back to article Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

Nearly one in five fanbois have been left potentially vulnerable to hacking attacks after Apple announced the end of support for OS X Snow Leopard. The OS was only launched about four-and-a-half years ago and is still relied upon by about 20 per cent of the world's Apple-loving population. The fruity firm released a patch for …

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  1. Thomas Gray

    What are we waiting for?

    Sadly, some of us are running legacy hardware that has been abandoned by the manufacturer, and the device drivers are not compatible with the later versions of OSX. I personally don't let that machine touch the internet now.

    1. Simon Ward

      Re: What are we waiting for?

      This.

      Ever so much.

      My employers develop a product which can run on Macs, and the fact of the matter is that some of our larger customers are still running Snow Leopard on their production systems (for reasons best known to themselves, but there you are) with a few still running Tiger and Leopard on PPC hardware - end of life or not, we still have to support them - if you think that getting corporates to adopt newer versions of Windows is tough, convincing them that upgrading their Fruit Machines is a good idea is even harder and as such we still have to support them (and yes, we've got a metric shitload of legacy hardware running Snow Leopard, Leopard and Tiger so we can do that)

      Calling it an "XP Moment" is probably over-egging things a bit, but it's still bloody inconvenient.

      (can't comment on Mavericks, as I bailed out of Zombie Steve's Walled Garden before the Hillside Moggy was unleashed)

      1. justincormack
        Linux

        surely?

        PPC hardware is still supported. By Linux...

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: surely?

          Indeed - MintPPC FTW!

          http://mintppc.org/

          1. Jess

            Indeed - MintPPC FTW!

            Is that still up to date?

            I notice the latest post on the homepage (other than about the forums) is from November 2011.

        2. the spectacularly refined chap

          Re: surely?

          PPC hardware is still supported. By Linux...

          68k Macs are still supported. By NetBSD...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: surely?

            A mate of mine (yes, one of *those* mates with an endless supply of IT issues... enough wit to get himself into situations but but enough to reverse out. "And no, don't use a registry cleaner, they just seem to fuck shit up for you") has one of those old Core 2 Duo Mac Minis, and it struggles with some HD video. 'Perian' helps. Still, John Lewis sold it cheap as a 'store demo' with their 2 year guarantee, and it's always been lovely and quiet.

            Meanwhile, he uses his i7 3770S (65W TDP + 1kg passive copper cooler) for vinyl ripping...

            It's like he's using a screwdriver for hammering nails, and using a hammer to drive nuts.

            Still, he grew up in Welsh care homes in the late '60s, so his mental health is to be treated with care.

            Lovely vinyl collection though.

    2. AbelSoul

      Re: What are we waiting for?

      > "some of us are running legacy hardware..."

      +1 and I'm in the same boat, albeit stuck on Lion rather than SL.

      I actually have Mavericks installed on an external HD for iOS programming but use Lion for my audio work on account of it being the last version which can boot into 32 bit, as required by the drivers for my ancient-but-too-pricey-to-replace Yamaha mixer / control surface / MIDI interface.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: What are we waiting for?

        It would be okay if the hardware restrictions were less draconian. I have a MacMini as a backup machine and although it's Intel (Core 2 Duo) it's not able to use anything more recent than Lion.

        Snow Leopard itself was a bit of a brown bag release with the most important fixes pushed into Lion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What are we waiting for?

          Douché

        2. rh587 Bronze badge

          Re: What are we waiting for?

          "It would be okay if the hardware restrictions were less draconian. I have a MacMini as a backup machine and although it's Intel (Core 2 Duo) it's not able to use anything more recent than Lion."

          Blimey, that is picky. I'm running a Late-2008 MacBook and that's handling Mavericks fine, despite also being Core 2 Duo!

          It's was the first of the aluminium unibodies, and eminently upgradeble with a simple catch to get at the HDD - now SSD - and battery, and just a couple of screws to get at the RAM. An elegant design that Johnnie Ive should be ashamed to have dropped in favour of the glued-together modern equivalents.

          But that's the problem, I'm running it third hand (inherited off my brother who had it second hand) instead of buying a new one!

          There are some fairly salient hardware issues. Other brother had to replace the audio capture card for his home studio when his PPC Macbook died and he replaced it with a new Intel model. Only connects via USB but the absence of Intel drivers that didn't generate massive hiss was a bit of a killer!

          1. Decade
            Unhappy

            Re: What are we waiting for?

            Not all of the Core 2 Duo systems can run Mavericks.

            The CPU can do it, but Apple never bothered to write 64-bit drivers for the GMA 900 video processor on the Intel 915GM chipset. The first "unibody" Macs introduced the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, which Apple is still supporting with drivers. So, I think some adventurous people managed to get Mavericks to install, but it doesn't do native resolution and the performance is miserable.

            This lack of support sucks for me. I was trying not to install Lion on my early-2008 MacBooks, because they have only 2GB of RAM, and reportedly Lion sucks with 2GB of RAM compared to Snow Leopard. I didn't think it was a good use of limited funds to upgrade those to the 4GB RAM or SSD so that Lion runs well.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Trollface

              What I don't understand..

