Mac OS 10.4, Tiger?

If you have been reading my site for a while you know that I’ve been reconnecting with my Macintosh roots. I’ve had ups and downs with my iMac G5 but all-in-all it’s a very workable, fine computer with exceptional aesthetic and design. I had been reading more marketing than I care to see nearly ever about Tiger, the 10.4 version of the MacOS. A couple of comments on the approach.

Clearly Apple is leading a test to see if people will just pay an annual license for their operating system. The upgrades to MacOS X have been mostly annual, and they have been around $100 for the upgrade. On one hand I like this if it brings faster innovation, on the other hand I don’t like the impact of higher costs. I’m sure Microsoft is watching this carefully and taking notes, it would be a huge revenue driver for them. Additionally, I think this will make it harder to bring big revolutionary changes in the system since those can easily take longer than a year to even create, much less test and roll-out.

Secondly it frustrates me that these incremental releases of the MacOS (10.3 to 10.4) are given such fanfare. Ultimately, it’s not that big of an upgrade! Yet Apple makes all kinds of hay about how this is amazing. Add this to the huge pile of propaganda that Apple shoves out (like they have an open platform, right?) and it’s almost enough to make me chaffe in my Steve Jobs inspired black turtle-neck. Anyway, how about the technology.

In general? Yawn. The upgrade was amazingly easy, put in the DVD, watched a movie and came back to a rebooted already installed and happy iMac with Tiger (10.4). The webclips were the first thing I checked out (hit F12), they are neat, but this is really something you would expect out of a piece of shareware, not some major OS innovation. The search is nice, but not nicer than X1 on Windows. Other than that, you have a hard time even finding the changes. Upgraded versions of all the base software like Mail 2.0 are good, but where is the $100 in value?

I’m sure I’ll upgrade to 10.5 and 10.6 whenever or if they come out because I just have to have the latest bits, but I sure hope that the product innovation catches up with the marketing.

Jamie Thingelstad @jthingelstad

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