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Author Topic: Leopard... The Apple one... not the Tank  (Read 5638 times)
dapengmingwang
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« on: November 07, 2007, 12:25:10 AM »

It is a joyous occasion when Apple fxxk up worse than Micro$oft.

Eat that MacFreaks.


~~~
This Leopard bug beats anything Vista has to offer
 Posted by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes @ 7:08 pm
 November 5th, 2007

In this blog I've highlighted a number of Vista related bugs, some of which are trivial, others pretty serious, but today I've come across a bug in Leopard that beats anything Microsoft has to offer in Vista hands down - this bug is serious because it causes widespread data loss, and it's easy to replicate.

The issue has been covered in detail over on Tom Karpik's blog.  Here's the lowdown on this bug:


Quote
Leopard's Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in action. I first came across it when Samba crashed while I was moving a directory from my desktop over to a Samba mount on my FreeBSD server.

So, you use Finder to pick a folder to move to a different volume and start the moving process.  If however, something happens to cause that volume to go offline during the move process then your original copy of the data in the folder that you were moving is deleted as though the move process was completed successfully.  Bye-bye data.  Any files not moved to the destination volume are lost.  I'm guessing that the OS assumes that the move operation has completed correctly and cleans up after itself, unwittingly deleting files that haven't been moved.

This is the sort of bug that'll make you appreciate that you took the time to become acquainted with Time Machine.

I've replicated this bug on my install of Leopard following Karpik's instructions and the problem seems to occur every time without fail.  This bug would make me vary wary of moving data across a wireless network to a remote system - an interruption to the WiFi connection could nuke your data.

I'm hoping to take a closer look at the file system tomorrow to see if the files are still hidden there somewhere - maybe in a temp file or something.  I also want to examine other circumstances when this error could kick in - for example, does this happens when moving between the file system and USB flash drives?

I'm seriously beginning to wonder if anyone beta tested this OS.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:02:21 AM by Grievous » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 12:47:24 AM »

Leopard and Vista - More alike than you might think
 Posted by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes @ 5:32 am
 November 6th, 2007

When Vista was released the chorus of complaints and criticisms quickly grew from a low hum to a near deafening roar.  A little more than a week since Apple released Leopard and that low hum of discontent has already been amplified to the point where it's starting to hurt my ears.

Within weeks of Microsoft unleashing Vista on the buying public the issues facing those making the switch from XP to Vista were clear and you could sum them up in a few bullet points:


  • UAC too intrusive
  • Too many bugs
  • System slow-downs
  • Too many compatibility casualties
  • Glitchy interface
  • Baked-in vulnerabilities
  • Install buggy and prone to crashing
  • Systems that were rock-solid under the XP now falling over regularly

Now that Leopard has been in the hands of users for a little under ten days and you can draw up a similar list for Apple's latest OS:

  • Too many bugs
  • System slow-downs
  • Too many compatibility casualties
  • Glitchy interface
  • Baked-in vulnerabilities
  • Install buggy and prone to crashing
  • Systems that were rock-solid under the Tiger now falling over regularly

Dave Winer does a good job of summarizing the problems affecting Leopard:

Quote
I've given Leopard a chance, but it's pretty clear, this is not a good operating system release.

I've been out of the Mac loop for most of the last decade, just got back in a bit over 2 years ago. I don't know if early OS releases are generally as crappy as this one, but I wasn't prepared for where we've at now. If I had known, I would have waited, instead of upgrading most of my Macs to the new system.

In fact, Winer also goes on to compare Windows to Mac OS X:

Quote
Talking with a friend a few days ago, he asked what I thought of Leopard. He had installed the new version, like me, the first day it came out. "I'm not liking it," I said. He said something that was simple, profound and revealing: "It's like Windows." It is. It's that unpleasant to use. It disappears for long periods of time. Systems that didn't used to crash now crash regularly. On one system three hard disks were rendered unusable, and I lost a couple of full days restoring them (luckily I had good backups). The user interface is quirky. The new networking interface is a big step backward. The firewall moved and lost features! That's simply never done, you don't charge customers to remove features, esp security features. I think Apple doesn't understand how many people depend seriously on their Macs.

I'm guessing that the root cause for these problems echoes Vista too - a rush to get the OS out of the door.  It makes me sad to say it but we as consumers are now having to put up with buying far too many flawed products because companies are rushing to get products out to market and leaving us (the poor saps stuck with the defective product) to road test it properly,  I'll bet that the road to fixes for these problems will be as long and rocky as the one for Vista.  Something else that the two operating systems will have in common.

Leopard's not generating good press for Apple at the moment (actually, when you stop and thing about it for a moment, not much is generating good press for Apple lately) and it might help is affected users were given a timetable of when to expect robust fixes to come down the tubes.

The strange thing is that I'm quite happy with my Mac and Leopard.  I'm guessing that this is because I'm still near the bottom of the Mac OS X learning curve and not pushing the OS too hard.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:06:20 AM by Grievous » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 10:42:03 AM »

The moral of the story is... don't laugh too hard at other people's tragedy. Poetic justice demands that you fuck up on your own to provide an equal amount of laughs... lol

