I've been following the comments of a lot of friends out there about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, and how it relates to the Server environment. It seems that Server services are now going to be bundled within Mac OS X, which means Apple no longer needs to provide a Server version of the OS. This is what is inferred on Apple's preview website for Lion, and it has created a lot of buzz over it.
For me, I think it's great! Why? Well, because it means that my vision for the computer world is looking pretty solid. When the iPad came out, I saw the writing on the wall: desktops were going to be relegated to Servers for storage, sharing, printing, etc. while home computer use will be managed through tablets like the iPad. There are exceptions to that, obviously, like video editing and rendering, high end photo manipulation, etc, but for the most part Joe Average at home could do most of his computing on a tablet.
So why even stop there? Well, the Internet in general is not yet reliable enough for cloud based computing (wonder why Chrome OS is so long in coming?), and there are still a number of desktops out there that could be used for a transition in the meantime. Apple has taken the step in the commercial OS business to provide an active migration tool to tablets and Servers, and making it easy to set up and manage.
For those that have used Server Preferences in the past may have known that setting up a Mac OS X Server can be very simple. For those of us who used Server Admin, we know that Apple is great at simplifying the process. From the screenshots I have seen (I've yet to get a preview copy), it looks like Lion will have a Server Preferences like app, but it will look like Server Admin now, or actually more like Finder.
But what about the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch? Well, it looks like profiles can be pushed out to the iOS devices using Profile Manager, a new service. That's exciting! It's going to make managing iOS devices at home and at work much easier. And the fact that it integrates with an existing directory service (like Active Directory, Open Directory, Open LDAP, Kerberos, eDirectory, etc.) makes it even easier to throw into a network for iOS management.
There are still a lot of questions that need to be answerd, but as it sits I'm really excited to see this move by Apple. It's a good move, and with all the other updates coming from Lion, this is going to be one slick OS.