Operating systems

Apple puts out a new OS, but will Leopard pounce on the market?

Apple believes that reduced time between upgrades, even if the upgrades look more like incremental releases than major breakthroughs, allow the company to respond to current trends in computing more quickly than its rival, Microsoft, who would be accused of profiteering if it put out an upgrade for $100+ every year to 18 months. However, despite the frequent, expensive upgrades, Apple's customers tend to feel than they get their money's worth every time they purchase an update for OS X.

Apple has put out a new incremental release of its OS X operating system. The upgrade took longer, at 30 months, to hit the market than Apple's target of 12-18 months between OS releases, but most of that delay is due to the push to finish the iPhone. Apple believes that reduced time between upgrades, even if the upgrades look more like incremental releases than major breakthroughs, allow the company to respond to current trends in computing more quickly than its rival, Microsoft, who would be accused of profiteering if it put out an upgrade for $100+ every year to 18 months. However, despite the frequent, expensive upgrades, Apple's customers tend to feel than they get their money's worth every time they purchase an update for OS X.

The steady advance of Mac OS X (News.com)

One interesting facet of Leopard's release is that even reviews in which the OS is described as "overhyped" are complimentary. The Mac fans are talking about many new features of the upgrade, including:

  • An upgraded iChat interface
  • Improved backup and recovery through the "Time Machine" feature
  • A "Stacks" feature that simplifies sifting through large document collections
  • Virtual Desktops that can be set up for different tasks

The reviews so far are positive, even in environments like Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where they have been testing the upgrade for over a year. Their full rollout will take place incrementally over the next year, but Leopard's ability to run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs will definitely increase sales.

Sure, Apple's 'Leopard' Is Overhyped -- But Here's Why It Matters Anyway (Information Week)

More Goodies in Apple’s New Operating System (New York Times)

What Apple's Leopard OS Means to the Enterprise (PC World)

I have been exposed to Mac for a while now as my father is a major fanboy. I am satisfied with the eMac that he gave me, and so is my three year old, who is able to get Firefox started up and navigate to PBSkids.org without any problem at all. For those of you who use Macs, are you going to upgrade to the new OS in the near future? For those of you who don't, what will it take to get you to switch?

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37 comments
wboone
wboone

Bought and installed yesterday. Great upgrade as usual.

beechC23
beechC23

I upgraded my Mac Pro as soon as possible; I came home from a business trip on the 26th and voila, my Leopard DVD had arrived. I work in IT at the front end of the process so I need to keep up with new stuff. The upgrade was thoroughly seamless in typical Mac fashion. Excuse me now, while I go upgrade the family iMac...

yobtaf
yobtaf

I use high end graphics and animation software. The fact that Leopard is 64 bit makes it essential. Thank you Steve

iNetSpy
iNetSpy

Apple caught me at the perfect time. When I look at upgrades, one of the tell tale signs I use for practicality purposes is: If the minimum requirements for a new version of one of the first person shooter games, exceeds my current system. It's time to upgrade. My mother-in-law needs a new computer, but realizing I am going to need to support that system (remotely) I want the new remote control option offered in Leopard. Yes windows has Remote Desktop but we are talking about teaching a 65+ year old lady about computers. Apple does it better. Add to that I am fed up with the Win/OS upgrade paths from hades. I visualize a sign post with too many options when the only option I want is UPGRADE. Making the window OS ala carte was foolish. Add the simplicity of the .mac address and webspace for $69 a year (first year only). The automated backup (time machine)... Add to that my daughter who has predicted every pop super star way before they were famous (Beyonce who?) just bought an imac pro WITH HER OWN MONEY! The popularity and portability of OS X to iPhone and iTouch iPod... iTV appliances hello... I think Steve Jobs has taken a page from Montezuma's play book and this is the revenge on Microsoft that he has sought.. By the way, if you have a windows xp machine now, you can add that license to your new Apple computer with bootcamp and you are set for the next 3 years while everyone migrates to apple. An Apple a day, keeps my tech support calls away!

