Apple to Turn Attention to OS X 10.7 for WWDC 2011

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If you are a regular reader, you'll know I've been going on about user interfaces, the fact that the Mac is far from dead and Apple's gradual move to bring touch to the desktop (which it has with its Magic Trackpad, released this week).

Apple is involved in complex competition with so many other firms in tech today that it is focusing on its central DNA -- the capacity to innovate into futures others haven't seen yet. The company has some very, very clever people working at it -- which isn't to say its competitors don't...

[This story is from the new Apple Holic blog at Computerworld. Subscribe via RSS to make sure you don't miss a beat.]

This morning I note a fascinating job description posted on the Apple website which calls out for a skilled senior software engineer to join the team that is secretly crafting the very future of Mac OS X.

More than this, the job applicant will be part of a team destined to "build a new and revolutionary feature for Mac OS X".

Here's Apple's ad (in full), followed by a quick deconstruction:

Are you looking to help create something totally new? Something that has never been done before and will truly amaze everyone? Are you excited by the prospect that what you helped create would be used every day by millions of Apple customers? Then come and work on with the Mac OS X software engineering team to help build a new and revolutionary feature for Mac OS X.

We are looking for a senior software engineer to help us create a revolutionary new feature in the very foundations of Mac OS X. We have something truly revolutionary and really exciting in progress and it is going to require your most creative and focused efforts ever.

An ideal candidate will have a degree in Computer Science (or equivalent), five years of professional experience developing C / C++ / Objective-C libraries or frameworks for use on end user systems, experience with developing for Internet technologies and services, and a passion for doing "really hard" things that have never been done before.

An exceptional candidate will also have up close and personal experience with the HTTP protocol as well as other protocols layered atop it, have participated in or lead the architecture of large web scale systems, have shipped multiple "platforms" for use by millions of users.


The first paragraph confirms:

  • That the new feature will be system-wide
  • That the new feature will be within the user interface itself -- how else can Apple be so certain it will be used every day by millions of users?

The second paragraph confirms:

  • Revolutionary is Apple's buzzword for its most advanced and important products. At present, touch and iOS are the most revolutionary of these. This is not to say the revolution will not be mobilized -- there could be another circulation waiting in the wings -- but its a fairly good bet we're looking at the mythical iOS integration (do it as a dashboard widget and work from there).
  • Whatever it is, it isn't finished yet. It could fly in all manner of directions. Nothing is (yet) set in stone.
  • Apple needing more staff for this also suggests the budget has been freed-up for 10.7 development, suggesting too that the company is on a deadline for this. I'd advance WWDC 2011 as a very big upcoming deal as a result.

The third paragraph confirms:

  • Apple wants a genius with extensive technical skills. Whoever fits this bill will have a chance to create something utterly new. Very exciting. Not sure what else to say.

The fourth paragraph confirms:

I'd advance the suggestion that Apple is prepared right now to invest every ounce of company muscle, intellect, invention and clout in order to ensure that ally-now-rival Google can never claim to innovate ahead of industry trends again.

This battle will get bloody, but will see new paradigms in technology advance at a rate that will make all previous fast advances seem sedentary in comparison.

Will we be able to keep up?

This story, "Apple to Turn Attention to OS X 10.7 for WWDC 2011" was originally published by Computerworld.

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At a Glance
  • Apple Magic Trackpad

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