              ...is why anyone would run production operations on a device built for teenage girls?

      2. Thomas Gray

        Re: What are we waiting for?

        @AbelSoul

        Yamaha 01x? That's what I have :)

        If you are interested, there is an active Facebook (I know, I know) group supporting the 01x and associated hardware, and we are currently talking to a developer about the possibility of getting an updated mLAN driver written for OSX and Windows.

    3. RAMChYLD

      Re: What are we waiting for?

      +1. First gen Intel Macs are for some reason only capable of booting into 32-bit OSes despite having a 64-bit CPU, due to the EFI being 32-bit. Apple could've fixed it, but they'd rather force you into buying a new Mac.

      No one's stopping you from deleting Mac OS completely and installing Linux tho.

      1. Kris Akabusi

        Re: What are we waiting for?

        I've got a 1st gen Intel Macbook pro which doesn't run any recent versions of OSX. Still I only use it now for garage band unless there is a way for it to work with more recent versions

    4. knarf

      Re: What are we waiting for?

      My old "Snow Leopard" box could not (or they would not) be upgraded, so I converted to run Ubuntu instead; and its been great.

  2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Windows

    OSX Mavericks

    Damn can't do the whinge of ner you have to pay for your service packs anymore :(

    Hardware from 2007 is supported (Assuming all x86 and x64 hardware) so its not really an XP moment.

    1. Red Bren
      Linux

      Re: OSX Mavericks

      Hardware from 2007 is supported

      My 1st Gen MacBook Air (core 2 duo, 2GB ram) is not supported by Mavericks, or Mountain Lion for that matter. The limitation is hard-coded in the OS, it's not that my hardware can't run it. Tim is so concerned I might have a poor user experience, he wont let me have any user experience at all!

      There are tools available to get ML to install on unsupported hardware but I'll probably just migrate to linux instead.

      1. Decade
        Unhappy

        Re: OSX Mavericks

        It's not just an arbitrary hard-coding that prevents Mountain Lion and Mavericks from running.

        It's device drivers. Apple is not bothering to support the Intel GMA 900 with 64-bit device drivers. Apple is still supporting the GeForce 9400M, so that's supported. So, you can get a newer OS installed, but it will have miserable performance and probably not display with native resolutions.

  3. bigtimehustler

    Yea, its not quite as bad as Microsoft, at least the upgrade to the latest OS is actually free! There are a small number of people left on legacy hardware, but hey, you can't keep making patches for ever for all your old OS's. People running legacy hardware will already have had many OS upgrades on that hardware at a cheap price in the years prior to snow leopard .

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Sure, MS just asks you to pay the upgrade price for a thirteen years old OS - Apple asks you to buy new hardware for its whole cost because your six years old one is no longer supported, quite not as bad as MS.... ooooh, Apple is so nice to customers....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Except that Microsoft's compatibility checker was having none of it when I was looking to upgrade a 5 year-old Toshiba laptop from XP to WIndows 7 a couple of years ago - so really a very similar situation. It's been perfectly happily running Ubuntu ever since.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Did you run a marketing-designed tool? Of course it would tell you to buy something new. I run Windows 7 64 bit till last year on a 2005 PentiumD 3Ghz machine - which when bought was running XP (Vista skipped, of course). Sure, it went from 2GB to 8GB RAM in its lifetime, as RAM got cheaper.

          I upgraded it with a new one just because I returned to Flight Simulator X, and wanted a machine to run it at full steam, and because Lightroom 5 with 22MB images was a bit slow (Lightroom doesn't modify the original images, it applies the list of changes in realtime and is very processor heavy)

          But for most common tasks, it was working perfectly. Now it became a NAS for my photos backup copies. The *BSD based OS supports it without issues.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        > Apple asks you to buy new hardware for its whole cost because your six years old one is no longer supported, quite not as bad as MS.... ooooh, Apple is so nice to customers....

        You're talking about hardware that struggles to play back HD video, FFS... most people have moved on by now.

      3. Volker Hett

        Six year old hardware runs fine with Mavericks, I should know, I'm typing on a seven year old Macbook Pro at the moment.

        So people with even older hardware are stuck. OTOH, my 8 year old white Macbook runs (or better crawls) Windows 7. The Intel Chipset is limited to 2GB RAM and let's not talk about the graphics card :(

    2. R 11

      A few people? I'd imagine there are quite a lot of Mac Minis from 2006-2008 still operational. They're running dual core intel processors and quite capable of running a modern operating system when they have a couple of gig of ram in them.

      This isn't an XP moment, this is like Microsoft abandoning Vista which was launched in 2007 - the time as Apple were selling computers that they now imply are fit only for landfill.

      And it's only recently that these upgrades were available cheaply. The upgrade from 10.4 to 10.5 was over $100.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        The obvious double standard.

        Of course. As soon as the "better quality" and "enhanced longevity" is brought into question by actual real world problems experienced by actual end users, suddenly the fanboys will make excuses about how kit is old or how other vendors do things.

