Segments: Slices from the Macintosh Life
Why I Haven’t Switched to Mac OS X
Apple, Microsoft, and numerous other Macintosh software vendors fail to understand the main reasons why the majority of Macintosh users (including people like me who normally leap at new operating systems) have not transitioned to OS X. It is certainly not because of mediocre marketing. The media has been saturated with OS X-related advertisements, forums, articles, and discussions for three years. Here’s my take on this issue:
Apple saw OS X as a way to sell more computers. Apple has little interest in getting existing Macintosh users to buy OS X. Why do I make this claim? First, at $129, OS X is expensive to Macintosh owners who are used to getting the OS at no extra charge when they buy their Macintosh computers.
Second, during the development of OS X, Apple decided to omit support for older Macintosh computers (essentially, any Macintosh that did not contain built-in USB ports). There are at least 20 million users with Macintosh computers that cannot run OS X, even if their Macs have been upgraded with G3 or G4 processors, lots of RAM, USB/FireWire PCI cards, etc. The only way those users can switch to OS X is to buy a new Macintosh. That is what Apple wants, since the profit margin on a new computer is higher than on OS X alone.
Steve Jobs announced that the useful and free iTools service will disappear on September 30. Taking its place will be the new, improved “.Mac” service. Users will pay $99 per year for .Mac, which has some features (such as Backup) that only will work with OS X. In my opinion, this tactic will backfire against Apple. OS 9 users will not buy new Macintosh computers just to get OS X and the full features of the overpriced .Mac service. Instead, we will become angry about losing iTools and will find other vendors to replace iTools’ services.
Software vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe, Deneba, etc. saw OS X as a way to make lots of money. They ported existing versions of applications to OS X, and then expected users to pay very high “upgrade” fees. Microsoft charges $199 to upgrade from Office 2001 to Office X, even though there were almost no feature improvements. Deneba did the same thing with Canvas 8. Adobe did the same most of its Macintosh applications.
Some hardware vendors behaved similarly. Many printers and scanners that work well under OS 9 have no OS X drivers. But, new devices from the same vendors have fully OS X-compatible drivers. There is no reason those drivers could not support older devices. Of course, those hardware vendors want users to buy new devices, not download new free drivers.
I did a rough calculation of how much it would cost me to switch one of my G3 Macintosh computers to OS X. I would need to spend over $1000 to upgrade my major applications to OS X versions. I would have to spend another $200-500 to replace applications and utilities that have no OS X version. My scanner with automated document feeder and my ink jet printer have no OS X drivers and would be unusable (unless I restart under OS 9). Replacing those devices would cost approximately $600. Thus, to gain the slight advantages conferred by OS X, I would have to spend $1800-2300. I also would need to invest substantial time to master OS X.
My situation is not unique. If Apple lowered the cost of OS X and supported older G3-based Macintosh computers, switching to OS X would be more attractive. If vendors lowered their charges for 9 to X upgrades, then the costs of switching would be substantially less. Microsoft should stop complaining about poor OS X sales and slash the upgrade prices for its OS X-compatible applications. (Microsoft should also incorporate a decent, cross-platform database application in the professional version of Office, because the lack of such a database hinders Office sales in the corporate environment.)
I would switch to OS X if the cost of doing so was more reasonable. Instead, I will do what millions of other Macintosh owners are doing: stick with OS 9 and my current hardware until they become unusable. I’ll probably end up with a new Macintosh computer and OS 12 sometime around 2006.
Also in This Series
- About My Particular Macintoshes · May 2012
- From the Darkest Hour · May 2012
- Shrinking Into an Expanding World · May 2012
- Growing Up With Apple · May 2012
- Recollections of ATPM by the Plucky Comic Relief · May 2012
- Making the Leap · March 2012
- Digital > Analog > Digital · February 2012
- An Achievable Dream · February 2012
- Smart Move? · February 2012
- Complete Archive
Reader Comments (50)
But, not having a "frozen" Mac since December is priceless.
OS X? Not yet. I figure mid 2004.
I'm not going to waste my time conducting a line-by-line rebuttal. However, there are certain parts of the 'article' that stand out for being particularly stupid and which I feel must be brought to readers' attention.
Go read an economics textbook before spouting off again.