~~~
Leopard suffers the post release blues
 Posted by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes @ 5:52 am
 November 1st, 2007

A few weeks ago I wondered (out loud) about how Leopard would be received by the masses.  Like Vista it's long awaited, like Vista the launch was delayed, and like Vista, I got the impression that Apple rushed a bit to get it out of the door because the Mac fanboys were getting restless.  Leopard debuted to some really glowing reviews written by some of Apple's biggest and most widely read fanboys, but now that the OS is in the hands the people that really matter, the feedback is far from glowing. 

Now, I could begin by throwing the same stuff at the Mac crowd that they threw at the Microsoft crowd when Vista was released: "Who beta tested this stuff?" "Only a fool buys software before waiting for the bugs to be shaken out." "Your OS sucks, mine's brilliant." "Yada yada yada" But I'm not going to.  I know that no amount of beta testing can shake all the bugs from something as complex as a new OS (and I speak as someone who's got tens of thousands of hours of experience running beta software and who has spotted and submitted countless bugs over the years).  The beta stage is nothing more than a way to pick off the largest, most obvious bugs.  As operating systems become larger and more complex, so the number of bugs will increase, and that's true of code written by Apple, Microsoft, or the open source community.  Once the software is out and in the hands of the end users (notorious for not using things the way that they were intended to be used), from that point on the order of the day is damage limitation.

That said, I have to admit that I'm surprised and a little shocked at the types of bugs affecting Leopard, not to mention the volume of people that appear to be affected.  I expected a few random issues, along with a few minor bugs splattered here and there, but I certainly didn't dream that I would be reading widespread reports of BSODs (Blue Screens of Death, usually associated with Windows boxes), crashes and severe performance issues.  There's also a pretty major flaw affecting FileVault too.  Many of these issues affect those upgrading over the top of their existing OS, but others are reporting similar issues with clean installs.

Oh, and let's not forget the new Mac Trojan.  This isn't getting a lot of press but it's pretty significant because it's the first time that a professional malware group has targeted Mac users.  Remember, these guys are only following the money.

Some Apple users are so frustrated that they are considering going down the same road that some Vista users have gone down - and reverting back to the previous version of the OS.

Now I'm going to be honest and say that I've not seen any of these bugs that people are talking about.  Partly that's down to my Mac being a clean install running nothing but the Mac OS, but I'm also sure that it's down to me and the fact that I'm not using it to anywhere close to its full potential.  I'm hoping that updates are released before any of this stuff becomes an issue for me.

For an operating system that goes so far to promote ease of use and reliability, these issues currently plaguing Leopard could have an adverse effect on how the OS is received by the wider community.  If these problems aren't addressed promptly Leopard could end up with the same tagline as Vista - Stick with your current OS and wait for the next version.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:09:31 AM by Grievous » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 09:24:06 PM »

And I thought I will only see that in Windows XP in a domain.

