It’s time for a rant. Again.
Is anyone else getting tired of all the Snow Leopard talk? More specifically, all the talk that Snow Leopard is a giant failure, and that consumers are rejecting it and not upgrading. Some have even gone so far as to compare it to Windows Vista.
First, let me let me say straight up that in no way can the move from Leopard to Snow Leopard be considered the same magnitude of an XP to Vista update. For one, let’s stop and look at the aesthetically change between the two. There was a huge change between how XP looked once we moved to Vista, and there has been no real change between the two leopard models. So if you’re measure stick only has measurements in graphical changes then you have clearly missed the point of Snow Leopard’s update.
Snow Leopard has been about upgrading the spine of an operating system; it’s about making sure the central nervous system (CNS) is working at a more efficient rate, and it’s not about the colour of hair dye you might want. I think that’s an apt metaphor personally. If the CNS is working efficiently, we’ll be able to change aesthetics at any time, but if it’s being destroyed and bogged down by old code, what’s the point of continuing to use it. There will be no need to color the hair, or cut it. No one will care because it’s slow.
Snow Leopard was meant to bring the core technologies of OS X up to date. Finder was completely rewritten. The Operating system moved closer to full 64bit support. Open CL was integrated. Grand Central Dispatch was given to developers.
A quick survey of the aforementioned list begins to paint a pretty interesting picture of who this update was aimed at–developers. It’s not about consumers, sure there’s some consumer updates as well, Quicktime X’s release is an obvious example. But, for the most part, this release was about helping developers make better applications for consumers. It’s a yin and yang thing. In order for developers to make better apps they need better tools, and in order for those tools to be used, consumers need to implement the technology. It’s a step forward, and it’s the kind of corporate approach that lets a company ensure stability, and helps to eliminate all the problems with backward compatibility. In my opinion Vista got a bad rap for terrible reasons, but it all started with backward compatibility issues.
It doesn’t make much sense to compare the two operating system updates in my opinion, but it certainly makes sense to view Snow Leopard as a service pack that has some extra bonuses for consumers. Snow Leopard was undoubtedly geared toward developers, and the technology they’ll be giving to us in the future. In my opinion, that was worth the price of upgrade alone.