John Gruber on Mountain Lion:
Use Mountain Lion and its built-in apps like TextEdit and Preview for a few hours and it is very clear that this is how Apple wants users to deal with documents and app content. It’s a radical change from the nearly 30-year-old file-system-centric approach to data management on the Mac. The old way: go to the Finder, find the file you want, and open it. The new way: go to the app and open the document from within the app. Conceptually it works just like iOS — your files aren’t in the file system, but rather “in” the app you used to create them. This is the future, but Apple isn’t forcing it upon us. The feature is prominent, yes, because Apple wants us to use it. But it is far from mandatory. Don’t want to use iCloud document storage? Then just keep on managing your files exactly as before. Apple’s not dragging us to the future; they’re enticing us to walk there on our own.
This is something I think Apple doesn’t get enough credit for in nerdy circles. Others, notably Google, are very good at getting users to leap into new concepts of managing things (labels instead of folders, archive instead of delete, search instead of browse, etc). They make products that prioritise new ways of doing things over old, and can sometimes push things far forward quickly as a result.
But Apple’s approach - which tends to offer new ways of doing things in the background but keep the old method available and unchanged - may be better at getting mass adoption than Google’s. I bet in a year there’ll be more people using iCloud document storage, and opening their apps from iCloud, than there are using Google Docs, for example.