        This right here is where the rubber really hits the road. A genuine luxury brand would have the extended support. These Intel Macs would not be orphans. Even PPC Macs would not be orphans.

  4. Christopher O'Neill

    2007 hardware obsolete?

    "After all, Mavericks is free. What are you waiting for?"

    A new laptop? Mavericks is not available for my 2007 macbook (Intel Core-Duo).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

      2007? a 7 year old machine? So you'd expect a machine bought in 2000 to run the Vista in 2007 or a machine bought in 1993 to run Windows 2000 in 2000 or a machine bought in 1986 to run Windows 3.11 in 1993 or a...

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        My gaming rig was built by myself for Win 7 in 2009. I would expect it to easily manage an OS that comes out in 2 years seeing as Win 8 ran flawlessly on it when I tried (Spare HD, MS can pry Win 7 out of my cold dead fingers).

        I managed to install Fedora on my old T21 a few years ago, it doesn't run too badly and 1024x768 is great for full screen command line tinkering.

      2. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        2007? a 7 year old machine? So you'd expect a machine bought in 2000 to run the Vista in 2007 or a machine bought in 1993 to run Windows 2000 in 2000 or a machine bought in 1986 to run Windows 3.11 in 1993 or a…

        Or a 1986 Mac Plus to run System 7.5.5 (released in September 1996). And that's even after Apple had transitioned the Macintosh platform from Motorola's 680x0 to PowerPC. Sorry, but Apple (used to) have a pretty good record supporting older hardware.

        The point's moot on 2007 hardware anyway. The real reason for those Macs being unable to run ML and Mavericks is that 10.8 and newer are now 64-bit only. Apple jumped ship to Intel too early, they should've probably waited 'till the 64-bit processors came out. PPC was 64-bit already after all. They'd probably have all users on Mountain Lion as a minimum if they hadn't killed Rosetta on Lion and newer.

        1. Volker Hett

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          Some of those have 64bit CPUs, but the GMA945 (?) Chipset is limited to 32bit. Otoh, that white Macbook I bought in April 2006 is now best described as "genuine vintage" with all its scratches, dents and missing keyboard caps.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          So what? My 2005 PentiumD is a 64 bit CPU. I used it with Windows 7 64 bit till last year. Now it's running the 64-bit version of FreeNAS in a custom built 9TB ZFS NAS server. ZFS requires more then 4GB to work well, thereby the 64 bit needs. If Apple was installing 32-bit only CPUs in its 2007 hardware to save on costs and have even larger revenues on its expensive products, well, its customers are really gullible...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        "2007? a 7 year old machine?"

        Consumerism. You must not be acquinted with the *BSD world on which OSX is built on top of.

        Are you sir by any chance from the "smart" device generation of "adults" where 1 year old hardware is deemed too old?

      4. vmistery

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        My 2006 Core2Quad desktop is running Windows 8 just fine thanks. Care to elaborate why you think double the price hardware should be supported with OS releases for less time? The reason my MacMini and the OH MacBook are not supported now is because apple cheaped out and sold £expensive units with the GMA 950 chipset in. That is it.

        1. Decade
          Windows

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          My 2004 Pentium 4 desktop is also running Windows 8.1. It's running the 32-bit version, but it's running fine. However, it has an NVIDIA GeForce 7800GT video card. I wouldn't count on the motherboard's video running well.

        2. MrT

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          Not quite as old, but my Dell Insipid 9400 from Jan 2007 is still going strong, in daily use. RAM and HDD upgrade, but the trick was to spec it to a good level originally (512MB nVidia 7900GS, 1900x1220 panel). Win 7 and Kubuntu, plus a raft of old OS's on VM, for old time's sake - I still like running W2K. I know it's not the most thorough benchmark, but it rates at 5.1 on Win7 performance index. It should easily get to 10yrs.

        3. Randy Hudson

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          Do you really think it's the GMA 950 chipset? I thought this was a tech site. Your Mac Mini is not supported because the processor is 32-bit. The OS, drivers, and applications are exclusively 64-bit now.

      5. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        > 2007? a 7 year old machine? So you'd expect a machine bought in 2000 to run the Vista in 2007 or a machine bought in 1993 to run Windows 2000 in 2000 or a machine bought in 1986 to run Windows 3.11 in 1993 or a...

        These orphaned Macs will run newer versions of Linux and Windows just fine.

        Why are you trying to apply "PC standards" to this? Aren't Apple products supposed to be better than that?

    2. Slap

      Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

      You're kidding right. My firm shoves around 50 White MacBook models into recycling every month. If you want to use it a 2007 model will still run Lion, or Linux with bootcamp ;-)

      A laptop's useful lifetime is around 3 years, 4 years tops. A 2007 MacBook is now over 6 years old. I really fail to understand what you're complaining about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        "A laptop's useful lifetime is around 3 years, 4 years tops."

        What utter rubbish. The reason PC sales are tanking is that a 5 year-old (and more) machine is still perfectly capable of running the applications the vast majority of users actually want to run. Until the hardware dies there's just no reason to buy a new machine - unless you're obsessed with having new shiny-shiny.

