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Apple's Missed Opportunity With Leopard Delay 641

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the timing-is-everything dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to an article on OSWeekly.com, Apple missed a big opportunity by not releasing Leopard soon. They could've taken advantage of Vista's losing streak and one upped Microsoft, the author suggests. 'It's not uncommon for Windows users and technology consumers in general to say that Microsoft missed out on making the most of Vista both before and after its launch. Longtime fans of Windows have changed their tone due to Vista's inadequacies, and regular users are in many cases stuck with trying to figure out why they still can't get certain things to work within the operating system. Granted, it's not a completely horrific OS, but is that even a compliment worth accepting?'"
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Apple's Missed Opportunity With Leopard Delay

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  • Hardly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:11AM (#21055355)
    Windows users will stick with XP, there's no evidence to say that they would give up on Windows and get a Mac. Firstly they would need to buy new hardware, the obvious choice is to go to Linux since you can keep your hardware.
    • Re:Hardly... (Score:5, Informative)

      by alfredo (18243) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:17AM (#21055401)
      Apple's market share is over 8% now. Those customers are coming from somewhere.

      With Parallels you can run Linux on the Mac, and if you don't want to do that but still want Nix software, you can do it. I'm using GIMP, Scribus, Inkscape, Xephem, and other titles I was used to in the Nix world. I've even ran Gnome on top of OSX.
      • Re:Hardly... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sarathmenon (751376) <srm AT sarathmenon DOT com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:32AM (#21055513) Homepage Journal
        It used to be 6%. Not that the increase isn't insignificant, but all those vista haters aren't moving there. I got a mac recently, but it was more to do with the fact that I've been trying to build something like the macmini for 2 years but haven't come close to getting a cabinet and motherboard of the form factor.

        I am guessing that most of the switchers are from the ipod/iphone users, who are curious about apple. Its a shame that their advertisement campaigns do not target this audience - I thought that someone smart would be working in that department.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Blakey Rat (99501)
          I don't think the number of "Vista haters" is even a small fraction of what Slashdot thinks it is. Companies aren't movin to Vista because they're conservative, not because they hate it. Consumers generally don't give half a whit, but where they have an opinion at all I wager they'd prefer Vista over XP.
          • Re:Hardly... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by igb (28052) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @04:28PM (#21057705)
            I'm in the fortunate position of having been in the IT trade for over twenty years and never having used a Windows machine for more than half an hour at a time, so my opinion doesn't count for much. But I run the IT for ~1200 employee company, and when XP shipped we had a path beaten to our desks by people demanding XP now, and when for the first few months we re-installed new hardware with Windows 2000 there were threats of violence. I've heard nothing at all from users wanting Vista, and our policy of installing XP SP2 on newly purchased laptops barely evokes comment. Out of the office, in my guise as the go-to guy from friends and family, I've not heard Vista mentioned.

            On the other hand, both my parents and my in-laws, all in their 70s, have bought four Macs between them, and in the office I've now got a list of people who wants Macs officially supported along with the unofficial ones that have crept in. With a team of three plus two on the helpdesk support SuSE, CentOS, Solaris and Windows is tough enough, but with Macs on my desk and that of one of my team we ought to give it a go. IMAP, SMTP, Office, a compliant web browser and the Oracle Collaboration Suite client is pretty much the baseline, and it's all there...

            ian

          • Re:Hardly... (Score:5, Informative)

            by Almahtar (991773) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @05:44PM (#21058251) Journal
            I doubt my experience is that uncommon: I've met one "clueless consumer" type that liked Vista. Every other person I've talked to either said

            I heard Vista was crap, can I get my computer with XP instead?
            or

            Vista is junk - my new computer runs slower than my old one with XP on it
            or

            Vista is hard to use - I can't find any of the stuff I know how to do on XP
            Until Dell started offering machines with XP on them, friends and family members of mine that always bought from Gateway or Dell or whoever would ask me (as their "geek advisor") where they could buy a computer without Vista.

            I'm not looking for this kind of feedback nor soliciting it. They bring it up on their own.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by swillden (191260) *

            I don't think the number of "Vista haters" is even a small fraction of what Slashdot thinks it is

            I don't know what "Slashdot thinks it is", but if the people in my family -- completely non-technical Windows users -- are in any way representative, it's common knowledge that "Vista sucks". They haven't seen it or used it but they all "know" that it sucks, and that they're better of with XP. The one of my relatives that has Vista would prefer to go back to XP, but he doesn't know how to do that, and is afraid it would void the warranty on his new laptop if he did.

