Fiddling with installation media for operating systems is annoying and cumbersome – and sometimes it’s even impossible to create said installation media to begin with.
And Apple’s solution to this conundrum is very neat: even with a blank hard disk, the system firmware can connect to Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet, go online, and download the operating system directly from Apple. You can do a bare metal restore with nothing more than an Internet connection.
This is just one of those little things that Apple can do relatively easily due to the integration between its hardware and software. Things like this take forever to get done properly on the PC side of things – although on the Linux side of things I used to download the minimal installation ISO and just download the rest of the operating system at install time through FTP or whatever.
In true Linux fashion, this was a manual process. I would love for all this to be automated, as well as for the installation medium – even the minimal one that only boots the installer and connects to FTP – to be eliminated. Apple has done it, and so can the rest of the PC world.