Andy Moon
Andy Moon

Are you going to be installing Leopard today once you are able to purchase it or will you wait for one reason or another? If you are a PC person, what would it take for you to start using an Apple?

rthompson
rthompson

One thing I've noticed reading through all of these threads is (and this is all common sense): 1) You're completely anti-Apple, anti-Mac, anti-OSX that you'll never own or run it, but you'd back over it with your pickup. 2) You're not so anti that if Apple opened up a little you'd give it a try. 3) You love Apple your (i)Mac, OSX and anything the company puts out - including your new shiny iPhone and iPod. (hope you weren't one of the unlucky souls that got stiffed for $200 during the iPhone price drop - but that's another story) I support Windows on a day-to-day basis, but I own a Mac. Unfortunately I can't upgrade due to hardware incompatibilities, but I'm not sure I'd shell out $129 if I could. On the other end I run XP and home and work and I will not, will not upgrade to Vista. I'm holding out for Windows 7 (or whatever funky code name they give it). The one thing I have to give to Apple is consistency. Since OSX has been released each upgrade has not completely flipped the user experience like the XP to Vista upgrade has. Bottom line - each company has its quirks, you either like them or you don't, but we all have jobs because one, the other or both are in business. So thanks to Steve and Bill for helping me to support my family and pay my mortgage.

J3
J3

Ever since attending a Mac training a year or two ago I was convinced and have since been using an older model laptop at home. My next personal laptop will be a Mac book pro. Running Vista and OS Leopard. Can't go wrong with a Mac OS laptop that can run Vista. All this years, a bias towards Apple just because of ignorance.

ChrisHyche@AlabamaOne.Org
ChrisHyche@AlabamaOne.Org

Once Apple unlocks the OS to run on regular PC hardware then I might give it a try. The last prebuilt computer I bought (for personal use) was a Commodore 128D. Shoot my first PC was a PC XT without a case and a couple of MFM hard drives I scrounged up. The day I can boot Vista, XP, Linux, and OSX on my component built PC is the day I may finally buy something of Apple's.

jgmsys@yahoo.com
jgmsys@yahoo.com

.....package it for x86, without the proprietary BIOS, and you have a deal. But not until then. I'm not buying all new hardware just for the Apple OS.

richard.wilson
richard.wilson

When Apple becomes the market leader; When Apple is found in almost every major business world-wide; When knowing Apple will actually land me a better job. In the real-world job market: Knowing Apple-severely limits job opportunities Knowing Windows-opens world-wide job market opportunities Windows is obviously not be the "fan favorite" around here, but the truth is that it is the IT industry leader by a massive margin and we all know it. Billions of sales do not lie.

SteveUYS
SteveUYS

I suspect that Apple are more than cabable of engineering Leopard to run on a PC. Linux is already attracting many users away from Microsoft. Problem is there are too many flavours. Leopard could pounce here if Steve Jobs wants to make some real money! He will have to be quick 'cause Linux is good and it won't be long before eveyone knows it. An alternative is Apple Linux but have Novell already won this battle?

dmstenhouse
dmstenhouse

I have not used MAC's much because I am a great lover of games. But at the same time I don't like the Microsoft domination of the PC market. Vista is ok but one hell of a system muncher. I really like the new iMAC and would buy one if I could play the sort of games only availible on PC's. Now that Intel are making MAC compatible hardware it would be great to see game makers produce more for the MAC, something that would seriously make me consider moving over to MAC's.

jfreedle2
jfreedle2

Firstly Apple would have to completely redesign the operating system so that it was actually more user friendly. Secondly Apple would have to give me a computer in order to persaude me to switch back to Macintosh. Macintosh has only once offered something that you could not get on a real computer running Windows, and that was back in 1984 when they first released the Macintosh OS. Now they are just playing catch up to what Microsoft has been doing for years on Windows.