XP 2003. Leopord 2007.  LOL

~~~
Some new iMacs stuck at Leopard's login
 Posted by David Morgenstern @ 4:28 pm
 November 6th, 2007

There's a chance that some customers with a brand new aluminum iMac barely out of the box - the one that ships with a shrinkwrap copy of Leopard inside - may have a troublesome "user experience" when upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. An Apple technical note released today suggests a fix, however, gurus at the Genius Bar take matters a step further.

I had lunch with my brother-in-law Eriks on Sunday. He recently bought a new 24-inch aluminum iMac (described by Apple as Late 2007"). The machine comes with Tiger pre-installed and he went ahead and upgraded the machine to Leopard.

Unhappily, he reported that after installing Leopard, he restarted the machine, entered his password in the login window. The machine appeared to accept it (if you enter a wrong password, the screen "shakes" and the screen turned blue as if it was about to load the desktop. But then the login window would reappear.

And this on a brand new iMac out of the box.

It appears he's not alone. Apple put out a technical note on the subject today:
Mac OS X 10.5, iMac (Late 2007): Stuck in a "loop" at the login window after upgrading to Leopard.

The note suggests that users start up from the Leopard Install DVD (you will need to hold down the C key when restarting) and then perform an Archive and Install reinstallation (while being sure to select Preserve Users and Network Settings).

However, a guru at his local Apple Store suggested that he do the more drastic Erase and Install option, which is what he did. That fixed the problem, Eriks said.

After the new Leopard installation is complete, the Apple support doc suggests that users install the iMac Software Update 1.3 for Leopard. I asked Eriks to check whether Software Update flagged this update but it didn't; so be sure to install the update if you have a new 20-inch and 24-inch Late 2007 model iMac. The note said the problem machines have either a 2GHZ, 2.4GHz and 2.8GHz processor.


~~~
More Leopard boo-boos here:

Leopard Time Machine: Don't trust it yet
Leopard's installer: The case of the disappearing volumes
How much do you LOVE Mac OS X Leopard?
Apple says to Archive and Install Leopard
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:13:52 AM by Grievous » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 11:53:16 AM »

Apple Faithful: Arrogance Is Not a Virtue, and Why I Will Never Buy a Mac

 June 2nd, 2009
 Posted by Jason Perlow @ 3:32 pm


I've often been asked why I don't own a Mac. The answer is simple, and yet complex, and requires a trip down memory lane.

David Morgenstern's column last week about Psystar's imminent demise and his accompanying "Good Riddance" commentary struck a particular sour chord with me that reeked of the typical dismissive Mac fanboyism and "not invented here" mentality which has plagued the company for decades.

While I enjoy David Morgenstern's work and I think he is a great guy, and a talented and knowledgeable writer about all things Apple, the tone of his piece brushed me in such a way that it took me an entire week to formulate a response, the process of which caused me to contemplate the very reasons why I often find myself at odds with Apple and its fans.

People have often characterized me as an "Apple hater", but this is actually a simplistic assessment of what I feel about the company and its products, since arguably my entire history with personal computing began with Apple.

Do you really want to enter the deepest parts of the Perlow psyche?



The Fanboy Template

Let's flash back with the shimmer effect to late November of 1981.  Ronald Reagan was about to finish his first year in office. For my 13th birthday, and as part of my Bar-Mitzvah money, I was allowed to purchase a brand new Apple II+ PC, a beauty of a machine with dual floppy disks, 48K of RAM, 80 Column and CP/M cards, phosphor-green CRT display, with 300 baud Hayes SmartModem.

At the time, the machine was the state of the art, and I chose it because the kids in my upper middle-class suburban neighborhood of Great Neck, New York were all getting them, as were the local libraries.  I got several years of use out of the system, as well as having accumulated huge amounts of software via "trading"(we didn't call it "piracy" back then, we just went over to each others houses and copied floppies with Locksmith and played Dungeons and Dragons) and later on even traded up to a Apple IIc, a more "compact" and lower cost version of the unit.

