Marco started the conversation with his posting questioning whether Apple had lost the plot – an article which he now says he wishes he hadn’t posted. I can see why he would rethink the language and tone of the piece, but he does raise an important point that the quality of software execution at Apple has been markedly poorer in the last 1-2 years.
I’ve been an Apple user since 1988 and shareholder since 2000. I sold most of the shares I bought at $15 in late 2000 when the stock split and then hit $100 in 2007; it covered most of the downpayment on my apartment (may have been a poor choice in retrospect, but I needed a place to live). Historically Apple didn’t release major OS updates very frequently and that frequency of release has accelerated since Lion in 2010. It’s clear to anyone who pays attention that software quality has been problematic since then and is getting worse.
- iTunes has major issues that haven’t been addressed for years
- Yosemite had major functional problems in the initial release, and many serious OS X users have still not upgraded because of this (including me)
- Apple Mail is outdated, inflexible, and barely functional
- User security for iCloud is terrible and risks damaging Apple’s reputation altogether.
I could go on.
Five years ago I would have recommended OS X and iOS to friends and relatives because things were simpler and easier to use. The hardware is higher quality and the integration between devices is still better than the other options, but this is mainly because the other options are so terrible. Microsoft lost the plot with Windows 8 and I almost never see it in the wild. Desktop linux is still reserved for enthusiasts and is still not an option for most users. I spend too much time in the work day wrestling with linux and solaris servers, I don’t need that for a desktop platform.
Apple is still my OS of choice but I worry that they really need to improve their software development and release process. This probably means slowing major releases to 18 or 24 month intervals, but who would complain about that?