            There are a lot of common Joes that,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Vexorian (959249)
          It really looks like Apple is getting momentum lately, although I can't confirm where the momentum comes from... One of my hobbies involved making some tools for assisting a game's map editing and this last year I have been getting much more (by wide percentage) complaints about tools not working in Macs. Really.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Divebus (860563)

            It really looks like Apple is getting momentum lately, although I can't confirm where the momentum comes from...
            I'm seeing it firsthand from clients, co-workers and people I know. Macs are showing up at accelerating rates in the hands of people who were always classic PC users. Universally, they'll tell you they love their new Macs.
      • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:41AM (#21055569) Homepage
        Macs are not replacing Windows PCs, they have become Windows PCs. Buyers no longer have to choose Mac OS X or Windows, they can have both. That is the catalyst that is driving the increased sales.

        There is little point in running Linux on the Mac. Mac OS X is a capable *nix box, most FOSS software is not Linux specific and targets Mac OS X as well. Plus Mac OS X has a superior user interface. If someone is running Parallels they are doing so to use Windows XP. Exceptions are rarities such as a developer who needs to do compatibility testing under Linux.
        • by Txiasaeia (581598) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:31PM (#21055947)

          "Macs are not replacing Windows PCs, they have become Windows PCs. Buyers no longer have to choose Mac OS X or Windows, they can have both. That is the catalyst that is driving the increased sales."

          That's the main reason I picked up my iMac last year. I was teaching in Korea and had limited space in my tiny apartment, but I needed a new computer. I picked up an iMac because it's so tiny (smaller than a Mac Mini, if you consider the fact that a Mini requires a monitor *and* a box on your desk), installed Windows, and haven't looked back. I could really care less about Tiger or Leopard, but as far as I'm concerned, Apple's doing great things with its hardware.

      • Re:Hardly... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Paradise Pete (33184) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:02PM (#21055725) Journal
        Apple's market share is over 8% now. Those customers are coming from somewhere.

        My anecdotal evidence: In the last several years of all my friends who use Windows only one had switched to a Mac, despite me being the "computer guy." And now in just the last couple of months seven more have switched. It's been almost spooky.

        One had even recently purchased a computer with Vista installed and got so frustrated that he gave it to his son in law and bought an iMac.

      • Re:Hardly... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kestasjk (933987) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @01:01PM (#21056173) Homepage

        With Parallels you can run Linux on the Mac, and if you don't want to do that but still want Nix software, you can do it. I'm using GIMP, Scribus, Inkscape, Xephem, and other titles I was used to in the Nix world. I've even ran Gnome on top of OSX.
        What? What does that have to do with anything? Are you from Apple marketing or something? You think we don't know you can run any GTK app on Windows too?

        Getting back on topic: "Why didn't Apple release Leopard earlier to capitalize on Vista's poor reception? Apple should hire me so I can decide these things for them. Yes, they really missed an opportunity there, those silly managers at Apple.."

        Hmmm, I'm guessing the release coming now, and not months ago, had something to do with Leopard not being ready.
        You can say "If HURD 1.0 had been released right after Vista it might have got some extra users", but that doesn't mean the developers can just decide to finish and release HURD 1.0 whenever it plays well against another company's release date.
      • by JonTurner (178845) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @01:45PM (#21056465) Journal
        >>Apple's market share is over 8% now. Those customers are coming from somewhere.

        Exactly! But there's more to the number than the statistics would indicate.

        In the past three years most of my family switched to a Mac. I switched (desktop and laptop), my college-aged daughter bought a mac, I switched my parents and inlaws, and two of my colleagues switched off their PCs and are now using Macs for everyday work. So that's seven Macs in my immediate circle of family and friends. But only two of them were new machines, the rest were used G4s. The statistics in this review are only counting sales of new computers, so these switchers are "invisible."

        However, that brings up a question I've had for some time. It's quite common to hear about people switching from PCs to Macs. What about the other direction?What percentage of people switch from Macs to PCs. I would wager that figure is extremely low.

        (And yes, Parallels desktop is awesome!)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I'm considering switching back to a PC for my next computer.

          Why? Because Apple doesn't offer accidental damage protection in their extended warranty, and Dell does. The last two laptops I've owned have ended up with broken LCDs - including the one I'm typing on right now via an external monitor. (Yes, obviously I'm a klutz, but that's something I'm pretty much stuck working around.)

