Apple taking Microsoft's place: How Apple is securing their OS for the next ten years

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by katanna, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. katanna macrumors 6502

    katanna

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #1
    (this is a post on my blog posted here for criticism and comments... I don't get criticism from my family on my blog)

    I have hinted at it before, and I have told family and friends this point, but I fully believe that:

    The only way that Microsoft can avoid destruction is to start over. In the above-linked post, I talked about the problem that Windows has: legacy issues. I believe that the only way for Windows to beat the legacy issue is to start from scratch. They can say "we are coming out with Windows X in five years. If you want to run our software, you will need to abide by these codecs and regulations." They would, in a sense, force people to conform to what THEY say, instead of what they do right now, which is conform to what everyone else says.

    I understand that this is not "practical" for Microsoft, but I still believe that it is the only way for them to survive after ten years. However, the above is not what this post is about (the above is not even a fully developed explanation of my point).

    Today, Apple announced the next version of their Operating System: Snow Leopard/ (due out "in about a year"). As they say on the site, in their recent OS Updates they have delivered "more than a thousand" new features (an exaggeration, IMO), but in this version, they are not focusing on features, they are focusing on performance.

    That's right: Apple is doing what Microsoft SHOULD be doing! They are stepping back and saying "What we have is good, it has a lot of good features, but it is a little top heavy. Lets stop and focus on a few key items: performance, security, and developers." By doing this, they are securing an OS footprint that will last for the next ten years, while Microsoft can't see past the next bad update of Windows. Apple is once again proving to be a progressive company, while Windows just tries to keep up with it's own success.

    Matthew

    PS: Sorry, this is not a fully developed idea/post. It is 1 AM, and I just had the above thought, so I thought that I would get it out ASAP.

    For thoughts on my "Leper to Leopard" post, please see here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=497283

    Matthew
     
  2. grider macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #2
    You are right there! But I believe there was never a point where Apple's performance was question above Microsoft's! The extremely unpredictable behavior of WIndows Operating System has always been of major concern. But like said, you are right to say that performance has to be improved, esp. if Apple needs to take that deep plunge into the enterprise sector!
     
  3. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #3
    On the contrary, legacy support is the reason why Windows is king in business and enterprise. You wouldn't believe the lengths these customers will go to avoid parting with ancient software as well as hardware peripherals. They'll cling to DOS programs for dear life, they'll cry like babies if you try to take their crummy old dot matrix printers away. Replacing something in the chain will cause a domino effect that will force the enterprise to invest millions. That's why some of these enterprises with machine parks in the tens of thousands are still on friggin' Windows 98, or at most XP SP2 because they don't dare roll out SP3 yet. I once asked a Dell representative why on earth they're still putting 9-pin serial and 25-pin parallel ports on some machines in 2008, and he said they'd be more than thrilled to drop these things but previous attempts had resulted in massive outcries of fury. Apparently this connectivity is crucial to a lot of business customers, while consumers threw away such peripherals 10 years ago.

    Apple's tradition of laughing in the face of legacy support is the kind of thing that scares the living daylights out of business customers. Six years ago I worked at a web agency with 50/50 Macs and PCs, the machine park was in the hundreds, and several times new Macs arrived where some feature had been dropped with no prior warning... first SCSI disappeared, then 9-pin serial, then VGA ports, and left IT technicians scratching their heads. The first Macs with DVI output didn't support dual screens... the multimedia guys who used serial-port MIDI interfaces could no longer connect their synths and other gear...

    And imagine the transition from OS9 to OS X, had all these businesses been using millions of Macs. They would've gone nuts. There were even people who switched to PC back then because some critical software like Quark XPress took YEARS before it was ported to OS X, people got fed up and switched to Windows, the platform where the rules don't change overnight. Predictability is golden to these customers, and the only thing you can predict about Apple is that they'll stay unpredictable.

