Computerworld - This year is shaping up as a repeat of 2009, when Microsoft and Apple last faced off with rival operating system upgrades, analysts said today.
Three years ago, Microsoft rolled out Windows 7, it's last operating system upgrade, and Apple launched Snow Leopard, or Mac OS X 10.6.
Today, Apple began distributing a preview of Mac OS X 10.8, aka Mountain Lion, to developers, and said it would ship the final code "late summer 2012."
Meanwhile, most analysts agree that Microsoft is on pace to deliver Windows 8 to customers this year, probably in the fourth quarter. The company has slated the release of what it calls a "Consumer Preview" of Windows 8 for Feb. 29.
"It looks like both have the mobile OS religion," said Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research.
Gottheil cited the similarities between the Microsoft and Apple strategies, pointing out that both show strong influence from the companies' mobile operating systems.
"It's interesting that both companies are taking big gambles this year with their operating systems," said Gottheil. "Both recognize that the form factor that's taken off, tablets and smartphones, requires an upgrade from the 25-year graphical user interface that's dominated PCs."
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