If you had any doubts about the overwhelming importance of iOS and the imminent death of OS X — probably after Mountain Lion — take a look at this image. Pay close attention. Read the titles of the entire Apple leadership team.
See it yet?
There’s no VP for OS X or Mac technologies.
Craig Federighi — who still is Apple’s Senior Vice President of “Software Engineering” — is nowhere to be found on the Apple Leadership page. Federighi replaced Bertrand Serlet — the father of OS X — after the latter left Apple back in March 2011 as “VP for Mac Software Engineering”.
A year later, Federighi is still not listed in Apple’s Mount Olympus. Before Federighi, Serlet was in that list, one of the gods who ruled Infinite Loop. Just like Avie Tevanian was there before him — Tevanian was Senior Vice President of Software Engineering from 1997 to 2003, and Chief Software Technology Officer from 2003 to 2006.
Now it’s clear why Serlet left. The writing was on the wall back then, after the success of the iPad and the unstoppable tide of iOS. Scott Forstall and his leather pants won that battle. Actually, iPhone and iPad — especially iPad — won that battle. A battle that will end in the complete iOSification of OS X, helped by touch devices and new hardware designs that will eventually lead to a single operating system to rule them all. This is something that was even hinted by Tim Cook himself during the introduction of Mountain Lion.
It makes sense. First, the Mac will not disappear and OS X will continue to exist — just in a different way. The fact is that both operating systems have already converged in a serious way. In fact, you can consider iOS a subset of OS X with some new stuff thrown in. It’s not going to be much of a shock. It’s just that OS X is changing shape.
The iOS approach offers Apple total control. Mountain Lion is already paving the way for the change by offering operating system services to apps that are exclusively available through the App Store. It’s the app ecosystem on the desktop.
Steve Jobs knew more than a year ago that iPad is the future. The staggering sales numbers proved him right. The whole market is shifting because the market has spoken. That’s why Apple considers OS X secondary and its chief doesn’t appear on the Apple Leadership page. That’s why Microsoft is putting all its power into the tablet market, as is Google.
What we are looking in this image is just a silent statement of this focus shift — and a very cute sad cat.