Get a grip!
However I have a few comments for Kenneth.
Regarding number 4, I believe the author meant that although the G3 minitowers run OS X, some of their features do not work under it.
For many years, Mac users complained about OS 9 and its instability (at times), lack of PM, SMP, and so on. Apple creates OS X which is unarguably a far larger code base, requiring a tremendous development effort and cost, and all you guys can do is bellyache that it isn't FREE and that your six-year-old hardware isn't supported.
Ryan's utility will extend the life of some older hardware. Go for it! But the name of the game is acceptable performance and your older hardware just doesn't have the processor and bus speed to run OS X at acceptable performance levels.
Sooner or later you all grew up, left mom and dad, and got your own place. This is sort of like that!
What, half a day is too much for you? I moved to Mac OS X just three weeks ago and I'm happily splashing away in Aqua full time these days. Aside from Photoshop Elements and Quicken Deluxe, all of my regular applications have been upgraded to Mac OS X equivalents for free (thanks largely to cross-platform license keys).
Reports of Mac OS X's complexity are greatly exaggerated.
Unfortunately, after using OS X, I have found it to be a second-rate OS.
Don't get me wrong, I like all the promises of UNIX and I have owned Macs since 1988. In fact, I liked my Macs so much that I actually worked for Apple three years. Because of my experience at Apple, I started my own business doing network consulting and I have Apple to thank for it all.
I would be willing to fully upgrade to OS X if I felt it was superior The money doesn't bother me in the least.
However, the major problems I have with OS X are:
It's slow (yes, my optimized OS 9 machine is faster).
It includes features that I don't want to have installed on my computer, namely a webserver, an e-mail server, etc.
It's not more stable than a well-set up OS 9 machine. In fact, I have had numerous freezes where OS X couldn't respond or even force quit.
It's complicated. Most users don't need or care about multi-user computers or logins for that matter. This feature should be optional.
OS X is huge in terms of the sheer number of files that make up the OS. I don't know how many of you have noticed but OS X is roughly 40,000 tiny files. This takes a huge amount of time to run a disk utility on to make sure everything is OK.
OS X doesn't make it easy to see the crucial files and folders. Most of them are hidden but shouldn't be.
Finally, and I know most of you will not like to hear this, I believe that Windows XP is a better-executed OS than OS X currently is. Microsoft did a really good job of migrating and unifying their code base while permitting most of their users to be able to use all their learned skills. With OS X, almost all of the knowledge that I've gleaned over 14 years of using the Mac OS is nearly useless. I can't use any of it to clean up the OS and make it faster or more stable.
And finally...in Apple commercials and print advertising, wasn't it Apple that made fun of DOS users by saying that you'd never have to memorize a string of text to control or use your Mac? What do they consider the Terminal to be? Unless I've missed something, I can't use my mouse in the terminal, but instead I need to memorize a bunch of UNIX commands to get to some of the most basic commands. Why? Is this progress? Also, it was Apple that pioneered the use of Metadata to associate documents with applications. Now Apple wants to obliterate that and go to using file extensions. FILE EXTENSIONS? On my Mac? Apple used to make fun of this as well on Windows computers. Apple said that to use a Mac you'd never have to use a file extension.
I guess things really have changed...and not for the better.
I see OS X as the "Green Party" of operating systems. It will end up drawing away just enough far left liberals (UNIX geeks) to prevent the party (Macintosh) from being elected to the presidency (market share).
NeXTSTEP ran a full implementation of Display Postscript on 25Mhz 68030s. SGI had an OpenGL-based UI and windowing system running on similar hardware (with dedicated video co-processors) more than ten years before Quartz Extreme. There isn't any engineering reason why Apple couldn't get it running on a IIci--it's just Unix after all.
Of course Apple wants you to buy their latest hardware. They are in the business of developing attractive software that comes with these gorgeous copy protection dongles called iMac, PowerBook, iPod, etc.
This debate is about switching platforms, not upgrading to a new version of the Mac OS. And as long as we're talking about proprietary software, the Windows XP comparison is an entirely valid option for veteran Macintosh users to consider. Microsoft, at least, has a metadata roadmap. Regardless of what Apple markets it as, OS X is no Macintosh and my reasons for sticking with Macintosh all these years have not changed. System 6 running on my 68k machines and Mac OS 9 running on my PowerPC hardware is still the simplest, most elegant, easiest to maintain personal computer operating system available.
