Apple released a developer preview of its upcoming version of Mac OS X, Lion, last week, which has been put under scrutiny across the world over the weekend. The preview has highlighted the exclusion of Oracle’s Java runtime, Apple’s Front Row media centre software, and Rosetta, the emulator that makes it possible to run PowerPC applications through an Intel Mac.
Lion is due to be released in summer this year, and Apple claims that it “taking our best thinking from the iPad and bringing it all to the Mac”. Lion will introduce new features such as Launchpad, Mission Control, Mac App Store, Auto-Save, Versions, Resume, fullscreen apps, Air Drop and the new Mail 5.
Apple Insider reports that Lion excludes Java, Front Row and Rosetta. Although Apple does include a mechanism to download a Java runtime for Lion automatically. The news of Java’s exclusion follows last October’s reports that Apple has ‘deprecated’ Java, meaning that Java apps were not made available on the Mac App store.
The comments about this discovery have been mixed; many Mac users are worried about access to their PowerPC apps with the absence of Rosetta. Without Rosetta, Adobe CS1 and CS2 users will no longer be able to access their software. Other applications that are only PowerPC include AppleWorks, Office 2004, Office v. X, and early versions of Final Cut Pro. Many gamers will also lose the ability to play their favorite games on a Mac, such as the popular Age of Empires II. This development spells the end to the relationship between PowerPC and Apple.
Comments left on Apple Insider’s report show that Mac users are not as worried about the dismissal of Front Row, as there are alternatives available such as Media Central, CenterStage and iTheater. Perhaps Apple is hoping to make a replacement for Front Row in the future, or use the change to promote their latest Apple TV.