David Pierce (who briefly blogged for me while I worked at PCWorld) gives his evaluation of OS X Yosemite:
“It’s a cleaner, calmer, more balanced look that I like a lot, even if I did change my background immediately. But there’s still a dock at the bottom of my screen, still a menu bar at the top, still the same settings and options and gestures and keyboard shortcuts. Yosemite is a new look — but it’s not a new idea.”
I’ve been using Yosemite since the first public beta, and this is about as accurate a description as you’ll find. Yosemite may look different than Mavericks, and it may tweak a few things, but make no mistake—it’s still OS X.
This part I’m not so sure about:
“But Yosemite isn’t really a brand-new vision of the future the way Windows 8 was. The ways it talks to and interact with your other devices is tacked on to an existing paradigm, not part of an entirely new one. Yosemite is an excellent desktop operating system, but in a world where “desktop operating system” is starting to feel as antiquated a phrase as “cordless telephone,” I don’t see Apple moving boldly into the brave unknown. I see Apple watching its PC share grow while others fall, and sticking with what still works. For now.”
Windows 8 didn’t exactly work out for a number of reasons, but chief among them, I think, is that it didn’t meet users’ expectations of what a PC operating system should be. Yosemite does. And as long as the personal computer exists in its current form—a screen, a physical keyboard, and a pointing device—I don’t think we’re going to see much deviation from what we’ve got right now. It’s hard to break decades of user expectations, after all.