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Jobs: Decade of Mac OS upgrades likely

updated 09:20 am EDT, Mon October 22, 2007

Jobs: Regular OS upgrades

Apple will likely continue its current upgrade strategy for the Mac OS, says Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Speaking with the New York Times, Jobs notes that the Friday release of Mac OS X Leopard will form the basis for another cycle of continuous operating system upgrades, possibly lasting as long as a decade. "I'm quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future," Jobs comments. "We've put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it's given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve."

The strategy stands in contrast to Microsoft, which only releases major upgrades to Windows every few years, punctuated by one or more "service packs" to keep systems current. The company has also taken to an approach of releasing multiple versions of its current platform, Vista, a practice which Jobs jokes is misguided. "[With Leopard] everybody gets the 'Ultimate' edition and it sells for 129 bucks, and if you go on Amazon and look at the Ultimate edition of Vista, it sells for 250 bucks."

Microsoft also expects its next operating system, currently codenamed Windows 7, to remain in development until 2010, a timeframe which may give Apple the chance to release two more major upgrades.

Charles Wolf, author of the industry newsletter Wolf Bytes, comments on recent market share gains by noting that of the 100 million or so visitors now coming to Apple's retail stores each year, he estimates that 60 to 70 million are Windows users drawn in by the iPod or iPhone. Some of these people may potentially switch over to the Mac platform, says Wolf.

by MacNN Staff





  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To h*** with MS

    Even if you gave these idiots 1000 years, they STILL couldn't write 1 line of decent code. Pre-requisistes to working for MS = genetically DUMB!

  1. hokizpokis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    windoz smashing

    this is the wrong forum to heckle that other operating system... maybe some day that other operating system will be better... maybe never... hard to imagine another 2.2 year wait; gee four days is hard enough to deal with...

  1. wonderllama

    Joined: Dec 1969


    sad reality

    The sad reality is that Boot Camp is a selling point for Leopard. And it is only a selling point because some people NEED access to Windows. So love it or hate it, it's a necessary evil to some. As for Jobs & Co., I can appreciate the constant improvement and innovation so long as they do their best to make sure each release is "polished" and stable.

  1. migs647

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: to h*** with ms

    It isn't that M$ has poor developers. They actually have some of the brightest talent I've ever met in my life. The fact that m$ has trouble writing good code relies 100% on management. They try to be so legacy that it turns into a cat and mouse game of which line will break which support. They seriously need to scrap a ton of code and start over if they ever want to be as good as an OS as X. They need to start by firing most of the management... starting at the VERY top.

  1. jmelrose

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A bit of smoke & mirrors

    But, honestly.

    Windows Vista Home Premium: 3-4 years @ $220 (Amazon Price) Windows Vista Ultimate: 3-4 years @ $329 Mac OS: 3 updates over 4 years: $129 x 3 = $387. (Plus a quicktime pro license, as I'm sure that will be given a major revision in the next few years).

    Don't get me wrong (I can hear the fanboys cracking their knuckles to make a belittling reply already), I have been and AM a Mac OS user for 17+ years and am only now getting Windows on my Macbook Pro now that Bootcamp is out of beta.

    However, for Jobs to compare pricing is the truly misguided part. Over multiple years, Apple is far more expensive to keep your system up-to-date with.

    On the upside, however, you DO get what you pay for, which is why I remain a Mac user and an Apple stockholder.

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    windows 7

    Does that mean that Vista = windows 6?

    That would explain why it is c***, as it is a universally acknowledged fact the sixth release of any major piece of software is c*** (look at word 6 and appleworks 6 for prime examples)

  1. Smurfman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "...he estimates that 60 to 70 million are Windows users drawn in by the iPod or iPhone. Some of these people may potentially switch over to the Mac platform, says Wolf."

    Many are CURRENTLY switching! It's an ongoing process that has been accelerating for about a year now.

    I don't even have to try and talk people into getting a Mac. An ever growing number of coworkers and family members have switched to the Mac. My department has the only Macs in the entire company (~650 employees). I've been both ridiculed and envied for years.

    Now coworkers either call me with questions before buying their first Mac or call to tell me after they've purchased. It's great to see and I can only hope the IT mentality of M$, M$, M$, will start to break down within our company and they'll start looking "outside-the-box".

    Leopard, I believe, will only serve to accelerate this movement from Windows to MAC even more! It will also solidify the recent switchers and make them love their computer even more.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: smoke and mirrors

    well, yeah but you get three upgrades of OS X in four years and each of them is worth the money


    one upgrade of Winblows which is quite questionable in its worth.

    Boy, if it takes years for each major revision of Windows, just think how much further behind OS X they will be by the time Vista's successor comes out!

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    12 to 18 months?

    Tiger came out 30 months ago, did it not?

    Every 24 months seems like a good interval to me. I don't need a new OS every year, but by year 2 I'm looking for something new.

  1. _Rick_V_

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree, Smurfman

    For YEARS I got dubious and sometimes pitying looks from colleagues when I told them I was a heavy Mac user.

    I'd say within about the past year that has turned around 180 degrees. I know get comments like, "My next computer is definitely going to be a Mac!" and I get questions like, "How hard will it be to switch?"

    I think much of this is due to the iPod/iPhone halo effect-- people finally see how well designed Mac products are. But also to lesser degrees the persistant fact that there are no viruses "in the wild" for Macs, and also because of the horrible reviews that Vista is getting.

    People are finally starting to "get it"!

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