Stability, by the way, is achieved by disciplined coding and configuration. "Industrial strength" operating systems merely make it more difficult for sloppy code to run amuck, but believe me, it still happens. From the very beginning Macintosh attracted some of the most dedicated, disciplined, and creative software engineers in the world, resulting in a community of developers and end-users that shared an ethic of good, clean design and engineering inspired by PARC and the original Mac team. This resulted in amzingly productive solutions like FileMaker, WriteNow, QuarkXPress 3.x, WebSTAR, QuickTime, HyperCard, Photoshop, Vellum, ProTools, etc., all of which "just worked." For disciplined users willing to configure their systems with care and NOT "upgrade" a functioning configuration, unprecedented productivity became the basis for Mac users in general, having a better quality of life since they weren't shackled to their machine all day. OS X's mish-mash of Classic, Carbon, Cocoa, Java, Posix and RealBasic applications has lost that consistency. The community has never been so fragmented and the half-baked Aqua Human Interface guidelines, instead of inspiring us to a new level of usability, are instead an insult to Apple's tradition of humane design.
Until some paradigm-shattering breakthrough in usability comes along, I have no reason to throw away what has served me well for 15 years. If I'm going to have to learn an entirely new, order of magnitude more complex technology, I might as well learn Windows XP (despotic vendor, ubiquitous software, higher performance hardware) or a GNU OS (complete and utter freedom forever, higher performance hardware) in addition to OS X (fascist vendor, aesthetically cool enclosures but out-of-the-mainstream-of-hardware-performance-curve motherboards). Asked a year before the NeXT acquisition what he would do if he were running Apple, Steve Jobs said he would, "...milk the Macintosh for all it's worth and get on to the next thing." He's still milking and if NeXT is the "next" thing, I've underestimated his ego.
Someday soon, Apple will begin shipping personal computers that won't boot Mac OS 9. Apple will still market them as Macs, but the Macintosh era will have officially ended. The future for Apple users is Unix, not Macintosh and we can blame John Sculley not licensing Macintosh to Sony in 1985 for that.
I noticed that Apple offers a free trial of .Mac with reduced e-mail and iDisk space, and no anti-virus. Maybe Apple should offer .Mac Light, charging, say, $35 per year. They can't offer "free" e-mail without a lot of ads. If you want that, go to Yahoo! Mail.
You seem to forget something about software marketing: when vendors release a new version of a program, they generally sell it at two different prices. New users are expected to pay full price. This price reflects three things: the costs of development, the competition in the marketplace, and the inverse relationship between price and number of units sold. Users of the previous version are charged an upgrade price. If a vendor expects lots of full price sales, it can offer low cost upgrades and still make out quite well. A vendor can actually lower its support costs by getting most users on the current version. If a vendor expects few new users and only expects to make money from upgrades, then it must price the upgrade high to pay for the costs of development. However, some vendors like Microsoft and Adobe do both: charge high prices to new users and to upgraders. Microsoft whined about its low Office v.X sales, but then lowered its upgrade charge by $100. Why the original high price? They wanted to milk the OS X upgrade market.
"Why should Apple care if a few Mac OS 9 users get angry and go elsewhere for e-mail and webspace..."
They won't right now, but when it is time to buy a new computer, they may dump the Mac for Windows. Millions of former Macintosh users have already done so. Apple should be treating its current customer base like gold, not like manure. How can Apple expect Windows users to switch when its actions annoy so many current Mac users. I'm far less likely to evangelize the Macintosh today than I was two years ago because of the recent boneheaded actions of Apple's execs.
"...what other G3-based Mac would you like Apple to support"
How about the entire line of beige G3 minitowers. When I bought my rev B, 300 MHz G3 minitower with DVD, Apple was supposedly only months away from releasing OS X. Apple indicated in its advertising that those Macs (and the G3 PowerBooks) could upgrade to OS X. Well, we can if we decide that we don't need video support, audio-video in/out support, DVD playback ability, etc. There is a class action lawsuit in progress concerning this failed promise. And why can't OS X fully support any Mac that's been upgraded with a G3 chip (even on a daughter card)? The whole point of Apple's CPU on a daughter card and then its ZIF CPUs was the ability to extend the useful life of hardware. That was always a big selling point for Apple: its equipment didn't die within three years. Now, Apple has joined the ranks of PC clone sellers that expect that their crap boxes will get tossed out after 3 years.
