The announcement that Dropbox will drop support for Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 clients in May has sent shockwaves through the low-end community. Many of us depend on Dropbox to sync files with our older Macs and newer kit.
As a devoted community of vintage Apple hardware users, Low End Mac has advocated, supported, and promoted the use of Dropbox with PowerPC Macs since its inception. We are asking Dropbox to not end support for PowerPC users running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard. Dropbox provides lasting value and utility for our PowerPC equipment, allowing for a simple integration of a shared “cloud” drive that can sync seamlessly across all connected Apple devices – both legacy and modern.
We, the undersigned, use Dropbox in our daily workflow on PowerPC Macs running OS X Tiger and Leopard as well as on other platforms – Intel Macs, iOS devices, Windows PCs, Linux PCs, and Android devices. We want to see Dropbox continue to support our hardware and operating systems. About 20 million units, ranging from the Blue & White Power Mac G3 introduced in January 1999 until the last PowerPC Macs were introduced in October 2005 (and still on sale in mid 2006) can run OS X 10.4 and 10.5. OS X Tiger was launched in April 2005 and last updated in November 2007, while Leopard debuted in October 2007 and was last updated in August 2009.
It is frustrating when technology moves forward and leaves our perfectly usable old Macs behind, but it’s even worse when that seems to be an arbitrary decision. Even though Apple, Microsoft, and others have left our PowerPC gear behind, we still have a modern browser thanks to the TenFourFox team regularly porting the newest version of Mozilla to G3, G4, and G5 CPUs.
We also have a current version of Dropbox – until May 18, 2015, after which date we will be abandoned.
In general, old Macs become more capable over time through operating system, software, and hardware upgrades, not less so. Ending Dropbox on Macs running Tiger and Leopard bucks that trend.
As Apple climbed back from near oblivion in 1996-97, users experienced a boon of broadband bandwidth, along with exponential growth in CPU and memory capacity. These constant improvements kept Apple motivated to provide the absolute best they could, and the final PowerPC Macs designed to run Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 were powerful enough to take full advantage of the latest features and were built to last.
Many of these machines are still powerful enough today for users to run them as their daily primary or secondary machine, courtesy of first party and third party support. Many users of legacy PowerPC hardware running Mac OS X Tiger or Leopard appreciate the ease with which they can move files to other machines running later version of OS X or to an iOS device running the latest build of iOS, or vice versa, courtesy of the simple syncing process Dropbox provides.
That ease of use will end when the Dropbox client stops working on PowerPC Macs effective May 18, 2015.
It doesn’t make sense to end support for these versions of Mac OS X users when iOS devices and Macs work so seamlessly together. Dropbox helps provide some of that seamless experience for Mac and iOS users, so Dropbox can only benefit from retaining that on as many devices as possible.
At the end of the day, a user could replace these PowerPC machines with newer Intel-based Macs – and do that inexpensively on the used market – but why do that when these PowerPC machines can still get the job done well, sometimes using software or hardware not available with newer Macs or versions of OS X? Dropbox helps keep these machines part of someone’s production environment.
There are thousands of users and tens of thousands of legacy Macs that need Dropbox to continue to thrive to allow for a simple seamless connection across all Mac OS X and other devices. The sharing features between other users’ clients are also priceless. If keeping that alive takes a small investment on behalf of this community, I can assure you that you have our support. We are a very dedicated bunch, and by continuing to keep our PowerPC equipment synced up, Dropbox will surely benefit from our continued support, both as a product advocate and business partner.
The signatures below demonstrate the dedication of PowerPC Mac users across the globe who are currently using Dropbox.
Thank you very much for your understanding and consideration of this matter.
Short link: http://goo.gl/iVZY4Z