By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO
CUPERTINO, Calif.—Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook wants to make its Mac more like an iPhone.
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In an interview at the company’s headquarters here, Mr. Cook unveiled a new version of the company’s Mac operating system that incorporates several features from the software that powers Apple’s hit mobile devices.
Named “Mountain Lion,” the new version of OS X is the clearest sign yet of Apple’s belief that the mobile, laptop and desktop world are destined to converge—and that Apple wants to be a catalyst.(See video link on Mountain Lion)
“We see that people are in love with a lot of the apps and functionality here,” said Mr. Cook, 51 years old, pointing at his iPhone. “So, anywhere where it makes sense, we are going to move that over to Mac.”
Apple’s moves come as fiercer competition among hardware makers is leading them to compete over software and giving consumers a familiar experience across various devices. That is leading to a convergence between different categories of devices that could have wide ramifications across the technology industry.
Apple also hopes to add luster to a business line that has momentum but little market share. Apple sold a record 5.2 million Macs in the quarter ended in December, up 26% from the same quarter in 2010. But Macs represented 5.4% of global PC shipments in the fourth quarter, according to IDC, up from 4.5% a year earlier.
Apple’s iPad leads the tablet industry in market share, and its iPhones frequently command the biggest slice of quarterly smartphone shipments.
Apple will start selling the new Mac software to customers in late summer. It made an early version of the software available to developers Thursday.
The updates will include Apple’s messaging service, notifications app, gaming center, sharing features and integration with the company’s online service iCloud—all pioneered for the iPad and iPhone, which use software known as iOS.
Mr. Cook said he already thinks of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems “as one with incremental functionality.” He said both laptops and tablets will continue to coexist, but he didn’t rule out that the technologies could converge further.
When asked if Apple’s iPhones, iPads and Macs might run the same microprocessor chips, he said: “We think about everything. We don’t close things off.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2012