          On the other hand, when my little sister recently got a new laptop to go off to college with, I helped her pick out a MacBook.
    • Re:Hardly... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by electroniceric (468976) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:22AM (#21055441)
      If people other than tinkerers and enthusiasts are going to change OS, they're going to do so either because they bought a new computer, or because there's something they want to do that they can't now or something that really made them unhappy. That process takes longer than a couple months.

      What's really changed with Vista is that people are not willing to be shepherded along from release to release by Microsoft. This is partly due to the Mac's resurgence and more due to a much broader understanding that there are choices. I'd love to attribute that understanding of choices to Linux and open source, but I think that's only had an much of an effect within the developer community. But users more broadly no longer see Microsoft as a miracle-worker for producing these computers that do all sorts of things, because they just expect computers to do the things they do. And many more of them have seen the forced upgrade phenomenon firsthand, and are waiting for a little more bang for their $400. That's reflected in the press with far more writers adopting critical tone towards Microsoft than ever before.

      All of the articles we've seen about Apple and missed opportunities (after all this TFA is just some dude at a small website pontificating for an evenings' entertainment) are generally people expressing their desire for David to knock off Goliath and have very little to do with any insights about the market or business opportunities for Apple or Microsoft. To the extent that Apple keeps producing computers that people like and are relevant to what people want to do with them, on terms that are favorable to Apple, their market opportunities are still enormous. And that's almost totally independent of market share - the desktop OS market is simply not an unexploited area in the way it was 15 years ago.
      • Re:Hardly... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by diverman (55324) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:31PM (#21055943)
        I completely agree. I also think that it can be attributed to a continuing breakdown of the perception that there is a gross incompatibility between Mac users and the rest of the world. While I still do field questions such as "Will I be able to open a Word file someone sends me," they are becoming less frequent. I even hear concern about whether someone with a Mac will be able to receive email from someone with a Windows computer. I think that as the Mac becomes more popular, more people realize that there really isn't a whole lot of compatibility issues for the majority of what they want to do.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thsths (31372)
        > What's really changed with Vista is that people are not willing to be shepherded along from release to release by Microsoft.

        I also has to do with the fact that Windows users usually settle for "good enough". And XP is good enough, certainly with SP2, so there is no reason to jump through hoops just to get shiny Vista. At the release of XP, the situation was completely different: the current consumer Windows was ME (pile of crap), and the professional release was 2000, which was very compatible to XP in
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Actually, most Windows users are trained to get new hardware when they get a new US. For the average user, the difficulty of a Windows OS upgrade leads to them just junking the old and going to the new.

      Apple is capitalizing on this by offering migration services at its Apple Stores. Just drop off the old Mac or PC when you buy a new one, and they will move everything over for you and get it configured right.

      Yours,

      Jordan
  • A Little Early ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thornomad (1095985) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:13AM (#21055369)
    I'm not sure how you can say they missed an opportunity until after some initial sales figures and responses come out. It took a while before the non-desire for Vista became apparent. It will take some time before people have a chance to respond (with their wallets) to Leopard.
  • The should have released it 'on time' regardless if that made it feature-poor and buggy.
    These comentators don't understand Apple customers. Apple customers value quality. You try to sell them crap and they will eat you alive.

    Apple's prime value is in the intangible goodwill of it's customers. Destroying that by releasing buggy crap wouldn't be a good idea.
    • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:31AM (#21055509) Homepage

      These comentators don't understand Apple customers. Apple customers value quality. You try to sell them crap and they will eat you alive.

      The reality distortion field is strong in this one....

      But even stronger in the article. Come on... Joe Average hears about problems in Vista - he's going to look at the Mac, perhaps. Will he understand the differences between Tiger and Leopord - or Jaguar or Krazy Kitten (oops, that's the next Ubuntu release, sorry)?

      And who is really not moving towards Vista? It's large corporate systems with millions of dollars invested in a stable XP and little desire to mess with that. That move will be slow but steady. But really slow - probably slower than the 98 to XP move. Witness all of the systems still on 2000.

      I may be more of a poster child for a switcher - having used Windows in all flavors and sizes since 3.0. I finally got fed up with the cheapass hardware that laptop manufacturers have tossed out on the market and looked to find something that might, perhaps, get hardware support for more than a year. I've also used Unix since the 1980's and have two Linux boxes at home (well, Ubuntu anyway) - so I'm not adverse to learning another OS. It's still a royal pain to switch if you do anything more complicated than Letters / Browsing / Music.