        1. R 11

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          "Until the hardware dies there's just no reason to buy a new machine - unless you're obsessed with having new shiny-shiny."

          This, and this again. I'm sure I'm not alone here in having been one of those who would routinely upgrade their desktop as new processors, motherboards and other bits and bobs became available in the late 90s or early 2000s. There was a big difference in going from a 500MHz part to 1GHz and as RAM prices plummeted we were able to go from computers with 4MB of ram to many hundreds of MB. Today, and since the mid-late 2000s there have still been improvements but they haven't revolutionized the ordinary desktop.

          Sure we can now work more easily with video and other taxing stuff, but launching a desktop, a web browser and a word processor is juts as feasible on a 2007 computer as on one bought yesterday. Where one company supplied the hardware and OS, there's little excuse for them to end support this soon.

        2. rh587 Bronze badge

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          "What utter rubbish. The reason PC sales are tanking is that a 5 year-old (and more) machine is still perfectly capable of running the applications the vast majority of users actually want to run."

          PC sales would include desktops, which go on forever.

          If you get 5 years out of a laptop you're winning.

          In that time most people have some combination of the battery going on the fritz, the screen (or cable) going funny, the cooling degrading or the hinges breaking after about 4 years.

          I pushed my old Toshiba laptop for 6 years before building a desktop, but I had to change the cooling fan after 3, and it was essentially a desktop for the last 2.5 years as the battery had died and then the replacement fan went as well.

          Current inherited Macbook needed a new screen assembly last year (age 5), and a RAM/SSD upgrade. The battery is working... -ishly.

          The boss's laptop went squeaky pop after 4 years when the mainboard cracked from thermal cycles (he used it as a DB development machine and it did some hefty duty cycles).

          We had Pentium 4 desktops going on the best part of a decade until we finally replaced them last year, but laptops? Nope.

          Apple have set new standards for longevity with rock solid unibody construction... and then gone back on them as they've prevented you changing out your HDD for an SSD, glued in the battery, soldering the RAM on and just generally being a pain.

          1. cambsukguy

            Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

            Buy a laptop where you can't change the battery yourself, easily? Not a chance. Laptops very often sit on mains, even with clever-clever power control the default is to keep you ready to go (dropped to 94%, lets charge this sucker).

            Result? battery lifetime in the order of 2-3 years.

            I replaced my Lenovo battery easily, because it is designed to swap out. Sadly, I chose a non-Lenovo replacement, functional but not as clever as the original but does the rarely-required job of black/brown-out protection and the even rarer take-to-another-room/place - such is the convenience of tablets and phones now.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

            If you get 5 years out of a laptop you're winning.

            stuartl@portege ~ $ cat /proc/cpuinfo

            processor : 0

            vendor_id : GenuineIntel

            cpu family : 6

            model : 5

            model name : Pentium II (Deschutes)

            stepping : 2

            microcode : 0x16

            cpu MHz : 299.951

            cache size : 512 KB

            fdiv_bug : no

            f00f_bug : no

            coma_bug : no

            fpu : yes

            fpu_exception : yes

            cpuid level : 2

            wp : yes

            flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pse36 mmx fxsr

            bogomips : 599.90

            clflush size : 32

            cache_alignment : 32

            address sizes : 36 bits physical, 32 bits virtual

            power management:

            stuartl@portege ~ $ free

            total used free shared buffers cached

            Mem: 154788 151980 2808 0 136 85444

            -/+ buffers/cache: 66400 88388

            Swap: 9775516 11376 9764140

            stuartl@portege ~ $ uname -a

            Linux portege 3.11.2-portege-dirty #3 PREEMPT Sun Oct 6 13:47:57 EST 2013 i686 Pentium II (Deschutes) GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

            What's that machine do all day?

            http://aprs.fi/info/a/VK4MSL-1 ← monitors VHF packet.

            OS: Gentoo Linux i686

            Applications: Xastir, mostly packet-related software, Taylor UUCP.

        3. Nigel 11

          Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

          If it's not welded or glued shut, assembled by highly trained octopi, or otherwise artificially rendered impossible to upgrade, you can get a whole new lease of life out of an old laptop by removing the hard disk and installing a solid-state disk. The speed of the CPU is frequently irrelelevant, whereas reducing the hard disk seek time to effective zero can make a 5-year-old laptop feel faster than most new ones without SSD.

          Same for desktops used for running Office and suchlike, by the way.

    3. Hugh McIntyre

      Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

      I ran into a similar issue a month or two ago on my 7 year old MacPro1,1 and gave in on Snow Leopard when the latest Adobe software wouldn't run any more :(

      Lion or Mountain Lion are not obviously available on apple.com, but there's a link to still download a copy of Lion for $19.99 if you need it at http://store.apple.com/us/product/D6106Z/A/os-x-lion. (Similarly for Mountain Lion, but that won't run on the old systems either so you're stuck with Lion). Not free as with Mavericks, but not impossibly expensive either if you want to keep the old system running.

