On the software side I'm happy now. I like OS X at version 10.1.5, and with everything I've heard about Jaguar, I'm going to be even happier. $129 -- no problem! I just wish I had some kick-@ss hardware to run it on.
I was disappointed with the latest Power Mac updates. What I was hoping for wasn't too outlandish -- it wasn't like I was expecting 2 GHz G5s, for instance. 1.4 GHz G4s with real DDR would have made me very happy. Just this little bit of extra speed on a better system bus, and I'd have already placed my order.
I find myself wondering... will it take another six months for Apple to get to the not-so-demanding point of performance of 1.4 GHz and true DDR? Might we see MWSF come and go, and still not even be that far? What happens if a full year from now Apple is still struggling with small incremental updates of the G4, while AMD and Intel are doing 3+ GHz 64-bit systems with 500 MHz busses?
Well... I won't suddenly like Windows XP because of that. I won't suddenly like Microsoft's licensing, their proprietary formats, and their future plans like Palladium. As much as I like the open-software spirit of Linux, I still won't suddenly like Linux nearly as much as OS X.
But the "user experience" aspect of using Macs will definitely start to lose a lot of its shine. Apple's plans to get Windows users to switch will fail under those circumstances, and the already-small niche market will shrink further. Getting good Mac software and support will get even harder.
I already own a PC as well as a Mac -- I've been a Mac user long, but I need a PC for software compatibility checking -- so it's not like I'd have to suddenly make any jarring transition. But lately, with OS X, Mozilla for web browsing and e-mail, CodeWarrior for a Java development, PhotoShop and BBEdit for web site development -- I've been a very happy camper on my Mac, and I've been using my PC less and less.
I have no excitement about upgrading my current 1.1 GHz AMD Athlon system -- there's plenty I could buy that's faster, but I don't really care for now. On the other hand, I'd love to really have a great Mac upgrade -- but there's nothing out there that's a compelling upgrade compared to my 800 MHz TiBook.
A year from now, however... If the best I can get is a 1.6 GHz G4 with Xserve DDR for $3300... I won't drop my Mac entirely, but I'll sure start thinking seriously that my next upgrade will be a $1500 3 GHz PC instead.
I'm hoping that Apple really does have something exciting in the works to save us from such a sad scenario.