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Apple's 'Back to the Mac' event: Enter the 'Lion'
Steve Jobs unveiled "Lion" — a new Mac operating system influenced by the iPad — plus an improved MacBook Air, and other innovations. Is the tech world impressed?
 
Steve Jobs introduces a new slender MacBook Air model, starting at $999, during Apple's special event.
Steve Jobs introduces a new slender MacBook Air model, starting at $999, during Apple's special event.
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At Apple Headquarters on Wednesday, demigod CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage to introduce a host of new products, largely fulfilling commentators' predictions. Perhaps the biggest news was "Lion," Apple's new operating system which can be manipulated via "touch gestures" in an iPad-like manner. Jobs also announced significant upgrades to software suite iLife and debuted Apple's new MacBook Air, calling it "the future of notebooks." Here's a sampling of commentary from tech blogs, which breathlessly live-blogged the event:

Thumbs up to the new OS
"Lion," the new operating system that borrows from the company's winning iPhone and iPad products, generated big buzz. By taking "some of the most successful parts of iOS," like the App store, and introducing new features like Mission Control, Apple has created an "interface approach [that] will greatly simplify the use of the computer," says Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo. The new look will reduce "the clutter of multiple open windows," and move notebook computing "closer to the same user experience that 95 percent of the consumers out there like in their iPhone." Just "don't expect a touchscreen Mac anytime soon," says Ian Paul at PC World. It's the mouse or trackpad that has been revamped with "multi-touch" technology.

The MacBook Air exudes sensual appeal
"Look," says Joshua Topolsky at Engadget, "all we can tell you is that this is one of the tiniest, thinnest, most lust-worthy laptops we've ever seen." Vincent NGuyen at SlashGear concurs; the Airs are "slick, beautiful machines" that will likely win over consumers after a quick in-store trial.

... but may not be powerful enough for some
"My nightmare came true today," says Jason D. O'Grady at ZDNet. "Instead of the more modern Intel i3 processor," the MacBook Air will ship with a Core 2 Duo, which is "bigger, slower, and hotter" than the current Core i3-530. This means that the computer "won't adequately run applications with large resource requirements," and thus "isn't powerful enough for professional users."

Don't forget the iLife upgrades
Apple added a raft of new features to its photo app. "The most fascinating by far," says Rachel King, also at ZDNet, "is the global map slideshow, which pinpoints your photos on places and then goes through them while listing the location during the presentation." When you factor in the nicely tweaked movie and music editing programs, "it's a bit hard to argue" with Jobs when he says this is "one of the best software deals in the world at the moment."

Computers are still relevant
Clearly, "the Mac is not going anywhere," tweets Daring Fireball, "even if it's a smaller business than iOS."

 

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