      1. F. Svenson

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        I have 3 "vintage" macs which are not capable of running 10.8+.

        It's one debate to have about the decision to have 32-bit firmware on 64-bit machines, but Intel (whom y'all love to pieces) deserves some of the gong for that. It is wholly another debate about how long to support a discontinued piece of hardware.

        The older Intel Macs support LION, and LION is still supported. So, it's not like the Snow Leopard folks are being given short shrift. If my car has bald tires and I continue to drive on them, it's not Oldsmobile's fault I'm in peril. I can buy new tires.

        Look folks, at some point they have to stop supporting things, and I think N-2 is not bad. I'd rather the (sadly) finite resources be spent supporting a fair number of releases, and developing new ones, than to have them only plotting the future by the limitations of the past. If MS had dropped 16-bit support in XP, it'd have been smaller, faster, and more stable and have inconvenienced not that many people. Reg readers would have bitched about how Visicalc ran just fine all the way from DOS 2 through WinME, but it's because you're not getting laid enough.

        You can't buy new tubes for your Hallicrafters.

        You can't buy new batteries for your Noka 2001.

        You can't buy a new engine for your Wright Flyer.

        Move on, people. Buy Lion, install Linux, or buy a new computer. If you really must get Mavericks running on your polycarbonate MacBook, start writing the driver. Send me a copy, I need to upgrade.

        PS: Just for shits, grins, and giggles, I ran the same HandBrake job on a MacPro2,1 (quad-Xeon 2.6) and a new 2013 MacBookAir (1.3Ghz i5) and they finished within 3 seconds of each other.

        New shit > Old shit

    4. jason 7

      Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

      Wow I've never owned a Mac and now knowing that the hardware has such short life support is rather off putting.

      I'm running a couple of C2D Toshiba laptops from 2005 that were XP machines but now running Windows 8.1 flawlessly. These are the slate type machines and even the touch screen still works under 8.1. Both have 4GB of ram and 64GB SSDs in them. Nice snappy laptops. I can see them still being useful in 3-4 years time for general use. That's over 12 years service!

      Ever since dual core came along the life expectancy of kit has increased exponentially its a shame that it sounds like Apple doesn't like that idea.

      Oh and the Windows 8.1 cost me about £20 on both machines.

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

        wow, this 8.1 of which you speak? It has the same unfortunate name as a more well-known piece of garbage from MS.

        I know this because I have read it again-and-again here in these very pages.

        You should speak to these people that supplied your, reasonably cheap, even bargain-priced OS and tell them to change the name to avoid confusion.

        I ended up with this MS software on my tablet, it seems completely capable and fluid but apparently all of the other copies are flawed and useless. I guess I just got lucky.

  5. Gene

    Still running it here...

    ...on my 2006 Mac Pro. The machine refuses to die and still does the job. I didn't feel the new Mac Pro was right for me so I'll eventually go to an iMac, but probably not until next year when Intel's next generation chips are available. Unless, of course, Tim has a surprise in store for me.

  6. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So the real story is that there is no real difference when it comes to Windows or Macs longevity. They are both obsoleted for reasons that have little to do with the lifetime of the hardware.

    Of course, Apple have a personally noted policy of obsoleting equipment out of their stores when they become unfashionable anyway - otherwise I'd have been able to replace my brother-in-law's G3 mouse without recourse to crapbay and I'd be able to buy a replacement for my 16g iPod nano without losing the screen (actually I can get ex-fanbois secondhand nanos from Game Stop but still...)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No wonder their security record is so crap if they don't have the decency to notify their userbase that products have gone the way of the dodo.

    What a shitty, disrepectful company.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      "No wonder their security record is so crap if they don't have the decency to notify their userbase that products have gone the way of the dodo."

      Where does it say, in any of the documentation, EULAs, etc., that any manufacturer is obliged to support your purchase indefinitely? Usually, support is optional (and certainly voluntary) after the legally mandated support period (which isn't exactly the same as the warranty itself) expires. That's three years in the EU. After that, you're on your own.

      HP and Dell happily tell consumers to sod off after a few short years; their corporate customers pay them support money and get support for much longer. Nobody gets that level of support for free.

      This is IT, which moves damned quickly. Nobody offers a 7-year guarantee like some automobile manufacturers do. Not even Apple, who, like every other consumer electronics manufacturer, is also tied to the support provided by their component suppliers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just because it's not written in any documentation does not make it right.

        It's just common decency to notify owners that in 6 months their OS will be EOL.

        1. cambsukguy

          worked well for MS, they gave something like two years notice that thier truly geriatric OS would be no-longer supported (for free).

          Still, trillions (possibly gazillions) of people did not know this and are desperate now because they will lose protection or have to find an upgrade path that doesn't crap out their in-house creaky specialised apps.

          I must admit, with hindsight, a previous patch should have installed a App (what we used to call a program) whose sole purpose was to pop up a message that said "Please note: This operating system's support mechanism will expire on 04/14 - please ensure that you are able to upgrade before time...and so on"

          I never saw one and I did occasionally boot my old XP laptop to loan/test or use a Win7-unsupported Canoscan thing.