      (Start flames about Apple using cheapass hardware - they do - I just hope they use the SAME cheapass hardware so I can replace it down the line).

    • Apple customers ... will eat you alive.
      When confronted with an Apple customer who you think may eat you alive, it's important to remember that to actually kill or disable them, you MUST remove the HEAD from the BODY.
  • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:17AM (#21055397) Homepage
    Apple had a choice, release the new OS X later, and the iPhone when they did, or, delay the iPhone.

    I think it should be obvious with the hype that still surrounds that device that Apple made the right choice. Yes, they could have gained some more marketshare, but probably not by much. After all, OS X is already here, just not the latest version.

    Apple is entering a market (handhelds) that is likely to be a much larger market than laptops/desktops over the next few years. The iPhone stands a good chance of becoming the market leader in a particular segment. OS X will still be (mostly) a niche player. I hope to see adoption of mac's increase - after all, I own one.

    But given the choice, I would opt for the iPhone over OS X just like they did.
    • by macurmudgeon (900466) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:42AM (#21055585) Homepage
      It's not like the current version of OS X, Tiger isn't already winning converts. After the pain of buying a new PC with Vista then going through the hassle of getting the reseller to supply a copy of XP and all the time spent installing the older OS, I'd honestly be a bit leery of a following that experience up by buying a Mac with a brand new version of OS X. If people are going to like the Mac experience they will like the current version just fine, if not they'll go back to XP. A new OS isn't going the change the differences in design philosophy between Apple and Microsoft.

      In Apple's place I would have delayed a new OS and concentrated on the iPhone too.
    • by dfghjk (711126) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @01:33PM (#21056385)
      Only if you believe Apple's public excuse for Leopard's delay. I don't.

      Shifting large numbers of employees around on projects for short periods isn't effective in shortening product cycles. I seriously doubt Apple's claim that it applied the Leopard development team to help deliver the iPhone.

      It's more likely that that Leopard simply didn't make internal development milestones and its schedule shifted out. The iPhone excuse is just spin.

      As for what I own, I have both an iPhone and Macs. I realize that Apple lies to manipulate its customers and the market just like every other company, though.
  • Soon? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ophion (58479) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:17AM (#21055405)

    According to an article on OSWeekly.com, Apple missed a big opportunity by not releasing Leopard soon.

    Apple is releasing Leopard soon, unless six days now qualifies as a long wait. Perhaps the author of the summary meant "earlier."

  • I sort of agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by InlawBiker (1124825)
    But it wasn't Vista who won, it was Ubuntu. While I was waiting for Leopard to come out to make my first Mac purchase in 10 years, I tried Ubuntu and stuck with it. Ubuntu somehow became a buzzword at exactly the right time.

    However, I did get my wife a Macbook this summer and honestly Tiger is still a big upgrade from XP. It works great! I'm going to upgrade to Leopard just to see the new goodies, even though she might not even notice I did it.
    • I've been running dual boot XP and Ubutnu (Edgy) on my ADM64. One of these has a future, the other does not. I'm giving the newly released Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon a run through and I'm impressed. I'm weening myself off Microsoft and have no intention of looking back. The freedom is refreshing.
  • OSWeekly is wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brass1 (30288) <SlrwKQpLrq1FMNO@SPAMwhat.net> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:18AM (#21055421) Homepage
    The lesson from Vista is that releasing a broken and incomplete OS so you can fix it in the field is no longer acceptable. Ignoring your testers complaints on usability and performance issues will no longer get it done. I suspect that the disaster that was Vista's release is one of the things that caused Apple to reassess their Leopard release date.

    With that said, it's obvious that the Vista release cycle was a death march from the get go. There's little chance you can jettison that many major features during the development cycle and still end up with a quality release in the end. Killing cool features also kills developer morale and poor morale causes poor quality.
    • Agreed. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by argent (18001)
      IF Apple could have gotten Leopard out six months sooner it would have been a coup, but it's better that they miss that target than they release the system in the state that beta-testers were reporting it would likely be in if they released on time.
  • Instead, Leopard wasn't set to be released right near the time of Vista's release, and Apple wasn't going to hurry the process along more than they had to. In fact, we're all now waiting for Leopard's release in October, and this is largely due in part to the need for key members of the OS X team to finish up work on the iPhone so that it could hit store shelves on June 29th.

