With the next version of Mac OS X Apple is blurring the line between the platform for actual Mac computers and iPads, and Microsoft is looking to do the same with the next major iteration of Windows when it comes down to PCs and slates.

Apple has shared the first details on Mac OS X Lion, the successor of Snow Leopard, which will feature the power of Mac OS X and the magic of iPad, according to the company.

The main enhancements that Apple choose to highlight for Mac OS X Lion are related to the graphical user interface which borrowed elements from the iPad UI, and also applications, even an App Store: namely full-screen apps, Launchpad and the the Mac App Store.

Mac OS X Lion is planned for availability in the summer of the coming year.

“We took our best thinking from Mac OS X and brought it to the iPhone. Then we took our best thinking from the iPhone and brought it to iPad,” apple said.

“And now we’re bringing it all back to the Mac with our eighth major release of the world’s most advanced operating system. Mac OS X Lion arrives in summer 2011. Here’s a sneak peek at just a few of its features.”

Microsoft is currently building the successor of Windows 7, although it is less talkative about Windows 8, or the next versions of Windows (Windows vNext) as the company likes to refer to the forthcoming release.

Although Windows 8 is pegged for launch sometime in 2012, a detail that remains unconfirmed by Microsoft, it will be the Windows vNext to take on Mac OS X Lion.

Given the array of issues that plagues Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Windows 7 had no real competition from Apple.

But the Cupertino-based company is bound to have learned its lesson, and also to build a better meow for its upcoming cat.

The Redmond giant is working to up the ante, and deliver an OS that’s superior to Windows 7, which is not going to be an easy task by any measure.

In his recent visit to Europe, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer made it clear that Microsoft will tailor Windows 8 to slates.

Adapting Windows 8 to Tablet PCs will need to have a new Shell for the operating system, one that is designed for multi-touch, one key detail that’s missing from Windows 7.

In addition, leaked documentation supposedly from Microsoft, indicates that a Windows Store will accompany the next iteration of Windows to the market. (via MSFTKitchen)

Have a look at the images included below in order to get an idea of what the company wants to deliver with its Windows Store for Windows 8.
Source: Windows 8 Will Take on Mac OS X Lion - Softpedia