  8. Proton Wrangler

    PPC applications

    10.6 was the last version to offer PowerPC emulation on x86. I've got OS X apps for PowerPC that were never available for Intel.

    Games, mostly, but MS Office 2004 lets me eschew the ribbon interface overhaul.

  9. Jim Wilkinson
    Thumb Down

    Last 'upgrade' failed for me

    I'm on 10.8 and generally upgrade. But 10.9 was a no-no when they finally removed sync services (earlier "upgrades" left out SS, but they could easily be re-installed - but not so 10.9). I like to sync the contacts and calendars between my personal and business accounts locally (using Sync Together which I kept installed in spite of its removal in earlier "upgrades"). The latest OS now forces all users towards using the cloud. But no way am I going to use the cloud for intra-machine account syncing). The worst thing Apple have done in all the time I've used the OS (and I started with a NeXT slab).

    This latest "upgrade" is a definite downgrade for me. AFAIAC, Apple has gone sour. I sympathize with others who are using Snow Leopard.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Last 'upgrade' failed for me

      > But 10.9 was a no-no when they finally removed sync services

      Ah, so not just me then.

      I found out the hard way that it had gone, and boy was it a pain restoring a workable machine :(

      So for now I'm stuck on 10.8 until either Apple relent and re-instate SS (no I'm not holding my breath) or software vendors come up with an acceptable workaround (which doesn't involved information going off my machine).

      This isn't "old unsupported" software as was thrown at me when I mentioned this in another thread, this is current software (Missing Sync) for syncing my new Android phone. The fact that I was still using it for my old Palm Treo back then is irrelevant.

      But of course, not wanting to share all our data with Apple is these days a heinous crime in Apple's eyes so I can't see them co-operating at all with this.

      PS - I keep a working copy of 10.6 which I run via Parallels so as to be able to use Eudora to manage my old mail. If only I could fine a replacement that works in 10.8 and works acceptably like it - MailForge looks good on paper, but at present it's horrendously unreliable and clunky. Apple Mail is so horrible to use :(

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can sort of understand it

    As much as I dislike seeing support dropped for perfectly capable, relatively recent hardware, as a developer, I do understand the motivation. It sucks having code that's full of "if (hardware that was last sold 5+ years ago) { do this } else { do the new thing }".

    Since Microsoft no longer makes any significant revenue from people upgrading their OS (and hasn't for a while) you can bet that they would rather only support the newest hardware too. But they are probably legally required to support older hardware for a certain amount of time by contracts with governments, large corporations, militaries, etc. You can be sure they don't do it because they're a "nicer" company than Apple.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: I can sort of understand it

      I can too, to some extent, but why does Linux run on more or less anything without this "legally required to support older hardware for a certain amount of time by contracts with governments, large corporations, militaries, etc." Don't you think it's more about a demand to sell new hardware than adding some "if,then,else". Please don't fool yourself.

      1. Mot524

        Re: I can sort of understand it

        "I can too, to some extent, but why does Linux run on more or less anything without this "legally required to support older hardware ..."

        Of course, if Apple made it a priority, I'm sure they could support just as much hardware as Linux. But they don't. Technically speaking, no sane person can argue that it's easier to support more hardware. More testing is required, existing code is more complicated and thus harder to maintain and improve, new code is harder to write, etc. So while somebody might not _like_ that Apple drops support for hardware at a relatively quick pace, it's hard to argue that there's no technical justification for doing so.

        At one point I was pretty annoyed that support was dropped for a particular model of MacBook but not a Mac Mini with exactly the same processor that was actually _older_. But then I found out that the MacBook had a different/older UEFI version with different capabilities and reasoned that they no longer wanted to spend their time supporting that firmware and it had nothing to do with the processor/chipset. So while it might sometimes seem arbitrary, I have yet to see a case of Apple dropping support for something with literally no technical justification.

        "Don't you think it's more about a demand to sell new hardware than adding some "if,then,else". Please don't fool yourself."

        I'm sure Apple is _aware_ that they are likely to sell more new hardware if they drop support for something but, as mentioned above, I'm confident that when they drop support for something, there's a technical reason, and not just a business justification. That's why you see so many irate posts to the tune of "hey, my hardware is 2 years newer than this other supported hardware, why can't I use the new OS?" etc.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Too many cludges...

    I've changed the preferences on Mountain Lion to be as sane as possible, added Save As... back to the most apps' File menus with Keyboard Shortcuts Preferences, got a script to delete the document versioning files in ~/Library, and another to delete the window positions in ~/Library.

    Mavericks is free but iWork in it is an uphill struggle and I can't be bothered to kludge my way around with whatever else may or may not have changed, so I'm not changing.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The older of my two MacBooks

    Is a 2008 White MacBook. Its upgrade path stops at Lion. Truth be told, Lion was an upgrade too far. It ran beautifully with Snow Leopard, but now it's slow to start up, and some applications slow it down. Bearing in mind Macs tend to run well, for longer than their Windows counterparts, I think 5 years is too soon.

