Last week’s Switched On discussed how Lion’s feature set could be perceived differently by new users or those coming from an iPad versus those who have used Macs for some time, while a previous Switched On discussed how Microsoft is preparing for a similar transition in Windows 8. Both OS X Lion and Windows 8 seek to mix elements of a tablet UI with elements of a desktop UI or — putting it another way — a finger-friendly touch interface with a mouse-driven interface. If Apple and Microsoft could wave a wand and magially have all apps adopt overnight so they could leave a keyboard and mouse behind, they probably would. Since they can’t, though, inconsistency prevails.
Yet, while the OS X-iOS mashup that is Lion exhibits is share of growing pains, the fall-off effect isn’t as pronounced as it appears it will be for Windows 8. The main reasons for this are, in order of increasing importance, legacy, hardware, and Metro.