OS X Mountain Lion Threatens Facebook and Microsoft

OS X Mountain Lion Threatens Facebook and Microsoft

One of Steve Jobs’ goals was always made very clear: make Apple the backbone of the consumer cloud. First there were cloud features in MobileMe, then cloud enabled iOS, now with the upcoming OS X Mountain Lion, Apple plans to change our online world again.

Edward Aten, writing for Gigaom:

Any move by Apple is obviously watched closely by Microsoft. But after digging into Mountain Lion’s features and philosophy, I think Apple’s new operating system poses a threat to another, less obvious, company — the current leader in the consumer cloud, Facebook.

Many companies have learned the hard way not to underestimate Apple. For Microsoft and Facebook, now may be the time to make bold moves to ensure their continued relevance in the consumer cloud.

Apple and Facebook haven’t exactly been the best of buddies lately. There was the last minute removal of Facebook integration during Apple’s Ping launch, the delayed Facebook iPad app, rumors of a Facebook phone, and of course, the Twitter integration in iOS5. Now with the release of the developer preview of Mountain Lion, Facebook is noticeably once more missing in action.

Luckily for Facebook, it has a friend in the OS game, Microsoft. They may want to get a little cozier with their friend in Redmond.

Aten continues, “Rapid consumer adoption of iOS and OS X in any form clearly threatens Microsoft. But OS X Mountain Lion’s social cloud features, including messaging and photo storage, create an entirely new set of competitors beyond operating systems.

“Apple has chosen a few strategic partners in Flickr, Vimeo and Twitter, but this isn’t necessarily great news for those companies. Remember, Apple has no qualms about mimicking successful apps from their app store (just ask Instapaper).

“The only companies that are worse off are those not involved from the start.

“Suddenly, Facebook and Microsoft find themselves on the same side of the table. If I were at either company, I’d be considering huge moves — all the way up to an acquisition or merger.”

It may be time for Microsoft and Facebook to join forces. Before it’s too late.

Aten’s article goes into more detail, and is definitely worth reading.