  13. MrDamage

    FTFY

    "Let’s face it, Apple doesn’t go out of their way to ensure users are self-aware."

  14. O RLY

    As someone who left his MB Air on Snow Leopard because of the poorly documented "feature" of Mavericks whereby iOS devices cannot sync their contacts or bookmarks directly to a computer but must instead use iCloud, I'm disappointed about the drop of support. This adds to the desire to move away from iOS in search of something better.

    That said, comparisons to XP aren't exactly correct. The differences between the first release of XP (of which I still have a legitimate early release disk) and SP2 are substantial, so it's really a 9.5 year old OS vs a 4.5 year old OS. Oh, that's not really a favorable comparison either, is it?

    1. Nigel 11

      Also in Microsoft's favour, they don't sell hardware (mouses and suchlike aside). If your hardware prevents you from moving off XP to Windows 7, it's probably not Microsoft's fault, but that of whatever company is refusing to write modern drivers for its older hardware.

      Can't think of anything we're being forced to throw away with XP's demise, that was made in 2007 or after.

  15. heenow
    FAIL

    Bull

    The fact is, Snow Leopard is not affected by the gotofail bug.

    That's why there was no update for it on Tuesday.

    To read into that "Apple is abandoning Snow Leopard" is the real fail.

  16. RNixon

    I'm still on Snow Leopard because I have PowerPC programs I need to run that don't have any Intel version. Some of them are related to frankly antique hardware that I don't have a replacement for.

    There are virtual machines capable of running Snow Leopard technically, but all the ones I tried that can go 'Oh, you're running Snow Leopard? The license doesn't allow virtualizing that. You can't do it.'

    Irritating as hell.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      > The license doesn't allow virtualizing that. You can't do it

      Yeah, that's a crock, but with a little fiddling you can work round that - once you do, 10.6 will work fine in Parallels. There is actually absolutely no legal reason, the licence does not in any way prohibit it - but I suspect that once Apple have given their interpretation from inside the RDF* then no-one is (was) prepared to risk the wrath of jobs by challenging it.

      * The infamous Reality Distortion Field that seemingly envelops Apple.

  17. Nanners

    I really don't like

    The new apple. I have been using apple since 98...that's 98. I have been through all iterations of apple since Jobs was reinstated. The new iTunes is a PITA! I still haven't figured it out. I hate being spied on all the time, and they are obviously working the end user for the extra coin. They could standardize their power adapters...but don't. They are constantly forcing you to upgrade and change with little to no legacy support. It's all about forcing you to buy in. The only thing stopping me from going windows is that windows is WORSE. i can't get crap done on a windows machine. I spend all my time trying to "fix it" to work. Some one with some brains AND common sense really needs to save humanity with a NEW OS! You would make a mint and take over the world.

    1. TWB

      Re: I really don't like

      I feel your pain, I have also been using Apple since '98, and wonder where to turn as I do not like what I have seen and read about Win 8 and Linux, well is there an 'iLife' for it yet?

      I suspect on your last point, if someone came out with a new 'much better' OS they would not last long - I'm no business analyst but the modern business model is to sell and sell again and again....sort of like a drug dealer.

      You don't want to sell a perfect product or else there is no need for your customers to keep coming back to buy the next one(s).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I really don't like

      I agree somewhat, Apple does a bunch of stuff I don't like either, but ultimately at the end of the day I'm still happy to be in the Apple camp.

      In terms of dollars spent, I could buy a "meh" $500 PC laptop, use it for 6 years (probably spending some money on various upgrades along the way) and if it's not already broken at the end of that period, get maybe $75 for it on Craigslist. So that's $70 spent per year. Or I could buy a $1000 MacBook, use it for 4 years, and sell it for $650. That works out to $87 spent per year. So you're really only spending around $20 extra per year to have a FAR superior laptop, and one that's always going to be current enough to avoid any deprecation issues. (And I know all these prices via personal experience. In fact, I've personally found pretty good deals on two different MacBooks, used each one for about a year, and then sold each one for exactly the same price I paid originally. Total cost of owning a nice ~3 year old laptop for a year: $0, plus some small amount of time on Craigslist.)

      Financially speaking, the only reason NOT to get a MacBook in my mind is if you don't have the initial extra $500 to spend, or if you tend to not be very careful with your computers and you think you'll probably drop the MacBook, spill something on it, be in a situation where it's likely to be stolen, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I really don't like

        There is something drastically wrong with your logic chip.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I really don't like

          "There is something drastically wrong with your logic chip."

          What part don't you agree with?

  18. Tomas

    What am I waiting for?

    Obviously for someone to buy me new hardware as my current hardware doesn't qualify to run Mavericks, and on my limited fixed retirement income there is absolutely no way for my to run out and buy new laptops. Mine work just fine - except for being abandoned by the manufacturer. :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What am I waiting for?