I was not bellyaching that OS X is not free. I was stating some of the many reasons why only a small percentage of OS 9 users have purchased OS X. The cost of OS X is only one factor. Also, when OS 10.0 was released, my beige G3 was only 18 months old. Apple should have FULLY supported it. And why can't we expect OS X to support old hardware? I run OS 9 on a ten-year-old Performa. I currently have a 3.5-year-old G3 Mac minitower upgraded to a 400 MHz G4 CPU with 640 MB RAM, a FireWire/USB card, etc. My Mac has more horsepower than some newer Macs that are fully supported by OS X. Apple just decided to break its implied promise to millions of users who bought the original G3 minitowers, iMacs, and PowerBooks. Few of those millions of users will buy OS X until they get it with a new Macintosh. That was my point.
I am a expert power user of Mac OS 9. Do you believe I could become an expert power user of OS X in half a day? Could anyone? No. It would take me weeks just to feel halfway competent in OS X. Yes, I could use OS X applications almost instantly, but the same is true of Windows XP. That's not the same as being an expert power user. My article listed numerous reasons why people like me have not switched to OS X. The burden of mastering a new operating system is just one of them.
I didn't get into all the issues you mentioned, but I agree with every point you made. I believe that Apple would have been far better served by making BeOS into OS X. Be would have cost $300 million less than buying NeXT and Apple wouldn't be staffed by all those arrogant and misguided NeXTStep software engineers. Plus, Apple's board wouldn't have been buying a $92 million jet for Jobs and offering stock options that dilute Apple's stock price by more than $1.00 per share.
What exactly are you saying here? It would be all right if Microsoft charged a high price to upgraders as long as they charged a low price to new users? Can I suggest that there wouldn't be any upgraders if they did that!
Clearly, in the case of Office v.X, Microsoft didn't expect a huge number of new customers, so it had to price the upgrade relatively high to justify the significant development costs involved in porting an application this size to the Carbon APIs. What is equally clear though is that there would have been serious disquiet if Microsoft had maintained only a small price differential between the upgrade and the full version. Imagine how you would feel as an Office 2001 user if you had to pay 95%, say, of the cost of the full version for your upgrade.
I beg to differ. Only today at work, Windows developers looked on in amazement as I developed UNIX software on my iBook whilst, at the same time, running industry-standard apps such as Word and Internet Explorer. They simply cannot do this. They either have to telnet into their UNIX production box or take up valuable desk space with a second PC running Linux.
Mac OS X is gaining more and more interest from Internet developers, precisely because of this killer combination of UNIX core and industry-standard application support.
Presumably you knew you wouldn't get away with saying this without at least provoking a comment or two. In fact, I suspect that was the intention.
Now, I am not particularly concerend about whether NeXTStep software engineers are arrogant. Hot shot programmers are often the best programmers.
I am more interested in what it is about them that compels you to describe them as "misguided"? This, at the very least, is quite a harsh generalization. So, presumably, you have some substance to back up your claim. Please share it with us all.
Perhaps the fact that they wanted to throw away the Mac OS Finder, AppleScript, metadata, and the APIs that became Carbon?
For argument's sake, I might think AppleScript, for example, is the worst scripting language on the planet. I am perfectly entitled to hold that view but, if I do, I am not going to agree with your premise for calling Apple's engineers misguided. The tone that you and Gregory have taken seems to suggest that you think everyone else should automatically agree with your views on legacy Mac OS technologies.
There seems to be a polarization in the Mac community between people such as yourself who are dyed in the wool Classic Mac OS traditionalists, and people such as me who are embracing Mac OS X and all that comes with it (UNIX core, Cocoa, Java 2, etc.) 110%. Both camps are completely entitled to hold the views that they hold but, unfortunately for the former camp, Apple is leaving you behind.
