Blog Post

It’s good to see Apple’s focus on quality in 10.6

I find it sad that in the time past since the keynote very few bloggers or news have really understood what 10.6 promises. From what I know inside of Apple, they’re not kidding about improving OS X. Let’s take a quick inventory of the IT industry and what is about to happen in the next 10 years.

  • Vista is a failure. I can’t deny it and sad to say it, but it sucks. I’ve tried to like it and give it a shot, but it doesn’t work. For those of you who could righfully disclaim me as a so-called Apple fanboy, I’d like to remind you that during the day I do .Net programming. And most of the time I get it done on a Mac. Touche.
  • Linux, well I hope you figure out that people outside of the IT sector don’t give crap about their computers or even want to see a crash detailing what happened during kernel traps or memory faults. Not saying your efforts are fruitless, but if you want to be a successful distribution, break free from branding as another Linux distribution. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a consumer say ‘Isn’t linux for people who understand computers?’. Figure out how to do drag-n-drop software installations and the Linux community might get a better following. Then figure out how to make desktop applications not crash so frequently. I have ran everything from straight Darwin, to FreeBSD, to Ubuntu 8 and one thing has always come back when attempting Linux as my desktop system. Consumers are not interested in having an IT guy as a friend. Shocking, I know.

So who’s left in the crowd? Surprise surprise, do any of you seriously think this wasn’t easily figured out 5 years ago? I wasn’t surprised to be honest. Many of us grew up using Apple computers in schools. We miss having stuff that just worked. We grew up in an era of believing in seamlessness over configuration. We’re tired of configuring when DVD players play movies and microwave cook food without a college degree. Computers are machines; they service a purpose as utilitarian in modern day life as speaking to each other. They must work just as well as our own air passes over our vocal cords in a stream of language interpreted at the other end of a sound wave. I don’t see any other platform doing it as well as the 1-2-3 of Apple, Google, and the Internet.

Which brings me back to today. 10.6 is what I’m more excited about than any other iPhone App demo or glanced over news release in the last 48 hours. I wrote peviously how this flurry of new features came at some cost to Apple engineers. I’ve been in the situation were the code that works isn’t necessarily the best way to do it. Sadly, more times than I can even recollect. So says Fake Steve:

“Brokenhearted Apple watchers wasted no time in bemoaning all the missing features that remain unaddressed.” That’s what you wrote. Well, of course they bemoaned. I told you yesterday they would do that. They always do. You know why? Because they have no idea how products are made or how software is written. Because they know nothing — nothing — about technology. They think our headquarters in Cupertino is some kind of Willy Wonka chocolate factory and I’m Mr. Wonka himself and all I have to do is snap my fingers and dream up some new features (or just make a list based on fanboy email) and that’s it — just like that, the miracle products are brought to life.

Which only highlights that I’m honored and appreciative that I see Apple (and as a former employee wondering which direction this push came from) is pausing to go back and just spend time rethinking, polishing, and improving what is already great but not all the way 99% perfect. In fairness and my love for software, I hope to see Microsoft just do the same damn thing. We need an era in tech were we can all say, you know what, the Internet is fine but we could go back and just make what we have work better. Perhaps we already have, it just took an event like WWDC to really make it apparent that great features might sell, but broken features cost more in support and bad press.

The only thing I’m more interested in with the review of code is how Apple handles charging (or even better NOT charging) for this new release of OS X. They’ve spent a few years now dinging us for $129 bucks for new features, but are we do for a freebie when Apple could certainly afford to do so? It’s certain that 10.7 is going to have more features than we’ll be able to comprehend in a single web page.

14 Responses to “It’s good to see Apple’s focus on quality in 10.6”

  1. Yeah, I quit PC’s because I WAS that PC fixer friend/family member for so many people, and well, you know, there’s more to life… :-)

  2. Markley

    Great post.
    Forget the turd comment.
    The arrogance is on the other end.

    All of your points were dead on. Sometimes it hurts to hear the truth. Often, it hurts where the turds live.

    JC-if it makes you feel any better, I don’t want to have the Lexus mechanic as my friend either. (Now, THAT’s arrogance.)

  3. This is one of the best articles I’ve read on this site. I too am excited about 10.6. I’m not a programmer and don’t have any strong technical abilities, I’m just a regular user excited to see a great OS get a good refinement. Another article I read somewhere talked about Apple applying what they have learned from coding OS X for the Apple TV & iPhone and applying that to their primary OS. Can you imagine how lean and mean this OS may be? It’s just exciting! It’s like appreciating the mechanical perfection of a high performance car!

    I am under the impression it is going to be a great OS to use on a day-to-day basis and we’ll see even greater stability and performance. Thanks for writing this important article.

  4. Could 10.6 be laying the groundwork for 11.0 (instead of 10.7) due out in 2010-ish?

    I agree with Earl Urly that Apple will have to charge something. If they can charge iPod touch owners $20 to upgrade the software, I’m sure they will charge for 10.6, even if it is only internal optimizations and tweaks. Heck, I’m sure Apple knows they could charge the full $129 and most Apple people would pay it. So I’d be very surprised if they give us a break, just because they have some extra cash laying around.

  5. Correct, I run Parallels and Windows 2003 Server and do use Visual Studio. I do use Coda heavily for any ASP/CSS because it allows me to collaborate in real time with other developers.

    And my apologies, I can sound like an arrogant little turd but I wanted to highlight that separation that exists between IT folks who help their friends with computers over having a consultant fix things.

  6. John Coma

    ‘Not saying your efforts are fruitless. Consumers are not interested in having an IT guy as a friend. Shocking, I know.’ – Todd, What an arrogant little turd you are.

  7. Eric Rouse

    I was wondering the same, about .Net dev on OSX. I’m in the same boat.. what I’m doing is running Fusion so I do all of my dev in a server virtual. What other options are out there?

    As for Andrew’s question: some of us make a living off of C# .. thats my main reason :)