No, Mac OS X isn't going anywhere

Despite all reason and common sense, rumors persist that Apple will standardize on iOS

In the days following WWDC, with iPhone 4 on everyone's mind, several bloggers decided that the introduction of iOS 4 is the death knell for Mac OS X. Oh, please.

Apple is concentrating on mobile technologies for the moment because that's where its massive market and mind share lie. But there's no way Apple will put Mac OS X out to pasture. In favor of what? iOS? Mac OS X isn't going anywhere.

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That's like arguing that Microsoft is going to ditch Windows 7 in favor of Windows 7 Phone -- not gonna happen.

Where are these rumors and theories coming from? Maybe some instigators are trying to drum up a controversy, or perhaps some people genuinely think that Apple will dispatch its most successful operating system in favor of iOS. The latter is simply ludicrous. After all, iOS is built on an Mac OS X foundation. It's an optimized subset of Mac OS X with a different shell.

That said, iOS isn't equipped to run full Mac OS X-based applications, no matter how much processing power and RAM the device might have. There's a supporting cast of dependencies that simply don't exist on the Spartan iOS that enable Mac OS X applications to function. Why would you centralize on a single operating system that's tasked with everything from cell phone calls to addressing high-end graphics and audio interfaces, especially when you have two perfectly good ways of handling those use cases now? It doesn't make any sense to think that Apple's iOS is the future of the company's desktop and laptop offerings.

Where does Apple go from here? My guess is a hybrid. We won't see anything like a full Mac OS X on an iPhone-sized device simply due to physical interface issues. But we may see a more general-purpose operating system on the iPad, taking advantage of the larger screen and better battery life. I don't imagine it'll run Photoshop or VLC, say, but it'll behave more like a full operating system than even the same version running on the iPhone -- better multitasking methods and interface, that sort of thing.

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