Apple Archive

Tiger: Not Yet for Me, But Bound to Draw Attention of Windows Users

, 2005.05.06

Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) was released last Friday. Many Mac users had pre-ordered it, and places like Amazon.com and Club Mac apparently had shipped it a little bit ahead of schedule. Oops.

Anyhow, it's officially out now, and people starting to find bugs. They're finding that iChat 3.0 is a bit slow on the G4 processor, for example, when videoconferencing. They're also finding some problems with dashboard widgets, and Cisco said that its VPN software is incompatible with Tiger.

Will I upgrade? At some point - but I'd like to wait a little bit to see what some of the bugs are.

OS X 10.3.0 had many problems on my blue G3, but after a few updates it started working much better. I suspect this will be the same with 10.4 on certain computers, and I'd like to at least wait for the 10.4.1 update.

The other thing holding me back is the fact that Tiger ships on DVD media. Unfortunately, my blue G3 was not one that came with a DVD-ROM drive - the built-in CD drive is on its way out anyway. I'm probably going to be looking at a newer machine at the end of the summer, but for now I think the G3 will stay at 10.3.

For my mom, her 500 MHz iMac came with a CD-RW drive and not a DVD, meaning that she can't use the DVD media to install Tiger either. Her computer is newer and more capable than mine, so she will probably upgrade to 10.4 even though it will cost an additional $10 to get the install discs on CD.

My sister probably won't bother upgrading her iMac, which is sitting on the floor in my room at the moment. She hasn't used it much since she got her Dell laptop, and even though that has its share of spyware and other problems, the portability seems to be something that she likes.

Her iMac, while it has a handle on top, can't really help too much when it comes to lying in bed and chatting with friends on AOL or MSN.

I'm typing this on my Windows PC at the moment, which is sitting on my desk, half-apart because I've been trying to install a new CD-RW drive that Windows refuses to recognize. It's running Windows XP, which is a four-year old operating system that still has far too many bugs despite various updates from Microsoft.

What Apple's banking on is that people will become far too sick of Windows XP not behaving as it should, and the spyware and viruses that are written for it, and then noticing that the Mac OS has just been updated. In fact, OS X has been updated several since the release of Windows XP, and a Mac salesperson will probably point that out.

While this does get expensive for the consumer, if they upgrade to the latest version they get additional security benefits. If the latest version happens to come out every year or two instead of every four years, they're running a much more secure system.

The marketing for Tiger is just another step in Apple's 'Switch' campaign. The idea of "the features of Longhorn today, if only you buy a Macintosh" - along with the history of timely OS X upgrades - as well as prompt security updates makes people who've recently decided to buy a Mac be more likely to recommend one to friends.

Unfortunately for Apple, those who bought a Mac around the time of the transition to OS X generally seemed to have had trouble with it. Much software wasn't available, switching between OS X and OS 9 made life complicated, and peripherals that worked in 9 often didn't work in X (and vice-versa).

Now that the transition is complete, Apple is trying to make up for lost time. Reviews of Tiger have been mostly positive so far despite a few bugs that have showed up. The Mac mini was generally received warmly, and we know the iPod is a huge success.

It would seem that Apple's strategy is working out fairly well so far.

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