Being a huge fan and supporter of the POSIX family of operating systems, I took the plunge and made my leap from Microsoft Windows to Apple’s gorgeous state-of-the-art OS X a couple of years ago. My first OS X machine however was a “tranny” (as my girlfriend so eloquently put it), being that it was a PC running Mac OS X; also commonly referred to as a Hackintosh. I must say, that my first reaction upon first boot was similar to a culture-shock – I simple had no idea what to do, so I just sat and stared at it for a good 5 minutes until I finally snapped out of it and began exploring this new BSD-based world of computing. Granted I was a lot more familiar with Linux distros at the time, so much that the first thing I did was open up a terminal screen and attempt to run the OS via CLI. 😛
To my big surprise, OS X began to shine through as one of the most user-friendly operating systems out there, granted I felt a little constricted with my inability to “tweak” the OS, but that came along later down the line after some more adventures and explorations.
At this point of time, Apple was on the rise in the market; with iOS gaining CE market share like there was no tomorrow and the latest version of the OS available was version 10.5.8 (the last public release of Mac OS X Leopard). Days later things began to get shaky with my tranny Mac, while realizing all the hardware issues I was facing, mainly due to the fact that I was running hacked version of the OS on hardware that it wasn’t designed to run on. So I thought to myself, why not upgrade to the next release, the best OS to-date (at the time), why not upgrade to Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6)? Well, I tried that, but it didn’t really work out due to even more hardware compatibility issues.
So what did I do?
I went out and bought myself a little present… took quite the punch in my bank account, but it was well worth it. I bought a MacBook Pro 15” (Mid-2010 Model). All I could say at the time was “Wow!” Snow Leopard was literally as powerful and as robust as an OS could get (also happens to be one of my favorite animals :-D), and so I enjoyed it for a good year. With the new and improved real-time automatic graphics switching capabilities, and Apple’s introduction of OpenCL as well as Grand Central Dispatch, not to mention that it was the first true fully developed 64-bit x86 OS to be released by the company. I came to realize that all the stories I used to hear about Mac’s (just like all the *nix OS’s) were true, the computer would never crash, and the only reasons why I would shut it down would be because I felt bad for it, and wanted to give it a break, you spend almost zero-time maintaining it… my conclusion was that you literally never have to shutdown a Mac (or so I thought).
I like to refer to “Snow Leopard” as the glory days of Apple, Inc.; they created an OS that was so beyond its time and its commercial competition (still gotta give Linux the lead) that it was blowing competition out of the water.
Then someone let that Lion loose!
In came Apple in 2011 claiming the release of yet another outstanding, earth-shaking operating system that was claimed to beat all its predecessors… you can only imagine the look on my face when I read that news, knowing how much I enjoyed using the current build of their OS. This is when Apple introduced Mac OS X Lion, the latest and current version of the OS X lineage of Apple’s computer operating systems.
This was when I made the correlation between Apple and Microsoft, OS X Lion was the “Vista” of Apple.
I believe that every tech company goes through a slump every once-in-a-while where they need to reassess their vision, or at least the choices they’ve made in developing their products in order to reach that vision. This was it and is still it for Apple, as was the case with Microsoft’s Windows Vista. Instead of Lion being the next breakthrough in operating systems of its time, instead it proved to be the prime example that even BSD-based operating systems can crash at unbearable rates. Ironically enough, it wasn’t just OS X Lion that took this hit, but Apple recently released iOS 5 for its CE product lines, and reactions were very similar; with power overconsumption, irregular behavior, system crashes. This has been quite a rotten time for that Apple, not to mention its recent passing of their idolized visionary and CEO, Steve Jobs, so it really begs the questions, is this the reason why we are beginning to see this shift production quality?
Many rumored the fact that without Jobs, Apple would just become like any other company. The twist in the story however, is that Jobs had set a roadmap for the next 15 years for Apple, which technically implies that they are still working on his roadmap and so should continue to develop products at their best. Given this information, it really makes you wonder if it’s Jobs’ successor that lies at the root of all these recent shortcomings.
So the big question now for the tech industry, is this the beginning of the end for Apple, or is it just the dip in the sinusoidal lifecycle?