With all of this week's hype surrounding Mac OS X Leopard, some can't wait for the upgrade. In fact, some people are claiming that the follow-up to Tiger will become the most popular and user-friendly operating system ever created. And while I have a hard time accepting that notion before the operating system is even released, I believe Leopard will change the operating system landscape for quite some time. Unfortunately, it won't change things in the way I had hoped.
In a New York Times article over the weekend, CEO Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that he was excited for the release of Leopard and is quite happy with the current timeline Apple operating systems are on. Most notably, Jobs mentioned that he likes releasing new operating systems "every 12 to 18 months" so Apple can "polish and polish and improve and improve."
But it is here that I must disagree with Jobs. Why do we need a new operating system ever year or so? If my current operating system works quite well, do I really need another new operating system just to add some new features or capabilities? I certainly don't think so.
Through the cover of improvements, Jobs is pointing out one important fact about operating system updates--it's all about the money. Apple is a public company that relies on maximizing shareholder value. Can it do that if it leaves Tiger in place and upgrades it every so often to make it even better? Not a chance. Operating system upgrades have nothing to do with improvements and everything to do with revenue.
Regardless, Leopard is on its way and unfortunately, it will be replaced by Apple just when we get comfortable using it. Operating system upgrades are usually quite problematic for most people. More often than not, some of your favorite programs won't work and peripherals will be relegated to the junk bin until a new update is released to work with the new operating system. Of course, Apple claims the transition will be relatively painless, but can we be so sure? If you ask me, you may want to update any and all products now and make sure you have a backup in place--you never know what might happen.
But alas, we are here to discuss whether a Leopard upgrade is worth it. Of course, the mileage on my opinion may vary and some may definitely find use in some of the new features, while others will scoff and hold on to Tiger. Besides that, I obviously can't discuss the 300 new features in Leopard, but wanted to share some of my thoughts on the most important new upgrades. And in the end, offer my thoughts on whether you should upgrade. As for me? I've already ordered Leopard and will install it on just one of my Macs. The others will run Tiger until they die.… Read more