iOS-like Mac OS X Lion, meet WP7-like Windows 8

Summary:Some think that Mac OS X Lion 'tries too hard to be iOS'. But have you seen Windows 8 recently? Apple and Microsoft are bringing mobile to the desktop.

While many have noticed the similarity between iOS and Mac OS X Lion -- one looks at Windows 8 and sees very much the same thing with Windows Phone 7.

Though it shouldn't come as, or be seen as a criticism, it is wise in the rise of the tablet device to have an operating system which is seemingly fitting and consistent across devices -- Apple's Mac OS X to iOS, and that of Windows 8 and its phone operating system, Windows Phone 7.

Gallery: New MacBook Air, Mac mini

The difference is, however, that while Mac OS X Lion will not run on iOS devices, like iPhones or iPads, Windows 8 will be installable on tablet devices, giving an interface designed for tablets, likened to the phone operating system.

It's not copying, nor is it sneaky product placement. It's common sense.

One could argue until the cows come home whether the post-PC era is yet in full swing. Incorporating Mac's into this, often left out of the loop for reasons relating to the Mac vs. PC divide, the tablet market is booming and the iPad is putting down its competitor's day in and day out.

As mobiles have become more powerful over the past three years in particular, some mobile devices are as tough, as powerful and as capable as some laptops are for what they can offer back to the person using it.

But one might say: "the iPhone is not as powerful as the new MacBook Air". In terms of functionality, it really is. Power is relative and is entirely subjective to what one can do with it.

If the Norwegian prime minister can run their country from an iPad in the midst of the Icelandic volcano, that is one massive point scored in the mobile camp.

Though many in the technology media are claiming that "Lion tries too hard to be iOS", I can't agree.

I think it succeeds, rather than tries, and for good reasons.

Just as Microsoft is taking the same approach by throwing in mobile features into the next version of Windows, it makes sense to bring the two polarised -- and vastly competing mobile and desktop arenas -- ultimately it means the experience will run smoothly across from the desktop to the mobile.

In the coming years when Windows 8 is released, the desktop experience should be, and perhaps will, be consistent across mobile devices to desktop machines.

But the key is in the tablet. If Microsoft can pull off the tablet productivity margin, then that in itself could be Google+ to Facebook: a high-end competitor, with yet a lot to learn.

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Tablets, Windows

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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