October 20, 2012 § 4 Comments
A friend of mine recently discovered for himself why I left Apple products behind 4 years ago.
I was talking to him about his MacBook, which he purchased around the same time I decided to go back to Windows, which puts it right around 4 years old. He got himself a top of the line model, all decked out with the most RAM and the best processor. Recently, because of something he needed for work, he tried to install Google Chrome and found that it wasn’t supported on his operating system. He called Apple support to find out what was going on, and found that his OS was 3 versions out of date.
He expressed surprise to me that he didn’t know there were OS updates all of these years that he’s had his laptop, which says to me that Apple isn’t doing a very good job of advertising their new OSs to their customers.
He decided to upgrade his computer, so he went through two updates to get to Lion, and when he tried to update to Mountain Lion (the latest OS from Apple), he found that his computer wasn’t supported, and that he couldn’t update.
While most of the software he wants to run currently runs just fine on Lion, I started explaining to him that it would only be a matter of time before the software he needed wouldn’t run on his laptop anymore because it was going to be too far out of date. His laptop was reaching the end of it’s usable life, and I told him that it was part of Apple’s strategy to get people to keep purchasing their computers.
Now, we can talk all day about whose fault it will be when Chrome or, or Firefox, or an old version of Office is no longer able to work on OSX Lion, but the fact remains that Apple end-of-life’s it’s own hardware at a much faster pace than any other computer manufacturer. When the latest version of iTunes can still be run on Windows XP, an OS that isn’t even supported by Microsoft anymore, but not on OS 10.5, which is just over 5 years old (and with the latest version set to come out soon, they will probably be dropping support for OS 10.6, which is just over 3 years old), there is a problem.
Apple is screwing their own customers.
When you require people who buy into your entire ecosystem to
upgrade their purchase new hardware (because on the newest systems, you can’t upgrade anything since you can’t get into the case), but you still support a Windows OS that’s 11 years old, you are screwing over the very people who you should be trying to keep happy.
Now I know plenty of people who have more money than sense and will continue to purchase Apple laptops just because they have a glowing Apple on the back, but with everything, and I mean EVERYTHING going to the cloud, what software could possibly run on a Mac that I couldn’t run exactly the same on a PC at half, or in some cases, a third of the cost?
Case and point…let’s go back to my friend who just discovered he was being hung out to dry by Apple (and he’s none too happy about it). He was running Office 2001 (I know…I know), which actually worked when he updated to Snow Leopard (or 10.6 for those who don’t keep up with these things….I don’t. I have a wikipedia article open telling me which numbers correspond to which cat), but the next update to Lion broke it. When he asked the Apple rep about this, he was told that “Microsoft didn’t make it compatible anymore,” which is an outright lie. There is an Office 2011 version for Mac that would work just fine on my friend’s laptop, but the Apple rep he talked to told him that he could download the iWork apps (at just a mere $20 each) and he’d be good to go.
I asked if he’d bought the sales pitch and he told me he hadn’t because he wanted to ask my opinion first. I told him that there was a version of Office he could get but I wasn’t sure of the price. However, I said, there is this thing called Google Docs which allows you to do all of your editing online, and that Excel spreadsheet you’re using to keep track of your pay will upload into it very nicely. And, by the way, it’s totally free. Then I told him the kicker…there’s also an app you can download for your Nexus S that will allow you to edit it right from your phone.
So, Office in the cloud, video and photo editing in the cloud. Amazon and Google both have cloud based music storage/players. Almost everything I do these days is in a browser, so tell me again why I would purchase one of these starting at $1000 when I could get one of these starting around $400, or one of these starting at $250? If all I’m doing is email, facebook, and some office work, I think I know where I’m going to spend my money. And I have a feeling I know where my friend isn’t going to spend any of his money anymore.
At some point, enough people will wise up to Apple’s extortion scheme and see them for what they are: a company whose bottom line is more important than their customers.