    What Microsoft could do, however, is to branch Windows out in two directions, where the business version has legacy support galore and the consumer version is a stripped down, cutting edge system supporting no software and no hardware older than 5 years.
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    That is a terrible example as Quark completely dropped the ball on the switch to OS X.


    Then applications won't be compatible between the Windows versions, and they are the most important thing.
     
  5. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #5
    Unlike Vista, which is well known for its ability to run on hardware over five years old ;)
     
  6. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #6
    Indeed they did, but the end customer doesn't care whose fault it is, he just cares about being able to use the software he earns his living on. When was the last time software temporarily disappeared from the Windows platform between OS updates? Oh, that's right, it never happened.

    5 year old applications don't matter to consumers, that was the whole point. And if the consumer's choice is Mac or a streamlined Windows without legacy support, he certainly won't look to Mac for the ability to use 5 year old applications either.

    It does run if you switch off all bells and whistles. Ever tried Leopard on a 5 year old G4? I installed it on my old G4 Mini and it ran as horribly as Vista ever did on an old Pentium 4, but Vista lets you disable the fancy graphics and use the oldschool Windows desktop. Leopard doesn't let you do that, instead it tries to viciously murder the helpless 32 MB video card with dock mirror effects and other tortuous jobs.
     
  7. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #7
    I dont know what you are talking about.

    start over is only needed when you are in a crash, windows still has >95% market share, what are the cons and pros? Even apple obsessed with its ancient OS classic for 5 years with 2% market share. After which, it has to adopt Unix rather than do a startover itself. startover? why? Do you serious consider the reality of windows? Other than what apple would like you to think it is?

    From the news of OSX 10.6, all I can see is that apple is running out of ideas. Performance? what performance? are you expecting a >15% system performance boost? its not gonna happen.

    You put too much ideology and one-side PR talking point over the facts.
     
  8. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Since a lot of designers switched to Indesign it was a stupid move for Quark.

    Word Perfect and Lotus 123 both lost a lot of market share when they were only DOS programs and weren't compatible with Windows 3.1

    But then you'd have to add significant complexity to support both versions, and you can't create a "universal" application to easily support both as the problem is the API not the processor.

    The pros are that you can virtualise the existing code so existing applications still run and provide a much cleaner API for future development and use than the current Win32 and .NET.
     
  9. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #9
    Visualization might have worked for OSX, but there is a difference of night and day for windows, would users tolerate this consider the efficiency of the virtual codes, as well as almost unlimited number of windows apps users are running?

    Other major cons. Such as: Start over from where? Unix or Linux? then essentially there will be all Unix-like OSes in the market..

    Purely Start over from scratch? Netscape did the same thing with NC5.0 and they thought market would wait for them, look at what happened. Apple spent 8 years to get a mature system, and is built on top of Unix, faced less compatibility issues due to its tiny market share. If M$ think it can spend 10 years in vacuum and consumers will still wait for them, they must be crazy.:)

    Especially, IHMO, the reality of windows is that it works, no matter how apple would tell people windows being dysfunctional, windows does work, and works well for most people.
     
  10. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    #10
    Yes, just like some video folks moved to PC when Adobe dropped Premiere and After Effects for Mac due to being miffed about Final Cut.

    Is your best example of Windows dropping legacy support really from 1992? I was on a friggin' Atari ST back then. Windows as I know it started when DOS became an appendix to Windows rather than the other way around, and that was in Win95 when the whole taskbar+start button desktop paradigm was introduced. On Vista, software can be run in compatibility mode for any previous version from Win95 up to XP SP2. I happen to have this old music application called ReBirth RB-338, it was discontinued in 1998. Mac users were cut off pretty soon because ReBirth wouldn't run under Classic due to the huge latency and various other issues, and to this day they're still groaning about this because ReBirth was really good. But it ran fine on 98, ME, 2K and XP so the other day I decided to take it for a spin on Vista, and bingo, it still works like a charm.

    True. Well, I have a hunch that part of the hidden agenda with Vista was to indirectly flush some legacy crap out of the pipes by raising the threshold more than any previous version.
     

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