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)
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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