The Mac platform is not a religion. Apple is not a charity. Mac OS X is the future of the Mac. As with any OS transition, some people will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the party (although it would be nice if they could do it without resorting to borderline personal attacks on Apple's software engineers). Others will leave the platform. In my opinion though, the Mac platform today is a much more compelling offering than it was 5 years ago, and there an awful lot of people who agree with me.
The only way Apple can continue to be a lone beacon of elegance and humanity in the world of personal computing is if the company continues to make a profit. And no company stays in business if they don't make a REAL profit, and they don't stay in business for long if they gouge their regular customers.
From my scant knowledge of the costs involved in developing an OS, I think that OS X is a bargain. Sure, I have had to buy new software, but in almost every case the change has not only been to accomodate the new OS but has also brought new features and usability.
I have bought all of the OS X versions including the public beta and have found them all interesting and exciting to use. I run three business and have 2 Macs and will soon dispense with OS 9 altogether when Canon produces a driver for the N650u scanner.
Well, that's great. Unix-using Internet developers make up what tiny fraction of 1% of Macintosh users? If Apple gears OS X to appeal to this group, it will go the way of NeXT Computing. You do remember NeXT, the company with its overpriced hardware and software and fraction of a percent market share? The company whose final (inflated) value was only 10% of Apple's cash on hand?
Some readers are not getting the major point of my essay. My goal was not to bash the technical features of OS X. (That can be handled better by other ATPM writers.) My goal is to point out why OS X sales are not as brisk as Apple, Microsoft, and other companies would like. I believe that Apple made strategic blunders by limiting compatibity of OS X to only new Macs, by pricing OS X too high (OS 9 sold for a street price of $79), and by telling millions of existing customers that their Macintosh experience would be shortchanged unless they buy a new Mac.
Eighteen months ago, 15% of my net worth was in Apple stock (now comprising less than 10% of my diminished net worth, even though I've kept all my Apple shares), so I'm quite sensitive to business decisions that hurt customers and diminish sales. The Copland/OS X blunders are only a small part of what Apple has done wrong in the past few years.
You can also add the OS X installers that trashed users' hard drives (because the NeXTStep programmers forgot that Macintosh drives and folder names can have spaces), the dumping of the very useful Apple and Application menus, the idiocy of a single dock, the loss of tabbed folders or some equivalent (even Windows has this), the overly complicated privileges system, the occasional need to use a command-line interface to fix problems, the inability to rename and reorganize application and utility folders, etc.
Well, another one of my points supported. OS X 10.0 was released in 2001. Its beta versions were available throughout 2000, and developer versions were available before that. Yet, a major computer-related hardware manufacturer still doesn't have an OS X-compatible driver for a scanner that's only a few years old. Perhaps you will never see such a driver. Canon would prefer that you buy a new, OS X supported scanner. This same tactic has been used by dozens of companies and is an important reason why many Mac users stick with OS 9.
I think the value of these technologies is indisputable. You may not like AppleScript, but that does not diminish its value for the many Apple customers who were depending on it, that chose Mac OS over Windows because of AppleScript. Most people who know Carbon and Cocoa prefer Cocoa. That doesn't mean it would be a good idea to go with the original Rhapsody plan. I doubt Apple would be able to survive without apps like Office and Photoshop.
Not everyone who likes certain Mac OS technologies is a "dyed in the wool Classic Mac OS traditionalist." I like having access to a command line. I like programming in Cocoa. I was writing Java 2 before Apple was shipping it.
I'd say that projects like the K12 Linux Terminal Server are much more deserving of the terms elegance and humanity than the modern Apple Computer. The only reason GNU OSes haven't become more popular on the desktop is because ease of use and aesthetic design is not done well by committee. Thanks to Apple's current defensive position in the industry, good initiatives like iSync and Rendesvous are being based on non-proprietary technologies, making it easy for people working on projects like K12LTSP to incorporate the same functionality. If you love the technology (Macintosh) but hate the company (Apple), Open Source alternatives are becoming more and more viable every year. One of these days, some kid in India will produce the the next usability breakthrough and the age of proprietary operating systems will become a distant memory.
Mac OS X has a lot going for it, particularly the fact that it is shipping, but "elegance" and "humanity" are not at the top of my list of recent Apple qualities.
