radical changes to the Mac experience over the last five years: the App Store, sandboxing, and iCloud to name a few. Apple has introduced these features incrementally, which I think has been a win for them engineering-wise, allowing them to roll features out annually rather than queue them all up for one blockbuster major OS release. But it’s also been a win for users, introducing significant changes at a relatively gradual pace.
And on iCloud and document synchronisation, he has this to say:
It’s a radical change from the nearly 30-year-old file-system-centric approach to data management on the Mac. The old way: go to the Finder, find the file you want, and open it. The new way: go to the app and open the document from within the app. Conceptually it works just like iOS — your files aren’t in the file system, but rather “in” the app you used to create them. This is the future, but Apple isn’t forcing it upon us. The feature is prominent, yes, because Apple wants us to use it. But it is far from mandatory. Don’t want to use iCloud document storage? Then just keep on managing your files exactly as before. Apple’s not dragging us to the future; they’re enticing us to walk there on our own.