Apple’s Big Idea – Bring the iPad’s Walled Garden to the iMac

Apple showed off it’s new operating system, code-named “Lion,” which will power the next generation of Mac computers and laptops. Lion won’t debut until next summer, but the demo today said a lot about where Apple is headed.

Steve Jobs, appearing onstage at his headquarters in Cupertino, California, said that Apple was inspired by the operating systems they created for the iPhone and iPad and wanted to bring some of those innovations to the Mac, including multi-touch gestures and, more importantly, the App Store.

For advocates of the open web, this is alarming news. The iPhone and iPad are meant to be walled gardens in which users prefer to consume their information and entertainment by paying for apps controlled and approved by Apple. As Wired recently declared, in the age of apps, the web is dead.

There are lots of details that remain unclear. Will Adobe, famously banned from Apple mobile iOS, be allowed in apps intended for Mac? Will there be a way to download an install third-party software not approved by Apple?

One thing is clear; Jobs, along with many in the media business, is enamored of the App store model, and wants to make sure that it applies to the entire family of Apple products. Can you blame him? With billions of MP3s and apps already downloaded and Apple’s stock price at an all time high, the model seems to be working quite well.

Apple’s Big Idea – Bring the iPad’s Walled Garden to the iMac