A few weeks ago I wondered (out loud) about how Leopard would be received by the masses. Like Vista it's long awaited, like Vista the launch was delayed, and like Vista, I got the impression that Apple rushed a bit to get it out of the door because the Mac fanboys were getting restless. Leopard debuted to some really glowing reviews written by some of Apple's biggest and most widely read fanboys, but now that the OS is in the hands the people that really matter, the feedback is far from glowing.
I have to admit that I'm surprised and a little shocked at the types of bugs affecting Leopard, not to mention the volume of people that appear to be affectedNow, I could begin by throwing the same stuff at the Mac crowd that they threw at the Microsoft crowd when Vista was released: "Who beta tested this stuff?" "Only a fool buys software before waiting for the bugs to be shaken out." "Your OS sucks, mine's brilliant." Yada yada yada ... But I'm not going to. I know that no amount of beta testing can shake all the bugs from something as complex as a new OS (and I speak as someone who's got tens of thousands of hours of experience running beta software and who has spotted and submitted countless bugs over the years). The beta stage is nothing more than a way to pick off the largest, most obvious bugs. As operating systems become larger and more complex, so the number of bugs will increase, and that's true of code written by Apple, Microsoft, or the open source community. Once the software is out and in the hands of the end users (notorious for not using things the way that they were intended to be used), from that point on the order of the day is damage limitation.
That said, I have to admit that I'm surprised and a little shocked at the types of bugs affecting Leopard, not to mention the volume of people that appear to be affected. I expected a few random issues, along with a few minor bugs splattered here and there, but I certainly didn't dream that I would be reading widespread reports of BSODs (Blue Screens of Death, usually associated with Windows boxes), crashes and severe performance issues. There's also a pretty major flaw affecting FileVault too. Many of these issues affect those upgrading over the top of their existing OS, but others are reporting similar issues with clean installs.
Oh, and let's not forget the new Mac Trojan. This isn't getting a lot of press but it's pretty significant because it's the first time that a professional malware group has targeted Mac users. Remember, these guys are only following the money.
Some Apple users are so frustrated that they are considering going down the same road that some Vista users have gone down - and reverting back to the previous version of the OS.
Now I'm going to be honest and say that I've not seen any of these bugs that people are talking about. Partly that's down to my Mac being a clean install running nothing but the Mac OS, but I'm also sure that it's down to me and the fact that I'm not using it to anywhere close to its full potential. I'm hoping that updates are released before any of this stuff becomes an issue for me.
For an operating system that goes so far to promote ease of use and reliability, these issues currently plaguing Leopard could have an adverse effect on how the OS is received by the wider community. If these problems aren't addressed promptly Leopard could end up with the same tagline as Vista - Stick with your current OS and wait for the next version.