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Missing In Action: Three Things Absent From OS X Lion

Missing In Action: Three Things Absent From OS X Lion

The more we comb through the OS X Lion Developer Preview, the more we find out about it. This time, we’ve discovered a few things that Lion seems to be missing that have been present in past releases.

1. Java Runtime and Flash

While we’ve known about Apple’s plans not to bundle Flash with releases of OS X any longer, the fact that Java run-time is missing is a new phenomena. While I’ve heard others comment that the move may be a “political” one, I disagree. I believe it’s been excluded for the same reason as Flash: Security.

The reason that Flash Player is no longer bundled is because the version included with the release is often outdated by the time it needs to be installed, leading to potential security concerns. I feel strongly that Apple isn’t bundling Java for the same reason. Users can simply obtain it after they install.

2. PowerPC Support

Also notably missing from Apple’s recent developer release is Apple’s Rosetta infrastructure that is used in previous versions of OS X running on Intel to support PowerPC applications. With the exclusion of Rosetta, it seems to be the case that Apple has finally abandoned support entirely for the PowerPC architecture and all it’s native code.

3. Front Row

Perhaps most critically (at least for me) is the exclusion of Apple’s Front Row application. Front Row essentially acted as a media center interface for the mac, allowing access to movies, photos, and video in full screen, and with usage of the Apple Remote. It worked excellent when hooked up to a TV.

The fact that it is missing could mean several things. First, it could mean that Apple is trying to push people into purchasing an Apple TV, which replicates these functions. It could also mean that they are planning on building similar functionality into iTunes, or even perhaps working on a new version that support more video formats. Only time will tell…

While we don’t necessarily count any of these things as negative, still, each of these things is a notable exclusion from Lion, and something to keep your eye on in the future, as they may become more significant further down the road. What are your thoughts? Please share with us by sounding off in the comments.