Tech

How do you prep a venerable computer operating system to flourish in late 2012 and beyond?

We’re about to get answers to that question from both Apple and Microsoft, in the form of major upgrades to the world’s two most popular operating systems. Apple’s new Mac software, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, is hitting the Mac App Store today; Microsoft’s Windows 8 is due just three months later, on October 26th.

Superficially, the two updates share big-picture themes. Both draw inspiration from their makers’ mobile operating systems, Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Each uses an Internet service–iCloud in the case of Mountain Lion, SkyDrive with Windows 8–to share data, settings and other items between multiple computers and other devices.

But what’s most striking about Mountain Lion and Windows 8 isn’t the similarities, but their fundamentally different visions. To swipe a line from Yogi Berra, both Apple and…

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