Mountain Lion has just been released. The announcement was accompanied by the usual rants from various delirious individuals... And frankly, after years and years of these rants I am getting really upset. Why? Because people have changed into demanding, scrutinising, hard to satisfy freaks.
Here we have a company called Apple. They make computer systems and software. So customers go and buy a MacBook Pro Retina. With it comes Mac OS X Lion. They spent something like $2500 and get a computing device that works better than most other computing platforms. They get software called Mac OS X Lion that allows applications to be hosted and executed on this platform.
Lets make an analogy. I went out to buy a car. I paid my $52000 and away I drive with my Ford Mustang GT 2011 cabriolet. Why did I buy it? I read up on its specifications, and I took a test drive. That is what satisfy 99% of all people when they decide which car to purchase. I have had my GT now for more than 1 year. Every 6 months I take it in for a service where they refill the oil, check the tires etc. Basic maintenance. when I get my car back it is in no better condition than when I bought it.
Lets get back to Apple. And Microsoft for that matter. One year after a customer bought the computer, Apple announces that for $19.99, they can install a new operating system called Mountain Lion. This brings numerous improvements to the computing experience. Nowhere did the customer sign a contract with Apple where they promised they will keep updating software. That they will keep innovating. When the customer bought the computer, the purchase was for that computer AS IS. So now, one year later, this customer has the choice to pay $19.99 and install Mountain Lion, which contains numerous improvements to the computing experience. And the key is the word "choice". Nobody is forcing the customer to upgrade. Neither the software nor the hardware. But suddenly the customer is extremely unhappy. He is upset that this new release contains more bugs than the more stable release on his computer. He complains that feature X has been removed. Or that new feature Y has not been implemented to his satisfaction. Or - this is the best of them all - he complains that he should not be paying for the upgrade since the upgrade is what the original operating should have been from the start.
Where is the flaw? Jump back to the car analogy. I NEVER expect to have a car upgrade for the LIFETIME of my car, except if something is defective. For operating systems, you get free patches every so often, so that is sorted. If I grow dissatisfied with the car, I SELL IT and buy something else. That is the same with most things. You sell and buy something else.
But with computers somehow people feel entitled to receive updates that improve something they have spent money on years ago. Somehow they feel that since they spent some money a while ago, they should be getting a lifetime of improvements that satisfy all their particular needs.
It is a wonder that software keeps improving and that you can actually upgrade software without having to purchase new hardware. And no, I am not talking about Mountain Lion requiring a modern Mac to install on. I am saying that most of the time, you can install 2-4 operating systems on the same hardware over the course of several years. That is impressive. But now people demand that. They demand that they get features X, Y and Z. And if they don't, they throw their toys out of their cots.
Imagine me going to my Ford dealer and shouting at them because after one year they have not improved on the power output of my engine of my existing car. I am sure they will have their jaws drop to the floor in astonishment at my ludicracy.
People should chill. If you do not like the new Mac, then buy a Windows PC. If you do not like that then buy a Linux PC. If you do not like that then maybe computing is not for you.