The criticisms are hollow: the CLI is optional, as is having multiple users. It is more stable, no matter what anyone says about having a well set-up install of nine. Faster? Copying files between drives/partitions is faster in X than 9. What about when Jaguar is released? It is going to be fast? Will the bellyachers go out and buy it? No, they won't...they will continue to moan, afraid of real change at every step. The "arguments" listed above are mostly padding for that reality.
Macintosh (System 1 through Mac OS 9)?
Multiple users is not an option under OS X. The root (Avie) owns all, you're just a "user" who needs to ask for permission at the altar of the high priest now and then.
The CLI is optional in Windows, too, and NT certainly was more stable and had much faster I/O than System 7, 8 or 9 but that didn't make me switch, although millions of other Mac users who cared about these factors more than usability did. OS X is a mix of improvements in performance and regression in usability that makes Windows or KDE/Gnome much more competitive. On the other hand, none of them are as easy to use and maintain as the classic Mac OS, so why switch? Apple has put itself in this situation by dissing classic Macintosh qualities without surpassing them in OS X.
Jaguar is faster than what? System 6 boots in 5 seconds on my PowerBook 100 and typing is a lot more responsive in WriteNow on a 68k machine or any word processor on Linux or Windows than Word or TextEdit running under Jaguar. Any x86 PC sold today running Windows or Linux loads web pages faster than any Mac (it would be pretty sad if Apple did web browsing shootouts in public). Jaguar is an improvement over Mac OS X alpha (aka the public beta) and the two betas (10.0 and 10.1) but that cool new spinning lollipop continues to show up embarassingly often.
The ones who are afraid of real change are those who blindly accept whatever Apple says and does as gospel truth. They would have vehemently supported Copland or NT or Be OS if that's what Apple had shipped, regardless of how unstable, inelegant or immature those OSes may have been. Apple is an adult (finally). It can take care of itself.
If you really want to support your platform, become a developer and make cool products for it. That'll shut me up.
The total cost was the cost of the iBook. I'm not crying about it.
Or are you really a developer at all?
This is no way to treat your existing customers, Apple. Sure, you got some Mac users who worship your every action and think everything Apple does is magic, but the majority of computer users don't. But there are still a lot of Mac users that could switch to Windows tomorrow and never look back.
Steve, how about spending money trying to keep your current user base instead on squandering it trying to hopelessly attract new users with these silly commercials?
As far as the .Mac service, I was, for many many years, an AOL (AO-Hell) customer. That was my fault, I'm sorry. Then I made the switch to Yahoo and Hotmail. They should call it junkmail.com. Then I started using an iTools account for free and the skies parted. NO MORE JUNK MAIL. I shrugged a little when I paid the $50 for the first year of .Mac, but I do not regret it in any way. Things are better than ever now. I have faith in Apple and think that they will come through for us loyal Apple customers.
Call me a sucker, call me what you will, but this is the truth of my life. Maybe I'm just not the complaining type. Also, if your machine is 5 years old, HELLO! Get a new machine!! Why would you possibly hold onto any computer that is 5 years old. Mine is going on 3 now and I know that in about 1-2 years it will be time to move on. Get over it!
Oh, and the other point I wanted to make was: even if I could afford a new laptop every couple of years, what about the legendary quality of Apple hardware and all those classic machines that are still churning away while x86 and (dare I say) Pentium 2 Wintel machines are being chucked out the window (pardon the pun)? I pay the premium for Apple computers not only because I prefer the OS, but also because I believe Apple's hardware has no problem holding up for several years!
I don't miss OS 9 and all the freezes and the disasters with extensions. Everything I do with a computer, from listening to music to writing columns to e-mail and watching DVDs on the plane, OS X does better, and while a program or two has stopped occasionally, the computer has NEVER crashed, not once. Do I miss OS 9? Not at all. Do I ever use it? No. Is OS X better? Does it rain in Seattle?
C'mon folks, get some new skis and move your computing minds ahead an inch or two.
As for me, I switched around 10.0.4. It crashes about once every two weeks--about the same as OS 9 did. I still depend on Classic for some key apps and I boot into OS 9 now and then to run DiskWarrior and Plus Optimizer. OS X is definitely not better for everything that I do, but I have good reasons for using it.
