Following the announcement of Mountain Lion, many have speculated about the growing convergence of iOS and OS X. Jim Dalrymple responds:
If Apple were trying to make Mountain Lion more like iOS we would be touching the screen of our computers to interact with out apps instead of using the keyboard and mouse.
Mountain Lion is about familiarity and integration. The new features and apps in Mountain Lion make sense for a desktop operating system.
Right. The focus is not on merging the two operating systems, it is on fostering a consistent ecosystem.
Sharing aesthetic similarities makes OS X "like" iOS, but purely in a cosmetic sense. Consistency does not implicitly suggest convergence, it simply marks experiential familiarity between one device and another. Simplicity is the goal, not the convergence of two disparate operating systems.
Consistency engenders comfort and ease of use - the same tenets that make iOS the attractive and wonderful OS it is known to be.
Further, consistency renders the Mac that much more of an attractive product for the average consumer. Consider the end-user that loves their iPhone but is imprisoned in a world governed by an elderly version of Windows. When looking at alternatives, most appear somewhat complex. But the Mac shares many of the same design paradigms, allows for seamless connectivity and collaboration, and is clearly becoming that much more accessible.
The compromise between laptop and iPad, for the average person, becomes that much smaller, but their money still comes to Apple. The choice is still being made between iOS and OS X, but the end-user knows increasingly less of the discrepancy.