    That's what Apple said, but people who were on the beta were saying that Leopard wasn't likely to be ready on time already, that it was way less stable and mature than Tiger and Panther had been at a similar point. And Apple has been known to dissemble, perhaps not outright fibbing but certainly exaggerating minor issues and not even mentioning major ones... so I still think this explanation should be taken with a pinch of salt.
  • by Eternal Vigilance (573501) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:19AM (#21055427)
    "With all things considered, did Apple make a serious mistake by delaying Leopard's release until October? I don't think so."

    This seems mostly a case of a poorly punctuated column headline. Given the author himself concludes Apple made the right choice in the face of limited resources, a more clear headline would have been "Leopard's Release Date a Serious Mistake?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:21AM (#21055435)
    I only have to ditch my PC and get a MAC when my XP/2003 is working just fine. I doubt it.

    The problem with Vista is it offers no compelling features for Windows users. XP/2003 run reliably and offer the widest range of applications. The ONLY thing MS has with Vista is exclusive DX10 games. And there are no compelling upgrade reasons even for most gamers.
  • Freakish article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lancejjj (924211) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:21AM (#21055437) Homepage
    What a bizarre article.

    His piece is titled:

    "Leopard's Release Date a Serious Mistake"
    But it closes with the line:

    "did Apple make a serious mistake by delaying Leopard's release until October? I don't think so."
    So what does it all mean? To me, it means that "OS Weakly" has nothing of substance to say.
  • by EddydaSquige (552178) <jmb&gocougs,wsu,edu> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:26AM (#21055461) Homepage
    The author poses a hypothetical question that he knows will get the fanboys riled up: "Did make a mistake?". And the disputes his own question saying "No they didn't". This whole "article" is a troll and should be ignored.
  • by DreadfulGrape (398188) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:26AM (#21055465)
    ...which has been re-written ad nauseum for the past six months.

    The average mac enthusiast doesn't give a rat's ass about strategic timing of OS releases. If OS 10.5 wasn't ready until now, that's certainly good enough for me.
  • Apple needs to come out with 10.5 of all systems or at least have a MID-RANGE mac with DESKTOP PARTS.
    • by caseih (160668) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:08PM (#21055775)
      I agree completely, at least with the last part of your comment. Right now Apple has a product for every part of the market *except* the market that most home consumers are in. Consider that Dell sells a number of machines aimed at a home market that run for between $400 and $1000 for a complete system. Apple has absolutely nothing in that price rance except the Mac Mini, which is hardly a capable machine with its slow hard drive. Apple badly needs a small tour unit that can come to between $800 and $1000 with a monitor! Until then they are missing out on a huge market that thinks the iMac is too expensive for them, and the Mac Mini isn't enough computer. And actually the Mac Mini is really expensive too, for what it is. No keybard, no mouse, no monitor, all for about $500-$600. I'm the first to say that when you compare laptops, or even iMacs to business workstations, Apple is the same price or cheaper. But not so for the home market, one dominated by cheap whitebox PCs and Dells. I'm not going to suggest that Apple sell OS X for non-Apple harware. Just that Apple needs to start addressing the needs of this market in terms of hardware. I know of half a dozen close friends and relatives who would have bought Apple had Apple actually had something available.
      • by MsGeek (162936) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:58PM (#21056145) Homepage Journal
        The Mac mini is capable enough for Granny or Aunt Ethel or Junior and Missy, which is the market that it is largely pitched to. It's intended as a "second computer" for the kids or as a first computer for "seasoned citizens."

        As it turns out, the MacBook is the Mac most people are buying. It is a competitive laptop to all but the bargain-basement craptops that Dell, Lenovo and HP sell. Get beyond the loss-leader "hacked by Chinese" craptops and you will find that MacBook is pretty damn competitive with the competition's lappies.

        And also, Mac OS X Tiger tends to run better on less RAM than Vista. So people go to, say, Fried Electronics, mess with a midrange lappie or desktop hobbled by Vista, then go check out the MacBook and feel the difference. If the track record is any indication, Leopard will be faster than Tiger on new and 1-2 year old hardware. It might suck on G4s but that's the outside realm of the machines that can run Leopard.
  • by blantonl (784786) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:28AM (#21055481) Homepage

    They could've taken advantage of Vista's losing streak and one upped Microsoft, the author suggests.
    Isn't Apple going to one-up Microsoft next week? I don't recall Vista all the sudden fixing all it's "issues" and becoming a rock-solid everyone-loving OS since the delay was announced.

