Service Packs vs. OSX 10.x updates

Discussion in 'macOS' started by iNurse, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. iNurse macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2007
    Hello everyone, I'm a brand new member, just created an account because I wanted to pose this question for a discussion.

    I was reading this blog post, linked by digg

    In no way does this blog have any authority, but I thought it raised an interesting point, but wanted to get the opinion of the mac community.
    So here's the question: What is the difference between Microsoft's Service Packs and Apple's [annual] updates to OSX? Is there a vast difference between these updates? What are your thoughts?
  2. auyongtc macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Here you go, my 2 cents worth:

    Microsoft Windows' Service Packs, if compared to Mac OS X, would be the 10.5.x -> 10.5.x+1 updates. The Service Packs often do not come with much new functionalities, with the exception of Windows Firewall that's easier to configure and the WPA support for Wi-Fi networks.

    A lot of non-Mac users says a jump from 10.4 (Tiger) to 10.5 (Leopard) should not be a paid upgrade, but a free upgrade. If these people are so hung up on the version numbers, what's there to stop Apple Marketing people to make it OS X, OS XI, OS XII instead of the current version scheme? Don't forget that a version scheme is only meaningful to the product/company and should not be taken in the same meaning in other companies' products. Look at Ubuntu Linux's version scheme for example (Google it if you're not familiar).

    Fact is, Leopard came with new features, Spaces and Time Machine are some of it. Sure, there's a free alternative of Spaces out there. Sure, Microsoft included Backup program from long ago. And of course, we can all make manual or automated/scripted backups ourselves. But what Apple gave us is an application that will make it easy and convenient - plug a drive in and it'll start backing up.

    And for people who fail to see what other improvements in Leopard from Tiger, check out this lengthy review by John Siracusa.

    Hope this helps... :apple:
  3. iNurse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2007
    Thank you for the input. I am not too familiar with what the Service Packs do for Windows operating systems, besides the firewall functionality. And I'm not familiar with Vista at all, so I have no idea how much of an improvement it was from XP. I converted to macs a while before Vista hit the market. The leap alone from windows to OSX was huge for me, I love OSX, and I've never looked back.
    What you said makes a lot of sense. Especially how people seem to devalue the OS upgrade simply because Apple is keeping the 10.x trend going.
    I get my copy of Leopard tomorrow! I'm very excited to see my first OSX upgrade.
  4. Sojourn macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2007
    I think of the Windows Service Packs as batch patch updates. While this is something of a generalization, this is how it has felt to me in the past. I remember installing SP2 to XP a few years ago, and not really seeing any added functionality on the surface -- yes, it was more secure, and yes, it fixed some bugs, but it was nothing like the upgrade from Mac OS X 10.4 to 10.5. Apple has added not only new programs, but redesigned the overall look of the operating system, along with the way it functions. Many reviews have discussed how every nook and cranny of the OS has been tweaked in some way. If anything, the fact that Leopard speeds up many processes shows that much has been rewritten, as opposed to "simply" patching and fixing bugs.

    This is, of course, not meant to diminish the importance, relevance, or impact of Service Packs. But I also see them as analagous to Apple's 10.5.x updates, which also fix bugs, tweak settings, and add pieces of functionality -- but do not count as new operating systems in and of themselves.

    Those are just my thoughts -- what do you think?

    Take care,

    P.S. From Wikipedia: "A service pack (in short SP) is a collection of updates, fixes and/or enhancements to a software program delivered in the form of a single installable package. Many companies, such as Microsoft or Autodesk, typically release a service pack when the number of individual patches to a given program reaches a certain (arbitrary) limit." This seems to support (to a certain extent) the idea of batch patch updating.

    P.P.S. Welcome to MacRumors! :)
  5. /dev/toaster macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    What I don't like about service packs, is that they change way too much each time. This leads to an unbelievable number of problems, ranging from:

    1) Delayed security updates
    2) Increased chance of application breakage
    3) Chance of decreased stability due to the number of moving parts
    4) Bugs slipping past QA (This happens with any major update)
    5) Large time gaps waiting for things to be fixed.

    I personally would rather smaller common updates to fix a few select problems.
  6. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    Don't forget that Leopard isn't just the shiny new features, but it's been changed under the hood as well, such as 64bit, core animation, and multicore enhanced, as well as several other enhancements to performance. These aren't "service" packs, but rather major upgrades.
  7. 66318 macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2006
    The blog post is probably bait, as this has been a flawed argument for many moons now.

    Anyhow, Service Packs are just a single rollup of all patches for Windows released since the last service pack, or the initial release of the OS. Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Server 2003 SP1 were the rare oddity that did change the OS quite a bit, mostly because Microsoft had such a crappy foundation in both systems that exposed a ton of security flaws. In the Mac world, these are the same as the free 10.4.x updates Apple releases every few months.

    People like this blog poster look at version numbers like 10.4 to 10.5 and just think "Oh, thats just an incremental upgrade". Microsoft however does the same thing, they just don't expose the version numbers as much. For example:

    Windows 95 = Windows 4.0
    Windows 98 = Windows 4.1
    Windows ME = Windows 4.9 (who knows why they went to 4.9)

    Windows 2000 = Windows NT 5.0
    Windows XP = Windows NT 5.1
    Windows Server 2003 and 64 bit Windows XP = Windows NT 5.2
    Windows Vista = Windows NT 6.0

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