I'll be honest ... while I consider myself to be of the more technologically literate of the word-processing/content crowd, I couldn't write a script or tell you the difference between Aqua and Java (except that you need the former to brew the latter) to save my life. I deal with words, and a lot of them. OS X has had me flying through translations, content design, essays, and research since the moment I installed it. The Mac has lagged behind the DOS office world for ages and, with OS X, that's no longer the case. It's worth the cash upgrade by a long shot.
BTW: Nobody knows Apple's shoddy backwards-compatibility better than Beige OS X users who promptly lost the use of the disk drive upon installation. But, you know what? Nothing is perfect and I'm willing to take the bad with the good. Regarding this loss of such capacity, however, it does seem a bit silly to advocate OS 9 so strongly. When I bought OS X, it was boxed with OS 9.2.1 and any of the (for my use, inconsequential) problems that arose on the switch--from a step down in video quality to, yes, the loss of the native floppy--I have found an easy remedy. Stick a copy of Startup Disk on the desktop. Select the OS 9 System Folder with a couple of clicks and 30 seconds later you're off to the races. And what Windows machine (short of partitioned/multiple hard drives) can boast two great operating systems on the same disk, much less in the same box at the store?
From my perspective, point 1 is moot because the native-generated PDFs are large and don't support features like bookmarks and links. There were good shareware and commercial products for making PDFs on OS 9.
And what Windows machine (short of partitioned/multiple hard drives) can boast two great operating systems on the same disk
I believe Connectix has a product for letting you run multiple versions of Windows simultaneously on a PC.
OS X has convinced me (a former Windoze slave) and a number of my friends to become Apple CUSTOMERS.
We are contributing to Apple's business and its future success.
A number of existing Mac OS 9 customers - like us - will also contribute to Apple's FUTURE success. It may take a few a while to upgrade - but they will. (I believe MS is still struggling with a number of Win 95 users it doesn't really want).
If you now "hate" the Mac platform and Apple because of OS X, then maybe as a low upgrade, free services "customer," you won't be missed.
Personally, as a NEW Apple customer, and a NEW Mac user, I want Apple to be around in a number of years, and I'd like my kids to have the chance of using Mac OS X rather than ANY version of Windows.
Whilst this decision may not have been the only possibility to ensure that, it certainly seems to have been the BEST one.
Apple and Mac are gaining new CUSTOMERS, making profits when most PC makers aren't and, in the end, THAT IS BUSINESS.
The attitute of "What have you bought from me lately?" that now seems to permeate Apple will hurt the company in the long run. One of the reasons I have bought only Macintosh computers since 1985 is the expectation that they will not become obsolete, broken, door stops in three years. Apple is moving away from producing and supporting hardware that is expected to last five years or longer. Apple wants all its customers to buy new computers every three years, just like the PC clone makers. Apple wants users to buy new operating systems every two years, just like Microsoft. These attitudes are counterproductive, though they boost revenues in the short term.
The investment world is unimpressed with Apple's recent changes. Apple stock is back down to $14 a share (little more than the value of its liquid assets). Investors feel that Apple itself is worth nothing. This probably is not correct, but it is a sign of how little confidence investors place in the current and future appeal of Apple's hardware and software.
Out of interest, how long do you think Apple should have continued to use the Mac OS 9 codebase? Until 2005? 2010? 2050? Answers please...
My essay was not written to sing praises of OS 9 and condemn OS X. I wrote the essay after Microsoft and other vendors complained that sales of their OS X-compatible applications were lower than predicted. My essay explained some of the reasons why many Macintosh owners feel that the advantages of OS X are outweighed by its disadvantages and why some OS X users are still using older applications under Classic. Why should I and other Macintosh owners jump on the OS X bandwagon when it offers us so little? Why are users such as yourself upset with Mac owners who don't think OS X is wonderful? We do not need intra-platform warfare; we take enough flak from Windows users.
A few million Macintosh users find that OS X meets their needs. I am happy for them and hope that millions more buy new Macs running OS X. I just won't be joining that group for a while.
Since PowerBooks have just about the highest profit margin of any Apple product, it's hard to believe salespersons would ignore a serious buyer. I've never had a salesperson ignore me after stating that I plan to buy something. Perhaps you need to be a tad more assertive.
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