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Why We Don't Upgrade to Big Sur

Déjà vu all over again.


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HURSLEY (Rixstep) — Twenty-one years ago, on 16 February 2000, Radsoft published a 'decisive' statement, 'Why We Don't Upgrade to Win2K'. One of them traveled to IBM to teach systems programming, took along the 2K DVDs from Microsoft, demonstrated the system for Big Blue, and was completely turned off.

They never upgraded, ever, and, a year later, a number of them branched off in search of a Red Hat in the RTP and somehow ended up at the new home of NeXT.

Now they're back there again: now it's not upgrading further with Apple systems. So let's compare.

'Let's face it: Microsoft's products can be very cool.'

Oh bullshit. That was an attempt to appease. A client of theirs at the Pentagon advised they cool things a bit.

'For example, Microsoft once had a 'Rapid Deployment Program' for Windows 2000, yet the more its members saw of the Windows 2000 betas, the more they dropped out of the program, and in the end the program just fell apart. Business is trying to tell us something here.'

That's never going to happen to Apple because Apple never figured out how to sell to the enterprise and they never will. Certainly not now with the confused state of OS things.

'On the contrary, more and more businesses are considering Linux as their next upgrade, because it's cheaper and would appear more stable, and because the need for qualified product support can be largely met anyway.'

That holds to this day, but the migration from Windows would have been more significant as the total number of Windows users is greater. Yet, looking down the road twenty years later, one doesn't see much change.

'Win2K is every bit as fast as NT - you just need more RAM and a faster CPU.'

Yep, some Microsoftie actually said that. And, for every Apple upgrade, you're bound to hear a few fanboys tell you the system is suddenly snappier.

'We keep getting back to this bit over and over again: what does Win2K have that we don't already have? Answer: nothing.'

Same thing now. Mojave 10.14 meant Dark Mode but Catalina meant nothing but nonsense and Big Sur meant more of the same.

'The father of Windows NT, David N Cutler, has basically been out of the loop since 1996.'

True. Personal friends who'd been part of the original NT team in Redmond paid a visit back and were startled to hear 'Dave is gone, what will we do!' Microsoft kept a lid on it for years of course.

'No offence meant, but we simply don't think the average Microsoft developer is on the same level as Dave and his former team.'

Who cares about offending? The respect so common twenty years ago is completely gone around the Apple clowns. The same could be said of NeXT and Apple. Certainly there were gaps in NeXT competence, but Apple coders are in a clown class all their own.

'A new operating system has 'happened' since last Microsoft released Windows NT, and it runs on a fraction of the hardware needed to get Windows 2000 off the ground.'

What system is that? Torvalds said he wouldn't have started if he'd known about FreeBSD. FreeBSD used to dominate in the server market. Today it's teh Linus more and more - and once again Apple treated to a walkover, their greatest trick.

'Microsoft admits and laments in these internal documents that Windows NT/2000 can never approach the stability of Linux because their development method (with closed source) is all wrong and the Linux development method (with open source) is all right.'

The Halloween Documents. That's important to keep in mind, especially right now as Apple makes more and more of a mess of things with their own systems. Certainly we've seen Apple perpetrate tricks as filthy and nasty as Microsoft, if not more so.

'Linux is most likely the wave of the future, and for geeks has been for some time now the only way to go.'

Note the date on this piece. It's early into the New Millennium. The search for Red Hat hardware was about to begin for the boys, a search that unfortunately ended in acquiring a TiBook, an iBook, and dozens of NeXT books.

'If it works, don't fix it.'

More and more the object lesson of the day.

'NT has 58 million official users out there, and they are not going to disappear overnight.'

No, but NT users were to a greater extent enterprise and network users, whereas with Apple there's only fanboys who in their AFK time lust for the New York Yankees.

Apple passed their point of no return long ago. They haven't had any good new features in years. The question is whether they've ever had a good feature of their own instead of inheriting it all from a team embarrassingly more competent than their own in-house. Their code-signing and App Store shenanigans are certainly not a feature - they're hated with passion and conviction by every conscionable software guru and software lover. Apple played out their trust card and forfeited forever. All that remains - as twenty years ago - is to find a true open source platform that people will take to.

Things We'll Miss

  1. The graphics. No idea what's happened on other platforms, but Apple's (NeXT's) screen graphics are vector-based with colour components, opacity, and screen metrics expressed in floating point.

  2. GUI controls such as the sheet. Other platforms can't accommodate the sheet as they're not truly document-oriented, something else that's inexcusably missing. The sheet is indispensable. True nihilist that they are, Apple did away with other brilliant NeXT controls.

  3. Microkernel architecture. Microkernel means no kernel panics. Helen Custer wrote about how Cutler moved from microkernel to the crash-prone NT 4.0. That was an unfortunate move.

  4. Computer phobia. The common denominator for Apple users is that they really don't like computers much. Guy Kawasaki didn't either, and he was hired on at Apple to sell to the unwashed. He succeeded and made millions. The snide remark 'PhD in Torvalds' won't be heard outside the walled garden.

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