Mac OS X Lion Is a Must-Have: 10 Reasons Why

News Analysis: Mac OS X Lion won't be released until summer 2011. But the operating system is shaping up to be a must-have for enterprise customers and consumers.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage on Oct. 20 to discuss, among other things, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Although the software won't be available until summer 2011 and there are still a slew of features that the company has yet to reveal, the items that Jobs did show off seem to have some promise.

In fact, there is a real possibility that Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is going to be the best release of Apple's venerable operating system ever. It will combine elements that consumers already like with those features that they might not know they need yet. Plus, it will also offer a level of security that its chief competitor, Windows, has been unable to match. When the software finally launches, Lion could be the top option in the OS space.

Read on to find out why:

1. The App Store

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion will include the Mac App Store. According to Apple, the App Store will be available to Snow Leopard customers within the next 90 days, but it will be a key component in Lion. That alone should make the operating system far more attractive to those who want to bring some of the iPad's functionality to their Macs. And according to Apple, that's more people than some might think.

2. The multitouch component

Multitouch functionality will play a key role in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Granted, Snow Leopard already supports multitouch functionality on the trackpad. But Steve Jobs made it clear that Lion will double down on that implementation. That's a good thing for Mac customers, especially since Apple seems so focused on making multitouch a key component in its products going forward. Plus, it puts Microsoft's Windows platform on notice, since Windows 7's touch implementation isn't all that great.

3. The Launchpad looks great

A new feature, called Launchpad, could be quite important to those who plan to use the operating system's application store. The service will provide an iPad-like grid for downloaded applications. And upon choosing an app, users will pick up where they left off, rather than be forced to start anew as they would with regular desktop applications. Launchpad is yet another Lion feature that simply makes sense-and makes Windows look bad.

4. The software conundrum will be solved

The biggest issue with Mac OS X has always been that developers do not create as many programs for that operating system as they do for Windows. In the enterprise especially, few developers offer Mac OS X versions of their programs. But with the help of the App Store, all that could change. In one fell swoop, Apple could very well overcome Microsoft's lead in the software space.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...