The Apple ][ series had the distinction of being the last personal computer that Steve Wozniak (the true technical brains behind early Apple Computer) was responsible for engineering. After a near fatal airplane crash in February of 1981, Wozniak spent his time recovering from amnesia and getting his college degree. He didn't return to Apple for another two years, but by that time, he was completely out of the loop on any product development and his presence at the company was largely symbolic and motivational.

In 1984, Apple released the Macintosh. By this time, my interests had gravitated towards the IBM PC-XT and its MS-DOS clones, such as the Tandon and the Leading Edge, which my father had purchased to run his dental practice downstairs, and I wanted to learn software that actual businesses were now using, such as Lotus 123, WordStar, dBase, and Harvard Graphics. My Apple IIc, while still useful, was showing its age. 1984 is also the year I came in contact with my first Mac Fanboy, my first cousin Andrew.

I remember the moment vividly. I was 15 or 16 years old, and was visiting my Aunt and Uncle at their home in New Rochelle, New York, and Andrew, several years my senior, was boasting about his new Macintosh, which had only recently been released.

Andrew at the time was in his second or third year of college, and he beckoned me up to his room upstairs to show the machine off to me, trying to appeal to my fellow geekishness. The thing was tiny, with an integrated CPU and tiny monitor, and it had a GUI, which was the state-of-the-art at the time. It had 128K of memory, versus the 384K on my cranked out PC. But it came with a word processing program, Mac Write, as well as a simplistic painting program, Mac Paint.

While I don't recall the exact wording of the conversation that Andrew and I had, it sounded something like this:

Andy: "Look Jason, I painted a picture of the loft I'm going to build in my dorm room! With the mouse! And it's so small, I can bring the whole thing in one bag to school with me, it's portable! Try that on your dad's stupid PC! Steve Jobs is a genius!"
Jason: "Yeah but it can it run Lotus 123 or WordStar? Can you go onto CompuServe or BBSes with it?"
Andy: "Who cares? This thing is so cool!"
Jason: "Enjoy. I'll stick with my keyboard, character mode graphics and PC-XT."

Cousin Andy grew up to be a very nice, smart and successful guy and went into educational publishing. He got married and had a couple of kids, and is now a venture capitalist. But at that time, when I was 15 or 16, I just remember him as my know-it-all older first cousin. Andrew, I love you man, but you are responsible for creating the master template for my complete distaste for Mac Fanboyism and my eventual disassociation from anything Apple. Sorry.

As far as I know, both Andy and his younger brother, Scott, who went into advertising, still use Macs.



The Structural Reinforcement

Flash forward to 1988. I'm in my first year of college at American University, in Washington DC. The year is particularly memorable because it was the same year that Steve Jobs introduced the NeXT, his answer and arrogant retort to the company which he founded that ousted him two years earlier.

American University turned out to be one of the first pilot schools to test the NeXT computer. It had a brand-new advanced computer lab that was built underneath a newly constructed dormitory (partially paid for by Saudi Sheik and Iran-Contra arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi) and virtually nobody knew anything about the new lab or the weird, new NeXT machines that were down there. I ended up spending a lot of quality time with them because the main computer lab with the PCs in the student center was always busy and you could never get any time on them.

So I poured through the NeXTStep documentation and became an expert on the early NeXTCubes and was able to apply my skills from working for a XENIX/Altos system integrator during summers at home in Queens that I was able to learn the Mach-UNIX based OS on the Cube fairly easily. I became so accustomed to their use and the technology that the local sales rep who frequented that lab to show the machines off to prospective customers in Washington, DC area used to have me talk to them about the system's capabilities.

NeXT, of course, turned out to be a total bust. The $6,500 graphical UNIX workstation that was targeted towards higher education was a technical marvel, but nobody in their right mind, let alone college students could actually afford one.

My experience with the NeXT Cube is where I first began to truly understand the simultaneous brilliance (for surrounding himself with technical geniuses to do his engineering for him) and arrogance of Steve Jobs (for having a penchant for creating expensive toys few people can actually afford). Apparently, over $400.00 of the system's cost came from the unique magnesium alloy casing created by frog design, which was reportedly chosen as the system's housing because it matched the stereo system in Jobs' house and it "must looked cool". If this didn't set a precedent for a behavioral pattern that would follow for over two decades, I don't know what did.

