One Year release cycle

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by vmachiel, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. macrumors 65816

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    #1
    So, it seems like Apple is moving towards a one year release cycle for OS X. Why are they doing this? Do they want to integrate os x and ios faster? That's my guess at least, can anyone come up with another reason?
     
  2. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #2
    A lot of software vendors are going towards smaller, more concentrated releases on a faster cycle. Less features, less time between releases, less bugs to test for/debug/patch.

    Gets features in customer hands faster, enables them to charge you for an upgrade more often and ensure revenue streams. It's overall a better solution for all parties.

    I don't know what you mean "integrated iOS and OS X" faster. iOS never was split from OS X in the first place, they are already pretty much the same OS.
     
  3. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

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    #3
    They don't look at all alike... but they do share a common foundation. iOS has some frameworks OS X does not, like Core Touch. Likewise, OS X has frameworks iOS has no need for, like Python. Most of the frameworks are shared between the two.
     
  4. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #4
    I love when people quote me and then say the same thing I did. ;)

    Think of iOS as Xubuntu and OS X as Kubuntu.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    MattInOz

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    #5
    Well if you consider that with the 18 to 24 month product cycle it wasn't uncommon in many software products to get new features mid cycle. So two 12 month cycles could be consider slower feature release.

    One vendor we work with suggested it was due to changes in accounting rules that they couldn't add features mid cycle anymore. I'd take that with a grain of salt though. so they changed to yearly cycles. I think even with lower fees the idea was to improve revenue.
     
  6. djrod, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    djrod

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    #6
    They better price it really low or we would have a real fragmentation issue here, a lot of people is not going to pay 29 bucks every year
     
  7. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #7
    OSX hasn't been over $40 since Leopard.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    djrod

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    #8
    My mind was thinking 29 but my fingers typed 90 :confused:
     
  9. Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    They had the annual release schedule of OSX for a while but mentioned they could not keep up making major changes every year. Perhaps they're taking a page out of iOS and making smaller changes annually and charging a smaller amount for the upgrade.

    This is a little bit conjecture since this is the first time in a long time that apple is planning on releasing an upgrade a year after the prior version.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I'd like to say that they're attempting to take OS X in a new direction and increase focus on development of new features overall, but really I think they're just trying to synch the release cycles with iOS to back port functionality from the mobile platform to the desktop with less delay. Likely, most new functionality introduced to OS X is going to have some basis in a pre-existing iOS feature, rather than being unique to OS X itself.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #11
    I think people will pay the 29 per year..

    But the fragmentation argument is very valid..

    They also can't continue to drop support for older macs every year.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

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    #12
    The perveiced obsolecence of older machines is what might bite them in the rear sooner than later. As it stands, if what I read is true about airplay not being supported on the 2010 i7 machines, I am already one foot out the door. Fragmentation is another big issue, especially with yearly hardware refreshes. Dropping support for 18 month to 2 year hardware, while refreshing hardware and software every year will really fragment the user base in short order.

    Perfection is great, but the unsupported hardware, be it an iOS device or a PC that is only 18 months old will not sit well with users for very long, especially when new and great things come out every year. I mean, are we really expected to shell out $1000 to $2500 every 18 months just to be able to use the newest version of an OS to its fullest?

    My concern is, that in no time, when the newest OS comes out, you will not only need a PC or iOS device that is less than 1 or 2 years old, but soon maybe we are upgrading our AEBS or TC and Apple TV devices to support these new features...mybe I am being an alarmist, but we have seen iOS drop support for fully usable devices that the jailbreak market has proven are still very capable, and now we are seeing the same with Macs, PPC is out, now some features not supported on C2D or even i7s...concerning.
     
  13. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #13
    Why not ? They sure as hell can.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #14
    That's true they can..but in the end it's make it more difficult for them unless the drop support for the older OS's too. People aren't going to trade in hardware every two years..or at least I won't
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    $30 a year is no big deal when you look at the price of Windows.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Partron22

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    #16
    $30 is $30.
    Despite 'cheapness compared to something else' it's still an added cost to going w Apple devices. No one's going to be grateful for that.

    Obviously the OS is going through some big changes now, and a 1 year cycle might be the best way to implement it gradually, but a neverending annual campaign to deprecate lots of older Apps and devices that charges users for the privilege likely wouldn't be popular with users.
     
  17. macrumors 601

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    #17
    Not to mention that they do it with the iPhone....

    They kind of have to do it anyway. Maintaining lots of older hardware - even for a company like Apple - is not easy nor cheap.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I imagine the rate that Apple drops support for old hardware will slow down a little. A lot of big architecture changes occurred over the last 6-7 years, i.e. the switch to Intel, the migration from 32 bit to 64 bit hardware. Apple has already phased out a lot of that transition hardware which required the Universal Binaries and looks like it is phasing out the 32 bit hardware in 10.8.

    Are there any big architecture changes that Apple wouldn't have phased out by 10.8 that I'm missing? Otherwise the hardware requirements should be pretty stable for the next few years.

    iOS is different because the hardware is rapidly changing, there was a huge difference between the first iPhone and the 4th generation even though they were just 3 years apart.

    In all honesty, I don't think Apple phases out hardware to drive sales. I think they phase it out because either the hardware can't support the UI experience they are going for, or because the architecture support (Universal Binaries, 32/64 bit) added to much bloat to the OS that it slowed progress too much.
     
  19. Mal
    macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #19
    I'm grateful that Apple is keeping up an active development cycle and pushing out significant new features at a low cost. If I have to spend $30 a year, that's better in my mind than Apple's previous $130 every 2-3 years (at most) and far better than Microsoft's $300 every 5 years. It's both cheaper than previous models and provides me with more timely updates. I, for one, welcome this change. Of course, you're also missing the fact that this may not be a trend. This may be a one-time thing for Apple. Either way, it's far better than how it used to be, and everyone should be embracing that.

    jW
     
  20. macrumors 601

    cambookpro

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    #20
    I think Tim Cook mentioned in an interview that OS X is moving to a yearly release cycle permanently (or at least until it merges with iOS ;) :p )
     
  21. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

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    #21
    I don't see any support for older OSes... Seems to me Apple supports 2 OSes, current and 1 older.

    So they drop older Macs from the new OS, they drop the older OS. And the world keeps on turning. Dropping support does not mean stuff stops working.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Partron22

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    #22
    Nah, I covered that. My money's on this probably being a short term strategy while Apple dumps Carbon and syncs OS with iOS.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    #23
    Leopard got a security update at the time lion launched..so that's 3 years..that the current +1 older but that span is three years not 24 ish months. They're dropping the support for 3ish year old HW now. If they drop to two what would be the cutoff? there is no technical reason to drop the newer C2D..

    This is not to say they couldn't just that it would make life difficult. I can see them doing the IOS thing and not bringing all the new feature to the older HW maybe thats the plan.

    May even have an OSX that is LTS and stay on the 1 yr release cycle.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Carl Sagan

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    #24
    Everything is getting faster or made micro. Google Chrome updates every six weeks is a case in point...
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I can see the logic in 1 year upgrade cycles with portable devices and the OS that they run but I'm not happy with doing the same on desktop and laptop computers that people depend on for real work.

    If Apple want to get a foothold in large company IT infrastructure & education, they will struggle if their hardware and software become incompatible with each other over a relatively short period of time, requiring constant expenditure just to keep up. This is especially pertinent both in view of the global economic situation and the fact that for most everyday tasks, even 5 year old computing power is sufficient.

    If you want a large install base, legacy support is part of the deal.
     

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