    If anything, Apple scored a coup with the delay, since the amount of pissed-off discouraged Vista users has hit a critical mass.

  • by phillymjs (234426) <slashdot&stango,org> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:28AM (#21055487) Homepage Journal
    One of the main reasons Vista has been so maligned is because it was ridiculously late and Microsoft was desperate to save face... so they started stripping out promised features and shipped it before it was truly ready. The bad reviews were legion. Word of mouth has spread. Even non-technical people have heard of Vista's bad reputation... I've lost count of the posts I've seen on here where someone mentions their surprise that their mom or whoever remarked something on the order of, "Vista? Isn't that the bad one?"

    By holding Leopard back until they were sure it was ready, Apple has laid the groundwork for an even bigger opportunity. There are a lot of people out there who flat out don't like or don't want Vista. Delayed or not, if Leopard gets good reviews in the media and the word of mouth is positive, that's going to give a nice boost to Mac sales.

    ~Philly
  • by RatPh!nk (216977) <ratpH1nk AT gMail DOT com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:33AM (#21055517)
    1. The people who have been waiting for Vista with baited breath, and would never switch to OS X. Who may not be 100% happy with Vista but will say it will get better with time and is still better in some ways than XP.
    2. The people who are on the fence. Long time window users who are upset with Vista. Who will simply switch to XP who you really couldn't get to switch to OS X if you paid them. I am guessing business users make up a large group of these people.
    3. The third and final group is a hodgepodge. People who just use the OS that comes with the computer, and are getting more and more fed up with Vista. In this case, the time would actually help Apple. Those people who are at wits end [abxzone.com] with Vista, demanding XP [blorge.com]. Would potentially love nothing more than to jump ship completely. Given people's general uncomfortableness with technology in general. Jumping ships to a new platform is not without great hesitation, regardless of their angst at MS. I think this is why we see market share of Linux increasing, albeit slowly.

    What do you think? I know it is an oversimplification.

  • by fermion (181285) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:40AM (#21055565) Homepage Journal
    I think with the delay of OS X, and the change in name, and the release of the iPhone SDK, Apple has chosen where future growth will lie. They will likely keep making computers, laptop for consumers and towers for pro content creation, but small high profit consumer devices are the future.

    If anything, Apple has decided that 5% of the computer market is all it will have, and little it does will displace the PC from corporate, the only way it can get much more than 10%. However, with good consumer toys, it can be the home electronics supplier for those with disposable incomes.

  • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:44AM (#21055597) Journal
    First of all, it's impossible for Apple to time their releases to coincide with Microsoft's release, since MS was stuck in a cycle of delays that ran about six years. Secondly, Tiger is already more than a match for Vista, and finally, just by sheer luck, Leopard arrives on the scene as people are realizing just how utterly mediocre Vista really is.

    -jcr

  • by Ragnarr (555058) <mads0100@NOspam.gmail.com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @11:50AM (#21055637) Homepage
    Sounds like a fanboy was pissed he couldn't get Leopard back in July. Apple made the right decision by delaying the release of Leopard. Several people on boards I frequent were beta testers and were very vocal in letting everyone know that Leopard was not a "finished" product back then. They would've released something incomplete just like M$; not a good idea. I would say that the only thing Apple lost out on was orders for the new imac/macbooks since many of us were waiting until we were sure that we'd either get Leopard installed or qualify for the updater at a reduced price. I'm definitely happy I bought my new imac at the beginning of October. And yes, it really is that much better than Windows..
  • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:01PM (#21055719) Homepage Journal

    Apple missed a big opportunity by not releasing Leopard soon.

    Yeah, they shoulda released it around 1989, before Windows 3.0 shipped...

    Think of all the misery they'd have saved everyone!

    • NeXTstep 1.0 was released in 1989. Max OS X is a descendant of NeXTstep and is still missing a few features that NeXTstep had in 1989. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEXTSTEP [wikipedia.org]

      Arguably, the only features Mac OS X has added prior to 10.5 have been dubious compatibility with ancient Mac applications and lots of eye candy. OK. To be fair, Apple has evolved OS X to be more than NeXTstep (particularly for programmers) and to use the current hardware that is at least 64x faster than the old NeXT hardware. Sadly N
  • RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Compulawyer (318018) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:03PM (#21055737)
    The article actually makes the opposite conclusion than the title of this post on /.