I didn't fully appreciate Jobs?arrogance until 1993, when I went to work at Canon as a software engineer. Canon was one of the original investors in NeXT. Various sources on the web indicate that the Japanese electronics giant invested around $140M in the company, but I was told by various executives at the time that the debt that NeXT had owed to Canon had exceeded the several of hundreds of millions of dollars range, because Canon was the manufacturer for the unique Magneto-Optical drive unit in the NeXTCube and also produced the LBP-LX  printer engine for the NeXT laser printer.

As a partial debt settlement, Canon was supposed to take possession of NeXT's manufacturing plant in California in order to produce PowerPC-based Windows NT systems, but the deal with Jobs fell through. NeXT, instead of going bankrupt, laid off 300 of its staff of 540 people, keeping only its essential core of engineers, and went into a software partnership with Sun, Canon and Hewlett-Packard and produced a version of NeXTStep for Intel 486 and several other chip architectures, such as the Sun SPARC.

This software, although boasting a highly advanced, object-oriented software development platform yet again turned out to be a complete commercial failure because it was priced very high (Do we see a pattern evolving here?) and the RAM and disk requirements for running it on PC hardware at the time were very, very steep. NextStep was also ported to run independent of the operating system as the OpenStep developer environment on Windows NT, Solaris and HP/UX, but it was horribly expensive ($1500) and saw little commercial interest. Today, a re-implementation of OpenStep lives on as the Open Source project GNUstep.

In 1995 NeXT did have one very impressive piece of software which had tremendous commercial potential, the beta release of WebObjects, which ran on Windows NT or NeXT machines and allowed you to build dynamic, object-oriented web sites. Compared to Cold Fusion and other Web development tools at the time, it was state of the art. At the time, I was put in charge of developing Canon's initial Web presence, and I thought it would be cool to have the software to develop our prototype with. As I understand, when the Japanese head of IT for Canon USA asked NeXT if we could have a site license, they asked us to pay for it, and he blew his top. After all, the company owed us a LOT of money.

NeXT, of course, was saved from oblivion by a failing Apple (that was under the stewardship of Gil Amelio) which needed a next-generation operating system to revive the Mac platform. Jobs?triumphant return to Apple, and NextStep's transformation into Mac OS X of course is history, but whenever I am asked why I have such a rod up my rear end about Steve Jobs and Apple, I remember the proud and honorable Japanese electronics company that was completely screwed over by the ultimate snake oil salesman and techno-huckster.



The Present Day: The Song Remains The Same

So now you know why I have a massive distrust for Steve Jobs and his flock. Based on their prior track record, I'm convinced they are fully capable of screwing their partners and their developers, not to mention their customers and early adopters.

But back to why I'll never own a Mac, and why I think Morgenstern and his characteristically Apple fanboy epithets about Mac clones need a dose of reality orientation.

After my praise for the Apple Airport Express, I got a number of lengthy emails about why I'm prejudiced about the company's products and how "obviously having never used Apple products before" I was unable to comprehend the Mac's and Apple's greatness. Oh believe me, I fully comprehend the greatness, which like on the classic Macs, and the Apple II before it, was created on the shoulders of software and hardware engineering geniuses like Avie Tevanian, who pioneered the development of NextStep, OpenStep and Mac OS X, and left the company in 2006.  Not turtleneck-wearing snake oil salesmen like Steve Jobs. If anything, Jobs and his fixation on keeping everything in the Mac proprietary and locked-down has been an obstruction to the Mac and Apple from taking over the entire Personal Computing industry. Don't believe me? Just ask Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer. They seem to have done a pretty good job of picking up the ball that Apple and Steve Jobs dropped in exchange for their Insane Greatness.

So why won't I own a Mac? Well, for starters, I'm a systems integration expert by profession ?as in what I do that pays my day to day bills ? and the systems that I work with and architect are based on Windows as well as Mid-range/Enterprise platforms like Linux, VMWare, UNIX and mainframes.

