I deeply value the consistency, versatility, reliability and integration of Mac OS X and the excellent quality hardware it runs on. However the current state of the Mac has me considering whether it’s still the right platform for me.
At the end of November motivated by the lacklustre MacBook Pro updates I installed a bunch of different OSes to see if I could find one that met my requirements. These are what I tried[…]
If Apple drops the ball with the Mac, I doubt we’ll ever see anything like it again.
Update (2017-01-04): John Siracusa:
The last time Mac users were seriously passing around articles like this was during the transition from Mac OS to Mac OS X.
The truth is, for most of us, there is no good alternative to MacOS. Nothing. And it took so long — not years but decades — for MacOS to get to where it is that I don’t think any other OS could ever catch up. That’s what’s driving the arguably paranoid fear that Apple is abandoning the Mac. It’s not so much the evidence (lack of updates to Mac Pro and Mac Mini, and concerns about software quality) as the high stakes: if the Mac goes away, the world will be left without a Mac-quality desktop OS.
I think a lot of the hardware issues are temporary, and Apple could change course relatively quickly if motivated. The software quality is a more serious concern. Apple is one of the richest companies in the world, but it has built up a staggering amount of technical debt. I see no signs that this is being addressed. The best case—that Apple recognizes the problem and decides to do something—would probably take at least five years to pay it down.
The prospect of changing over to a new software ecosystem is scary. We totally get it, switching out the platform that you pay your bills with is a big deal, and certainly not a decision to take lightly. You’ve grown comfortable over the years with the OS that you love and the ecosystem around it, but now the future of Motion Design on the Mac looks a bit uncertain. We know that you have a lot of questions about making the switch, so let’s take a look at some of the bigger ones and see if we can’t ease some of those concerns.
Update (2017-01-26): Tony Heupel:
So, hedging my bets and moving away from Apple products and putting my money where my mouth is, I have come to this conclusion: while I’m VERY, VERY concerned for Apple and it’s impacts on me as a developer and therefore on my family, I simply think Apple has made the best tradeoffs when it comes to these devices I use every day, all day.
Update (2017-01-29): Wesley Moore:
The next frontier is Linux on my MacBook. I think that will be more of a test, particularly with hardware support (especially WiFi and trackpad).
This experiment has consumed days of my time at this point and the result is not in any way as polished as macOS. For the type of work I do and how I like to do it, it is still a productive environment though. Plus there is the added benefit of access to much more up-to-date, varied hardware than Apple is offering at the moment.
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