      I don't know where you are, but where I am, the resale market for Macs is excellent. Of course it depends on the particular models in question and how active the used market is in your location, but I'm almost certain you could sell your current Mac and buy a newer Mavericks-compatible Mac for a couple hundred dollars, maybe less.

  19. NYC1994

    Wrong supposition in article

    "The fruity firm released a patch for the latest version of OS X, Mavericks (10.9), yesterday – along with patches for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7). These plugged 21 security holes. However, it did not offer the same for Snow Leopard (10.6), which is a clear indication that Apple is happy to allow it to go extinct. These 21 holes are presumably still open in old timers' systems."

    It should be pointed out that the security issues recently patched only affected the OS's listed above and in part iOS6 and 7. NOT Snow Leopard or earlier versions of OS X. Apple will almost certainly be ending support for Snow Leopard in the very near future but there is no evidence that has happened yet. While I certainly agree that Apple should be much more transparent about OS life cycles (as MS is) the whole supposition of this article (for the time being) is bogus. The author should try doing a little research before writing something.

  20. Jay 2
    Meh

    My wife has asked me to upgrade her 2007 MacBook. It's currently on 10.6 and it looks like it will only go to 10.7 (and some software she wants to run requires 10.8, but that's another story). So this evening I'll run some backups and clones and probably try and upgrade tomorrow. Hopefully it will still work after!

    Meanwhile my 2008 MacPro is running 10.9, but I'm now a bit wary that the next OS X point release will not support the hardware. That will be a pity as it's still going strong (the odd hard drive and DIMM aside). I don't really like the new MacPro (or how much it will cost to more-or-less replicate what I have now), so it looks like I'll end up with a Mac Mini and loads of daisychained devices with the need for more power sockets...

  21. Mark Dowling

    For me, the issue isn't the booting of SL from support

    It's KNOWING that it's been booted.

    When Apple publish a Lifecycle site like Microsoft does, I'll believe they give a crap about enterprise. Instead they'll keep on doing what they are doing - using users to berate IT staff into supporting their "magic" OSes.

  22. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Apple does not work like that?

    "After all, Mavericks is free. What are you waiting for?"

    With Apple (a bit like Windows too?) an update can render some additional kit as useless so (a bit like XP to Vista to … ) an updated OS can mean a change of ecology too hence some prefer to work with older kit.

  23. Liam Proven

    It's not about Intel GMA drivers. It's the firmware.

    Jeez, so much disinformation in the comments.

    It is *nothing* to do with drivers for Intel GMA9x0 graphics; that's a side-effect. There are in fact 64-bit drivers for GMA950:

    http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/280675-partial-fix-intel-gma950-for-os-x-108/

    The first-gen Macintels had Core Solo & Core Duo CPUs. These were 32-bit-only chips. These Macs can only run up to Snow Leopard, which includes both 32-bit and 64-bit kernels.

    Ref: Apple cheat-sheet - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3696

    The 2nd gen had Core 2 Duo, which can run 64-bit code, but the EFI firmware is still 32-bit.

    Ref: http://macs.about.com/od/macoperatingsystems/qt/Minimum-Requirements-For-Os-X-Mountain-Lion.htm

    Lion includes both 64-bit and 32-bit kernels and thus can run on machines with 32-bit firmware, so long as they have at least 2GB of RAM. (32-bit Macs have the same limits on RAM above 3-and-a-bit gig as 32-bit PCs.)

    Ref: Apple support again - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4287

    Mountain Lion & Mavericks only have 64-bit kernels. They therefore require machines with 64-bit EFI to boot at all.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57387846-263/will-your-mac-run-mountain-lion/

    However, as the above article states, the higher requirements of GPU capabilities in the newer OS's versions of OpenGL, OpenCL etc. do mean that some models whose CPU and EFI are compliant will not work.

  24. heenow

    Snow Leopard Is Still For Sale

    Snow Leopard is still for sale in the Mac App store.

    I'd hardly call that abandoned.

    The Register copied an article from Computerworld that was bogus to begin with. Snow Leopard did not have the Mavericks security issue, and didn't need an update.

    The Register should retract this article with an apology.

  25. Stork Bronze badge

    I can but have not yet upgraded - my MacBookPro was shipped with Snow Leopard in 2010. I have not upgraded so far as I am still running PPC versions of MS Office and Photoshop. Bother, as Winnie-the_Pooh said.

  26. NYC1994

    "The fruity firm released a patch for the latest version of OS X, Mavericks (10.9), yesterday – along with patches for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7). These plugged 21 security holes. However, it did not offer the same for Snow Leopard (10.6), which is a clear indication that Apple is happy to allow it to go extinct. These 21 holes are presumably still open in old timers' systems."

    It should be pointed out that the security issues recently patched only affected the OS's listed above and in part iOS6 and 7. NOT Snow Leopard or earlier versions of OS X. Apple will almost certainly be ending support for Snow Leopard in the very near future but there is no evidence that has happened yet. While I certainly agree that Apple should be much more transparent about OS life cycles (as MS is) the whole supposition of this article (for the time being) is bogus. The author should try doing a little research before writing something.

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