Lion's first roar

Today's Apple event was packed with real, ready-today products, like the new version of iLife and the new MacBook Air. But it was also an opportunity for Apple to show off some stuff it's got lined up for next year - notably, the next version of its Mac OS X operating system.

Mac OS 10.7 - or, as they're calling it, Lion - is being designed with one big idea in mind - to bring the best bits of the iPad to the Macintosh. Today Apple demonstrated a few of those features. There's going to be a Mac App Store, which will provide a central place to search, buy and update applications just like the iOS App store does - and, just like the iOS store, give Apple a 30% share of whatever you pay for your applications.

Then, there'll be new ways of working with Windows. Macs have never been very good at letting applications fill the screen, but Mac OS X Lion will have full-screen apps everywhere, and a new tool - dubbed 'Mission Control' - to help users manage open windows. And a new app menu, much like iOS', called 'LaunchPad.'

None of this may sound very exciting, but the folks at Gizmodo reckon they signpost a ginormous shift in the way we use computers.... we'll see in June 2011, when the Lion roars onto the marketplace.

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