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The First Begotten

Is long forgotten.


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The signs are already there. The writing on the wall is easy to read, its paint has long ago dried. Apple's first begotten - Mac OS X - is being abandoned. Perhaps casually but still and all: it's long forgotten.

√ Bug reports. There's not much attention given to them if they pertain to the computer OS. There are tonnes of unresolved issues dating back years.

√ Design awards. This isn't a mere oversight. And it's not an attempt to highlight development on the iPhone OS platform. It's a direct hint that Mac OS X doesn't count anymore: only software written for the iPhone OS can be nominated for design awards and only those who've purchased a subscription to iPhone OS can nominate and vote.

√ Code maintenance. 10.6.4 is currently over 500 MB to download. That's a lot of new code for a system that's supposed to be more or less intact. And one has to wonder how many programmers are working on the computer OS when everybody and their cousin is hammering away frenetically on the iP* systems.

√ The rumour mill. There's a continuing stream of stories about how Apple are contemplating changing the software distribution model for the platform - and themselves controlling it.

√ Dismissal of the enterprise. To Apple, the enterprise doesn't exist. The enterprise is where people can't use 'read-only' devices like the iPhone and iPad. Apple have the technology to make a big dent in the enterprise market - and there's serious money to be made for the effort - but they just don't give a damn.

√ Consumer products. Apple's product line is geared directly at the personal user and not the enterprise. Features such as their laptop rim iSight and their irreplaceable unibody battery fly in the face of the needs of corporations.

√ Open source updates. Apple have always been slow about keeping potentially vulnerable open source modules up to date. They've been 'pwned' several times because of this.

√ Abandoning the open source model. Apple have source code to their remakes of real open source modules but no one can build the Mac OS X kernel from these files. Key components at kernel level are proprietary.

√ Anaemic WWDC support. Rob Griffiths and others won't be attending WWDC 2010 because there aren't many events concerning Mac OS X. Almost everything is about the iPhone OS. And Apple proudly announced they sold out in record time. They're sending a message.

√ Formal corporate name change. Apple are no longer 'Apple Computer' - they're just 'Apple'. They've formally taken 'computer' out of their corporate identity.

√ Mac OS Software menu item. This menu item on every Apple computer leads to the Apple Downloads microsite which appears to have been abandoned.

√ New ADC membership terms. ADC members retain their membership perks for the moment but may not renew as before. Currently there are $99 programmes for the iPhone, the iPad, and now for the 'Mac'.

√ Code signing. Apple began shipping code-signed binaries shortly after code signing was introduced on the iPhone. But the use of code signing is completely different. Apple may enforce use of their root certificate on all Mac OS X binaries as has been suggested but they may also simply fail to follow through on the idea - another sign the platform's being abandoned.

√ Enthusiasm (or lack thereof). Apple completed one of their most comprehensive projects ever when they released their iPhone. The in-house enthusiasm for the device - and now for the iPad - is probably limitless whilst the same for the computer OS seems nonexistent. Computer systems aren't Steve Jobs' kind of thing anyway - he prefers hermetically sealed gadgets.

See Also
Red Hat Diaries: CEO Gadget
Red Hat Diaries: Dear Steve Jobs
Coldspots: Chflags the Apple Way
Red Hat Diaries: Apple Being Apple
Red Hat Diaries: The Walled Garden
Industry Watch: Jobs Needs That Tablet
Red Hat Diaries: What Happens to OS X?
Industry Watch: Mac Developer Program Update
Industry Watch: Apple: No More Mac Design Awards
Coldspots: Snow Leopard's Enhanced Support for Firefox

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