This morning Apple released the developer preview for Mac OS X 10.8 ‘Mountain Lion’, whipping up Apple fans and product owners into a frenzy as the Cupertino-based technology giant showed its plans to further merge the Mac OS and iOS platforms.

As is customary with any big release from Apple, a number of publications run interviews with prominent Apple figures, asking them about the company’s plans and inspirations behind their new products and software.

The Wall Street Journal spoke with Apple CEO Tim Cook, whilst Phil Schiller went on record with prominent Apple pundit John Gruber.

With Mountain Lion, Apple has borrowed heavily from its mobile success and incorporated many much-loved and useful features that have been core to the iPhone and iPad experience, turning them into services that compliment the desktop experience.

In his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cook remarked that “people are in love with a lot of apps and functionality” on the iPhone, adding that “anywhere where that makes sense, we are going to move that over to Mac.”

Given the fact that Messages, Reminders, Notes, iCloud, Notification Support and Game Center have all been ported to Mountain Lion, a lot of things must have made sense to Apple’s operating system designers.

Lion already sees gestures and a small collection of iOS-inspired features incorporated into its system, leading Cook to believe that OSX and iOS are already ”as one with incremental functionality.” When asked about if Macs and iOS devices would ever share the same components, he said: “We think about everything. We don’t close things off.”

Cook says Apple sees the Mac as an ”incredibly important” part of the company, remarking that the success of its mobile devices helped to double sales of its computers in the last year. The Apple CEO believes customers look to Apple as a mark of quality.

“They know about Apple and what Apple stands for,” he said. “Then they search out and look for the Mac.”

Perhaps the most revealing part of the interview is Cook’s response when pushed on whether the company has adapted its strategy in response to pressure from other software companies and device makers, most notably Microsoft:

“I don’t really think anything Microsoft does puts pressure on Apple.”

Cook relayed the same message as his predecessor, Apple builds the best quality products it can and remains “self-induced.”

With a staggering first-quarter balance sheet, Cook knows the Apple way is working. Developers now have the chance to get to grips with a new OS and perhaps a new iPad, in the coming months.