jma
jma

And I have been a happy Mac user for more than 10 years - have 2 Macs and 1 windows machine at home.. The Windows machine is for applications that has not been available on a mac, now I have bought vmware, so I think I'll install linux on the pc and use it as a server

vmaatta
vmaatta

So yes.. I switched yerterday. Took a few hours and about 90% of that time was pointless backing up. Pointless because there was absolutely no need. This was my firts Apple OS upgrade and I just couldn't believe everything could go so smootly... and it did. Every one of my files and setting moved to the new system painlessly. Beautiful. (Archive and install btw.) And yeah.. it's not so much a new OS than a refinement of Tiger. But I'd say the starting point was so good there wasn't need for anything spectacularly new. And I like Leopard. It's worth paying around 100? every couple years if you get as stabile and good OS as OS X is. I welcome the tweaks and addins.. Worth every cent.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

It would take for the Apple architecture to become open like that of the PC, and support from software developers to ensure that is a sufficient breadth of applications for it to be a viable option for me to switch.

one_smart_girl
one_smart_girl

I just bought my Mac Book 5 months ago, so all the marketing in the world won't convince me to invest more cash on the OS. I got stuck with the Vista OS on my desktop already and you can keep your first releases, thank you very much.

brian.mills
brian.mills

I'll be waiting to install Leopard on my wife's iMac until finances are a little less restricted. As for myself, I'll be switching to Apple as soon as finances allow me to replace my current XP laptop. I should've spent a little more money and bought a Macbook Pro back when I bought my laptop last year, but I wasn't thinking and went with a Windows system instead.

Tig2
Tig2

When my HP lappie started failing by degrees, I decided that, even if I get it fixed, I will replace it. In the current market, i will not be able to buy a pc running XP unless I order from the manufacturer. And If I get the HP fixed, I can keep the XP that it shipped with and simply not use it for anything critical. But I have wanted a Mac for some time now. I have seen first hand the dependability and durability of the hardware and see a value add to breaking away from MS. When my family gets to their next upgrade cycle, I will be moving them to appropriate Linuxs so it is not essential for me to maintain compatibility any longer. And in answer to your last question, Andy, it was Vista that spelled the end of Microsoft in our house.

peter.ph.huber
peter.ph.huber

Hi, there are a couple of things I really want to have, so I am definitely upgrading within the next couple of weeks. a) Time machine b) Spaces (I want to easily switch between academic work / private space) c) the overall looks!! I joined the Apple community about 8 months ago by purchasing a 24inch iMac (I had already an iPod before) - one of the best product experiences I ever had. And I was a real PC guy, used to built my stuff from individual pieces in the past, etc. When I just imagine how much time I wasted with driver issues, etc....

mrbiker69
mrbiker69

30 Macs at my insurance office and they'll all have Leopard in the next few weeks. Got a beta copy at the WWDC this past summer and it's awesome - and that's the beta. Incremental? That's the way I like it. Sooner, incremental upgrades mean the OS is going to work - unlike almost every Microsoft OS that's introduced to lots of fanfare and marketing hype, and then it's 2 years (and several paid upgrades) before it works the way it should have on day one. Apple has never charged for interim upgrades. And there's more good news (beside the fact I bought Apple stock at $65); No matter what market share numbers say, I'm seeing more and more Macs everywhere - and every Apple store in L.A. is always packed. I predict the demise of almost every Microsoft OS! mike p. CIO Wre, Inc.

alieninvader
alieninvader

I will upgrade tonight when Apple puts the product on its shelves. Why? - "Spaces" - I have a "creative" set, a "work" set and a "Web site" set of work activities, so this feature resonates big - UI improvements, such as the new "stacks" feature in the Dock - "Spotlight" indexing with booleans Plus - Quicklook previews files without the need to launch applications. This is significant yet overlooked: it's a first step in eliminating the whole concept of launching applications to read files. I bet that "in the future" that apps will disappear into the woodwork (to the chagrin of app developers). Many things that are in today's OS's were once standalone applications Also, because Leopard is something of a clean slate, not having the ten sets of OS-X-dot-4-dot releases - IMHO - - Steve

rob
rob

I just purchased a 24" iMac for my Daughter's use in college. Because of the software requirements of some of her classes, I installed VMWare Fusion along with both XP and Vista images. In addition, I was able to install the latest Apache, PHP and MySQL from sources. I loved it so much that I am purchasing another for myself. The performance has been outstanding and as a development platform, I can accomplish much more on the Mac than on a typical PC. I am entitled to the Leopard upgrade ($9.95), but as with all upgrades, I will make a full backup first, just in case.