    Quoth the article:

    "With all things considered, did Apple make a serious mistake by delaying Leopard's release until October? I don't think so." (emphasis added)

  • by JohnnyGTO (102952) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:04PM (#21055745) Homepage
    then early. That alone one ups Vista.
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:21PM (#21055873)
    Longtime fans of Windows...

    The amazing thing is that such a creature still exists in the wild.
  • Normal users... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:24PM (#21055889) Homepage
    ...are not like you and me. They'll never try out an OS just to "check it out" like we might when there's a new distro that's supposedly better. The very last thing that Apple wants are Windows users that are finally convinced to switch, then find out that this sucks and has almost as many issues as Windows, only to move back. Not only have you probably lost them for the next 5-10 years, you'll probably get a lot of anti-marketing "Yeah, I tried a Mac a few years ago, it was all overhyped so don't believe them" that'll mean others won't bother at all.

    IT geeks haven't got as much marketing power as we think. Oh, I can go on about the advantages of Linux all day but most of them people will think "sure, for him it might work". Vanity works much better, like "Hey Bill could do it, and I'm at *least* as good with computers as him". Same goes the other way around, if you hear someone "like you" giving something a bad review, you'll pay attention. That's just the way it works in all markets, and makes plain old sense. If you want to do print work, you don't read a webdesigner's review of GIMP you read a print worker's review. And with that perspective it makes perfect sense for Apple to wait until it's ready.
  • One-upped? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:26PM (#21055911)
    According to an article on OSWeekly.com, Apple missed a big opportunity by not releasing Leopard soon. They could've taken advantage of Vista's losing streak and one upped Microsoft, the author suggests.

    OSWeekly sounds as if Leopard is the first OS Apple is about to release. Tiger is for most practical purposes just as good OS as Leopard. Leopard is a gradual improvement.

    Plus it only is starting to become obvious in the recent 2-3 months how many problems Vista (still) has. The announcement of XP SP3, the oddly early Vista SP1 in Q1 2008, the extended OEM XP support period, the Vista-to-XP downgrade new policy.

    And Leopard is here right for the holidays. I'd say, timing is as good as it could be. Perfect-storm-like good.

    OSWeekly is just trolling for visits, and we're suckers for it.
  • Vista's not so bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Craig Ringer (302899) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @12:48PM (#21056057) Homepage Journal
    I started out as a pre-judged Vista hater. When I got my new laptop (XPS 1330) I decided to give it a go anyway rather than just downgrading to XP. I'm glad - it's actually quite nice, and IMO a real step up from XP unless you have incompatible apps.

    Vista's honestly not that bad. Quite nice in some areas. I've had no serious app compat issues - but then I only really use OSS apps, and those tend to be well behaved anyway since they're usually portable, and tend to be quickly updated for new platforms.

    I find the UI a small but significant improvement, and I'm already in love with the indexing service's integration with the rest of the OS. Yes, mac users, I know about spotlight - I admin macs at work.

    I'd also say that fears about battery life _on_ _new_ _hardware_ with the latest generation of mobile GPUs are somewhat overblown. I don't see a huge difference between Aero on and off - much as I see relatively little difference (1/2 an hour out of this laptops 4 1/2 at most) from activating Compiz on Ubuntu. I'm not even sure there's any effect at all, since whatever difference there is is well within the measurement inaccuracy of any battery testing.

    It's not some huge leap forward - it's more like what Apple does between two Mac OS X releases (including the breakage of apps with rather hacky innards that people yell about - try admining a DTP lab with Adobe and Quark products and tell me how much you love Mac OS X updates). What it is, though, is a _lot_ of small and medium improvements rolled up into what I'd call an overall much better OS.

    I'd feel pretty ripped off if I'd paid to upgrade from XP - but as a new OS it's quite nice. I don't find the UAC stuff annoying (though it was a HORROR in prereleases apparently) though I do think it's a waste of time that'll just get people clicking the dialogs without even thinking.

    As it is, I find Vista much more usable than XP already. It took me a few hours to get used to some of the differences (and I still hate the control panel UI in "new mode" - though I'm sure it's OK for non-technical users) but it's now quite nice to use. I tend to switch between it and Ubuntu on my new laptop, depending on task.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom (822)

      Vista's honestly not that bad.
      Even then, it's still a scam and a disappointment because it was sold as the next generation, second coming, next revelation and revolution of computing as we know it.

