Just four days until “X Day” and Mac OS X is beginning to garner publicity in the mainstream press. A recent US News & World Report
story describes the next generation operating system as “more stable, eye catching, and easier to use than consumer versions of Windows,” but this alone “may not be enough to attract users beyond the loyal band of artists and technically disinclined folks who swear by Apple’s approach to PCs.”
“The key will be if software developers support OS X — because it is applications that draw users,” writer David LaGesse said.
He writes that OS X burnishes the Mac’s reputation for a vibrant, graphics-rich look, but quotes Jef Raskin, who led the original Mac project and is now an independent consultant, as saying that most of the desktop changes are cosmetic. Raskin says Apple missed a chance to again transform the interface. “OS X is pretty, but nobody would argue it will change how we use computers,” he told US News & World Report.
Tinkerers and techies may not wait for OS X’s leap over Windows, which will try to stay apace with its own overhaul late this year as Windows XP, LaGesse opined. Some techies call the new Mac “Unix made easy,” with its graphics and applications, he added.
Meanwhile, The Independent writer Cliff Joseph expects the
launch of Mac OS X this weekend to be a relatively quiet one.
“It’s taken about 10 years to complete, seen off two CEOs and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but this weekend Apple will finally release it’s new operating system, OS X,” Joseph said. “It’ll probably be a low-key affair, but make no mistake — this is the most important product release from Apple since the launch of the first Macintosh computer in 1984.”
One of Apple’s challenges is to get software developers to write applications for OS X, he said. Fortunately, the major Mac software developers seem to like OS X. “There’s a great deal of enthusiasm,” Keith Martin, the technical editor of the UK publication, “MacUser,” told Joseph.
Most big names in the Mac software industry are porting their products to the new operating system, but several have yet to provide specific release dates for OS X products.
“So this weekend’s launch will be fairly modest,” LaGesse said. “Dark rumors circulating on the Internet suggest that even some of Apple’s own programs, such as the Final Cut video editor, may not work with OS X yet. The crucial period for Apple will be in about six months’ time. If major Mac programs haven’t made the switch to OS X by then, OS X could be dead in the water.”
But don’t worry too much about. From everything we’ve seen here at MacCentral, in six months there’ll be anything but a dearth of Mac OS X software.