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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Apple - the corporate-centered meanie?

It's a strange day when Apple looks like the bad guy when compared against Microsoft. I'm so used to Microsoft being evil and Apple being user-centered, but the Daylight Saving Time change is showing them in a different light.

Microsoft Vista is natively compatible for the change. MS sent out patches to all Windows XP (released originally in October 2001) users to fix their systems. Their initial stance was that that was the end of their supported operating systems, but now it turns out you can buy a patch for older systems like Win2K (originally released February 2000). We did that here at Stanford for all of our users still lurking on Win2k for whatever reason. And oh yes, we definitely do still have them.

Meanwhile, Apple's stand was that they offered a patch for OS 10.4 users and everything else was unsupported. OS 10.4 is the most recent version and only came out in April 2005, so if you haven't upgraded in the last year and a half, you're out of luck. Outrage blossomed, and now they've released a patch for 10.3.9 (10.3 originally released October 2003). But for users of older 10.x versions and heavens forbid, old classic Mac systems, they've got some nice instructions for how to work around on their website, but you'll get to work around twice a year until you upgrade. And yes, upgrading costs money, so that's usually why people wait. Also, every operating system upgrade comes with little headaches and unexpected issues, so a lot of folks put it off until there's a compelling reason to move forward.

Life moves pretty fast in the computer world, but what computing systems providers often forget is that it just doesn't move that fast for the rest of us. You may be all thrilled about your latest version and how cool it is, but that doesn't make it worth $129 to the family getting along just fine on their current solution. XP and OS X came out the same year, but if you've not kept up to date on the Mac side, you're getting left behind on this one. It's just not what I've come to expect from a company that fashions itself on being kinder and friendlier to the consumer, especially in their rather annoying Mac vs. PC commercial campaign.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that campaign is a big part of why it all bugs me. It's just an operating system, and for most things on most days, the one you're used to is the one that's better for you. This is why I've no interest in upgrading to Vista or switching to Mac. I need to get my work done - lots of work, especially on Daylight Saving Time - and working with the familiar is the fastest way to make that happen.

4 Comments:

  • The funny thing is that I have an older (OS 9) machine, and part of the date/time software is a feature where it checks in with the central Apple clock and adjusts the time display. It does this every time it boots. It always has.

    So, needless to say, I'm not too terribly concerned about backwards compatibility yet.

    By Blogger Laura, at 2:45 PM  

  • I'm rather annoyed by the shifting of DST itself. I understand it will save power,but it seems to be creating problems along the way. I would like to get rid of DST altogether.

    By Blogger Chris S, at 3:13 PM  

  • I thought I would comment on the fact that you point out users lurking around on win2K. Having done some support there at Stanford I know of at least two places that are still running windows for workgroups on a couple of computers, yea you read that right! The scarier part is that the these computers are actually connected to the web.

    By Blogger IckleRick, at 4:22 PM  

  • I ran Win 98 at home until just a few months ago.

    By Blogger Chris S, at 8:57 PM  

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