webmaster
webmaster

I switched and have never been happier! I run Windows on Mac using VMWare and Bootcamp when needed so I have best of both worlds, more reliably and more secure. Some day the masses will see the obvious....Vista sucks, XP lacks security, and Linux needs work.

Ed H.
Ed H.

I won't upgrade just now, but will instead wait probably until at least the first update. Not that I think there will necessarily be problems, I'm just somewhat lazy right now.

todd.beaubien
todd.beaubien

Your article mentions the price of the Leopard and how Microsoft might not be able to get away with such updates. Have you noticed the Apple's Family Pack pricing? For $199, I get a 5 user license to use on computers in one home. (I have 2 Leopard capable Macs at home, 3 that are all running Tiger now.) When was the last time MS offered anything nearly that reasonable for OS upgrades? And as Steve Jobs likes to point out, that's $199 for 5 of the "Ultimate Version". That's yet another reason Apple fans think Apple treats us better than the competition.

richard_dunmow
richard_dunmow

already got it and installing now. Absolutly painless excercise. After years if working with Windows, made the switch 18 months ago and never looked back.

Leee
Leee

The thing that's really pushing me is the fact that our office isn't supporting 10.3.9 for remote access anymore, so while I'm upgrading I might as well skip 10.4 and go right to Leopard. Plus I'm really looking forward to taking advantage of all the new goodies -- small price to pay, really, for long-term (well, a year or two's worth) of truly useful tools such as Time Machine and Spaces.

jma
jma

Apple's audience is people who appreciate design not people who like to build their own systems.

brian.mills
brian.mills

Well, I'm not sure about the open architecture, but as more people start using Apple, more software will become available. The software companies will move to where the customers are. It'll take some time, but it'll get there.

alieninvader
alieninvader

Bought Leopard, installed it, and here's my experience so far: - It installed with no fuss, took about 40 min on my Intel MacBook Pro 2.4 15" - It found my 802.11 wireless without being told about it, and prompted me to confirm and send in the registration online (it was already filled in because I was upgrading from Tiger) - It picked up my Printer drivers, no re-install needed - It picked up all my settings and preferences, except that first time I opened files from MS Office, it asked me to confirm the association of files with their applications - Hint: Do a custom install, to de-select all the languages and printer drivers you don't need. Install all the fonts. Couldn't be easier My only frustration is the "Stacks" feature: I used to drop folders on the Dock and by holding down the mouse over them, you could drill down into any level to subdirectory within them. Now, you are limited to one level, which pops up either as a "fan" or as a grid of icons.

Tig2
Tig2

I think it is called Pear. A discussion thread about it is out there somewhere but I can't find it. You can read more about it here: http://epaloids.com/showthread.php?t=404 If you honestly want to see what Apple is about without changing your architecture, this is a way to do it.

ChrisHyche@AlabamaOne.Org
ChrisHyche@AlabamaOne.Org

Look at the case mod community or even the cases Alienware's and others and you can have some very nice design in a PC... Honestly the Mac white boxes are kind of becoming what the old IBM clone beige boxes were...

ChrisHyche@AlabamaOne.Org
ChrisHyche@AlabamaOne.Org

It would probably be a cold day before they allow that. But still that is what it would take for me to install OSX.

brian.mills
brian.mills

I've got XP, OS-X Tiger, and Ubuntu at home, and I see the merits of each. XP seems to have the fewest these days, though, at least for what I want out of my system.

redline
redline

I am responsible for 336 computers at this job, a combination of PC's and a dozen Macs. Nothing would convince me to switch. I would go to Ubuntu Lynix, first.

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