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article imageApple’s New Leopard OS Faces Criticism Days After Launch

By David Silverberg     Oct 29, 2007 in Technology
Apple isn’t accustomed to bad press, but last week’s launch of the Mac operating system Leopard fell prey to several gripes from tech journalists. Find out why Apple still has to iron out some kinks in their revamped OS.
Digital Journal — When a new OS hits the market, whether from Microsoft or Apple, the early adopters dissect the software immediately. There isn’t room for any major errors, because the high-tech experts will immediately find problems in the first version that can hopefully be resolved in later releases.
And so Apple’s new Leopard OS is enduring its share of complaints. Chief among the gripes is the “blue screen of death” that popped up when users wanted to upgrade their Macs with Leopard. Over the weekend, Apple posted a support bulletin that identified the problem, saying:
It may be necessary to perform an Archive and Install installation of Leopard.This action moves files on a computer to a folder named Previous System, over which the new software is installed. Also, Apple blamed “third-party enhancement software” on some users’ computers that may not be compatible with Leopard.
The bad news doesn’t end there. PC World wrote an exhaustive list of complaints about the recently released OS. Writer Harry McCracken applauded the introduction of Time Machine — an intuitive auto-backup application — but noted how picky it is about which hard disk formats it works with. Plus, Time Machine’s cool-looking interface is inappropriate and too complicated for users anxious about losing a file.
McCracken also had issues with Spaces, a feature that lets you access various windows on one screen. As essential to the OS it is, he spotted a major flaw:
Spaces mixes poorly with two other OS X features I'm addicted to, using Command-Tab to jump between apps and dragging two fingers across my MacBook's touchpad to scroll through documents and Web pages. With Spaces turned on, when I Command-Tab to a new application, I sometimes need to click that app before I can drag-scroll. Other times, I don't have to click, but do need to drag-scroll for several seconds before the application notices I'm doing it. And other times, drag-scrolling just works, with no clicking or waiting required...which is, of course, what you want it to do all the time.Also, CNet ran several performance tests between Leopard and its predecessor Tiger. Despite CNet grading the new OS high overall, the test revealed this tidbit:
Our official conclusion is that we saw no significant difference with application performance when moving from Tiger to Leopard.So as impressive as Apple’s OS rollout is — 300 new features, easy and attractive layout — early adopters should be wary about diving into OS with sheer optimism. Any new product deserves a closer look, and judging by what the media is reporting so far, Leopard isn’t flying out of the gates with a roar.
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