The Mac, for all its Insane Greatness and cool factor, as well as having all the DNA to make it an enterprise platform, doesn't get a lot of traction in large enterprises, so there isn't a lot of motivation for me to own a system which has no bearing on stuff that I work with to make a living. Additionally, most of the off-the-shelf tools which I work with that I need to do my job -?Microsoft Office, Visio and Microsoft Project are all Windows applications.  Indeed, you can get Office for Mac, and you can even dual boot a Mac into Windows, but what would be the point? Why not just buy a PC?

Why would I incur a large personal expense on a Mac for home use when my laptop is corporate managed and issued to me as a company asset, and when all our line of business systems are Web and Java-based? If anything, I want my personal assets to be compatible with what I work with. And if I am going to use an alternative platform to Windows as either a desktop or a server, I'll use Linux, because it has a huge library of Open Source software. Mac can use Open Source software too, but why bother if I can buy a commodity PC which I can purchase for a fraction of the cost?



Reality Orientation for Mactards

This gets us to Morgenstern and his poorly considered comments about a lousy economy saving us from "Clone Crap". Really? He really thinks that a lousy economy is going to save Apple from cloning? He really thinks that the demise of some tiny upstart in Florida that overextended itself on loans is the end of the road for people who want inexpensive solutions which run on Mac OS when Apple won't give it to them?

First of all, if anything, the economy is going to DRIVE us into more Mac clones. Particularly in countries like China, Russia and South Korea where Apple's legal reach is going to be minimal. But there's another reason why the economy is going to facilitate Mac Cloning, which is the sheer effect of the consolidation of vendors and manufacturers of the commodity parts that go into personal computers.

You see, with a crappy economy, a whole bunch of parts manufacturers are going to fail, or find themselves acquired by larger manufacturers with ample cash to absorb them. Where we used to have a dozen or more companies in each category making graphics chips, I/O bridges and bus controllers for Intel and AMD processors, and all the other support electronics that goes into PCs, Notebooks and Laptops, you'll maybe have a handful. This effect will be further exacerbated by highly consolidated chipsets which companies like Intel and AMD will release in order to minimize the amount of components that go onto a mainboard ? like on Atom-based netbooks.

The net effect of this means that after the great supplier and manufacturer purge, there will only be a few basic reference designs for building systems, and the hardware variation between PCs will be minimal, allowing the Hackintosh community to focus on a much smaller set of hardware to support with their special kernels and boot loaders. You know how easy it is to get Mac OS X running on a Dell netbook now? Within the next year, every new PC released to the market will be a Mac OS X Hackintosh candidate, with little or no technical expertise necessary in order to install it with Apple's OS. Originally, I thought that on-chip virtualization on every PC would be the disruptive technology to cause Mac Cloning to explode like a hydrogen bomb. Little did I know that economy, not technology, would be the disruptive force to do it.

Arrogance and wishful thinking on the part of Apple and its rabid fan base will not stop Mac clones. But it will certainly stop me from buying a computer with an Apple logo on it.

Satisfied? Talk Back and Let Me Know.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:20:31 AM by Grievous » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2009, 07:43:12 AM »

Windows 7 versus Snow Leopard: How much do upgrades really cost?
June 26th, 2009
Posted by Ed Bott @ 5:00 am


In one of its brilliant "I'm a Mac" ads recently, Apple lampooned the complexity of Microsoft Windows with a dizzying display of fine print that eventually filled up the screen and covered up both characters.

I thought of that ad when I saw Apple's recent announcement that it was going to make its next Mac OS X upgrade, Snow Leopard, available as a $29 upgrade. That sounds so much better than the broad range of prices that Microsoft is going to charge its customers for Windows 7 upgrades. Too bad the $29 upgrade is not that simple. In fact, according to my analysis of Apple's own sales figures, 57% of Apple's customers who bought and paid for new Macs in the past five years are ineligible for those cheap upgrades.

That hasn't stopped casual observers and even some seasoned analysts from falling for Apple's ruse. Michael Gartenberg, for example, issued this critique in response to Microsoft's announcement of Windows 7 pricing:


Quote
Apple showed the way. Snow Leopard is also not [a] major update but rather an enhanced version of Leopard. With an upgrade price of $29, that's about where MSFT should be for the Home Premium version of 7.

