Many are struck with wonder that Apple would release Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks free. Users back from the heady days of the pre-PPC Macs (a very long suffering people!) know this isn’t such a new thing. Back then, if you could download it or get someone to copy floppies, you could get it for free – unless you really wanted the Apple package of floppies and user guides. And many did – the manuals were quite good and useful.But Apple should have been doing this all along. Upgrading operating systems invariably cause users to buy new hardware. Allowing free upgrades to the OS means users will find their older hardware either incapable of supporting some new features or, the OS necessarily slowing things down. If I keep using my old copy of OS whatever that came with my computer, its unlikely Ill notice the slowdown – especially if I am content with the apps that will run on it. But it is very hard to resist a free upgrade to the operating system, so I am more likely to download it, find out that 1) I think the new new features are cool, and 2) they run too slowly on my old machine, so I better upgrade.
I also have a philosophical problem with companies that expect you to pay when they remove features, such as these 10 features that were removed when they released Mountain Lion. This removing is one sign that Apple really cares little about professional users using their products. By professional, I mean people who may use features beyond the lowest common denominator features of their products, and who also use the computer as an infrastructural business tool.
Even small changes to features can result in someone paying a huge price in terms of productivity. If you have a set of applications that work together in a system conjoined by Applescript and, Apple strips out or refines the scripting interface to one of their applications, then suddenly the entire system is broken. The vast majority of common denominator users are never impacted by this of course. Apple, I respect finding easier and better ways to accomplish a task. But never take them away from me.