Apple support policy could leave 40% of Macs vulnerable starting this summer

Seems Apple will have a possible security coming up soon. With the expected release of OS X 10.8 [Mountain Lion] expected in the summer time, somewhere around 40% of Mac users could be vulnerable to security problems – as if Apple hasn’t had enough issues this past year.

If Apple continues its policy of supporting only the current and previous version of OS X users, OS X 10.6.x [Snow Leopard] users will be left out in the cold this summer. Current estimates say that 41% of OS X users haven’t upgraded to 10.7. [This excludes already 10.5 users and before who either haven’t updated the OS or can’t because of system requirements.]

Some haven’t because there were some incompatibilities when 10.7 came out with software such as those from Adobe’s Creative Suite [Adobe has since released updates to fix any issues on their side]. Some [because of these issues] could be holding out for 10.8 [assuming there is a smooth upgrade process]. Other maybe balking at the cost for what some call a service pack. Finally you have some who don’t even know about 10.7 or couldn’t care less [maybe they think Macs still aren’t vulnerable?]. Problem with holding out is that as soon as 10.8 is released 10.6 could be dropped. So there is little if no overlapping.

What Apple should be doing is overlapping the support of 10.6 for a little while with 10.8 for maybe 6 months [i.e. 10.6 support is dropped maybe 6 months after 10.8 is released – likewise 10.7 will be dropped 6 months after a likely 10.9 release].

Maybe Apple [as there are now more users with Macs] adopt Microsoft’s support strategy which gives 5 years full support and another 5 years extended support for operating systems and Office. Among other things there are some small caveats such as when Office 2007 full support was extended a further 6 months because Microsoft’s policy states there must be a full 3 years of support before a new Office release.

But of course any extension to Apple’s support cuts into profits!


About ebraiter
computer guy

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