Yes, $29 for an OS upgrade sounds like a great deal, if you qualify. But do you? I looked at the fine print for this offer, and was shocked - shocked, I tell you - to discover that the majority of Mac owners don't qualify for that pricing. In fact, a significant number of Mac owners won't be able to upgrade to Snow Leopard at any price.

Details after the jump.

According to Microsoft, roughly 90% of Windows users purchase the operating system preinstalled with a new PC. And if you ignore the Hackintosh crowd, 100% of Mac owners purchase OS X with a new Mac. Any PC purchased with Windows XP or Windows Vista since October 2001 qualifies for a discounted upgrade to Windows 7, for a price as low as $50. But only a select group of Mac owners qualify for those $29 upgrades. A large number will have to pay $169 for the privilege of installing Snow Leopard, and another large group of Apple customers won't be able to install Snow Leopard at all.

So where do you stand? Find the date when you bought a new PC or Mac and look in the table below. The Windows 7 numbers represent the cost of a Home Premium upgrade, which will be available for the next two weeks for $50 and then will be set at an estimated retail price of $120 after the OS ships on October 22. The upgrade cost is $0 from June 26, 2009 to January 31, 2010, thanks to Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Option program.


PC/Mac purchase date | Windows 7 upgrade cost| Snow Leopard upgrade cost
October 2001 - Jan 2006 | $50 - $120 | Not supported
Jan 2006 - Sep 2007 | $50 - $120 | $158-169 (Intel only)
Oct 2007 ?Jun 2009 | $50 - $120 | $29
Jun 2009 or later | $50 - $120 | $0

Both Microsoft and Apple have announced technology guarantee programs for new PCs or Macs ordered before the new OS comes out. The Mac program starts on June 8, Microsoft's program on June 26.

Apple's core market for the $29 upgrade is its most loyal group of hardware buyers, who've already paid their "Apple tax?at the highest marginal rate. You qualify for that $29 upgrade price if you are one of the 15 million or so people who spent $1000 or more for a new Mac in the past 21 months. (Yes, I'm leaving out the Mac Mini, which sells for under a grand but represents a minuscule fraction of Apple's sales - less than 7% according to one analyst's rough estimate.) Any Mac purchased after October 1, 2007 satisfies the upgrade criteria: an Intel-based system running Mac OS X version 10.5 (Leopard).

That leaves out a huge number of Apple's customers.

From January 2006 through September 2007, according to Apple's financial reports, 11.1 million people purchased new Macs. All of them came with OS X Tiger installed. If you paid Apple $129 for a copy of Leopard at some point along the way and your system has an Intel processor, you qualify for the right to pay Apple an extra $29, making your total upgrade cost $168 $158 [math error corrected]. If you own one of those 2006-2007 PCs and are still running Tiger, the upgrade to Snow Leopard will cost you $169, which is the price of the Mac Box Set.

If you purchased a new Mac before January 9, 2006, you can't upgrade to Snow Leopard at any price. That's because systems built before that date were based on the PowerPC processor, which is not supported by Snow Leopard. According to Apple's own numbers, more than 8.2 million customers bought Macs in 2004 and 2005. All are now officially orphaned by Apple. And that number understates the true count. Apple didn't complete its transition to the Intel platform until August 2006, and its likely that some older PowerPC-based machines were still in the sales channel in early 2007.

Apple has been selling its OS upgrades for $129 since the introduction of OS X in 2001. Microsoft has been similarly consistent with its pricing throughout Windows?lifespan. If Windows 7 didn't exist, how much would Apple be selling Snow Leopard for? (Hint: The correct answer has three digits.)

Apple's $29 pricing decision is a clever one. They're counting on gullible reporters and analysts to make oversimplified comparisons with Windows 7, and they're hoping to goad Ballmer and Company into reacting with a slashed price of their own. If Microsoft is smart, they won't take the bait.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:25:06 AM by Grievous » Logged

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