      And it turned out to be essentially XP SP3.

  • Uh, no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @02:55PM (#21057065) Homepage
    First, Apple doesn't need to release Leopard to stay ahead of Microsoft or one-up them. OS X 10.2 was already better than Vista, and was better than Windows XP for that matter.

    Second, until Apple starts selling OS X for generic x86 hardware, they're not competing directly with microsoft; they're selling a competing platform. That OS X now runs on Intel isn't relevant; it's still locked down to run only on approved, official Apple-branded Intel hardware. They're not competing with Microsoft for a share of the desktop/notebook *OS* market; they're competing with Dell, HP, Asus, eMachines, etc. for the desktop/notebook *platform* market.

    Apple sells complete solutions, not operating systems. The day Apple decides to go toe-to-toe against Microsoft and releases an OS X that you can install on any OEM or homebuilt x86 box, then we'll see how they compete against Microsoft. My guess is, provided they have the driver support, they'll beat Microsoft silly, no contest. The driver support is, however, a major issue, and a non-trivial one.
  • by DECS (891519) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @03:30PM (#21057333) Homepage Journal
    When you title your article "Leopard's Release Date a Serious Mistake" it's a bit weak to say in the last paragraph of the article:

    "With all things considered, did Apple make a serious mistake by delaying Leopard's release until October? I don't think so."

    This isn't even an opinion, it's just a sensationalist, uninformed headline we've already read, with nothing backing it up, not even the author. What a waste of time.

    -
    The Great Google gPhone Myth [roughlydrafted.com] - Pundits have seized upon rumors of a new mobile phone product from Google as their golden ticket for bashing the iPhone. The "gPhone" is the perfect foil for fear-based rumormongers because it's a secret Google han't said much about publicly. That lets the wags blow it out of proportion and stretch it into an iPhone Killer. They're wrong, here's why.
  • by gig (78408) on Saturday October 20, 2007 @10:20PM (#21059715)
    Microsoft has more software engineers than Apple has employees. Apple is not the problem here. Leopard is not the disappointment.

    Tiger is already much better than Vista, nobody who is running Tiger is suffering. People who bought a new Mac after Tiger shipped and have been running it since were never bothered by Vista, their productivity and satisfaction are high. Mac sales are already up on the strength of the hardware, Tiger, and Intel-compatibility which gives a switcher a way to back out of Mac OS X if they want to return to Windows or Linux on the same hardware. If you have a Mac you are not switching to Vista. If you have Windows, Leopard is not preventing you from switching.

    The only part this theory gets right is that Leopard will be huge. It has improvements for everyone in the community. It has more graphical sophistication, it's a better Unix, it has built-in automatic backup and versioning, it's fully 32/64-bit compatible and inherently multiprocessor. It's one DVD for the whole world that installs and runs full-featured on all Apple computers with a 1 GHz or faster processor and 512 MB or better of RAM, so it will be easy to upgrade from a previous Mac OS X and a lot of people will do that. It will be the only OS available on new Macs right away and many people will take that as a good opportunity to get either their first Mac or their first Intel Mac. Leopard also has a matching pocket version which starts at $299 and comes on a touchscreen iPod instead of a DVD. It's going to be popular.

    Compare the $399 Vista Ultimate DVD with the $399 iPod touch 16GB for both technical merit and consumer excitement. Which of these should a Windows XP user spend their money on? Which will they get more value from. It's laugh out loud.

    Apple already has a Mac and iPod version of OS X, what if they made a generic PC version of OS X and licensed it to Intel and it shipped with every compatible 64-bit Intel EFI motherboard for $50 extra? Then PC manufacturers would get the boom in sales that they wanted from Vista, and people would finally have a good reason to buy a new Sony or HP computer, to go instantly into next-generation processor, firmware, core OS, Web and audio/video standards, 3D interface, and enjoy the real Photoshop finally. What if Apple licensed it to Google? What if they offered it for sale to people who already have a PC? These are the opportunities for Leopard, not beating Vista to market.

    Finally I have to say that delaying a PC operating system by a few months because you shipped the pocket version is about the best excuse ever. Hard to see the cloud for the silver lining with that one. This article was trying, though.
  • by rollthelosindice (635783) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:37AM (#21060671) Homepage
    This site has nothign but google ads and keyword laden reviews. I'd take the opinion of a homeless bum more seriously than this article.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

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