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Steve Jobs talks future Mac OS X upgrades, Mac sales, and more

post #1 of 153
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In a new interview with the New York Times, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs hints that his company will continue to pump out rapid revisions to the Mac OS X for the foreseeable future, while also shedding some color on current Mac sales mix and the birth of multi-touch.

Commenting on the release of Mac OS X Leopard later this week, Jobs told the paper that the operating system release would anchor a schedule of product upgrades that could continue for as long as a decade.

"I'm quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future," he said. "We’ve put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it’s given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve."

Jobs' comments echo those of Mac OS X grandfather Avie Tevanian, who before leaving Apple told a 2004 software summit that the Mac maker would continue releasing updates at a "really fast" pace despite relenting slightly from its then rigorous annual release schedule.

Speaking to the Times, Jobs also continued to poke fun at Microsoft's multi-tiered Windows Vista marketing strategy, which compels users to buy into pricier premium editions of the software to gain access to more powerful tools.

With Leopard, Jobs quipped, "everybody gets the Ultimate edition and it sells for 129 bucks, and if you go on Amazon and look at the Ultimate edition of Vista, it sells for 250 bucks."

According to the Times, Microsoft has hinted that its next operating system, code-named Windows 7, would not arrive until 2010. By that time, the paper said, Apple will have likely introduced two successive versions of Mac OS X.

Meanwhile, Jobs said that two-thirds of Apple Macs sold in the United States are now notebook systems -- well above the industry norm that saw portable system sales outpace desktops for the first time in history last quarter.

The Apple chief also used his interview with the Times to reveal that the Apple development team worried constantly that their approach to the iPhone's revolutionary multi-touch technology might fail during the years they were creating it.

"We all had that Garry Trudeau cartoon that poked fun at the Newton in the back of our minds," he said, citing Doonesbury comic strips that mocked an Apple handwriting-recognition system in 1993. "This thing had to work."
post #2 of 153
Quote:
Meanwhile, Jobs said that two-thirds of Apple Macs sold in the United States are now notebook systems -- well above the industry norm that saw portable system sales outpace desktops for the first time in history last quarter.

Look everyone! Look how bad our desktop lineup is! Compared to everyone else, almost no one wants to buy Apple desktops, isn't that great?!
post #3 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Look everyone! Look how bad our desktop lineup is! Compared to everyone else, almost no one wants to buy Apple desktops, isn't that great?!

Shut up!
post #4 of 153
The story is somewhat at odds with what Jobs had said a couple of years ago. Then, he had said that Apple would take more time between upgrades, as the OS had become more settled, and usable.

This seems to have been missed. Is Apple now going to move back to the torrid pace of yesteryear? And if so, why? Does this mean that Apple is feeling some heat, or does it mean that they have made the major under the hood changes required?

I'd love to read something more thorough from that interview, which I also read that morning.
post #5 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Look everyone! Look how bad our desktop lineup is! Compared to everyone else, almost no one wants to buy Apple desktops, isn't that great?!

Umm..no one wants to buy desktops made by anyone. Everyone wants laptops....period. And Apple makes the best laptops out there for the price.
post #6 of 153
If Apple made a $1000 Mac they sell a ton. Mac mini, iMac and Mac Pro, great. But where's the Mac?

Yeah, I went there.
post #7 of 153
Quote:
Umm..no one wants to buy desktops made by anyone. Everyone wants laptops....period. And Apple makes the best laptops out there for the price.

I guess I'm no one then, because I want a desktop but Apple doesn't have one...workstation? yep. glorified upright laptop? yep.....desktop nope.
post #8 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The story is somewhat at odds with what Jobs had said a couple of years ago. Then, he had said that Apple would take more time between upgrades, as the OS had become more settled, and usable.

This seems to have been missed. Is Apple now going to move back to the torrid pace of yesteryear? And if so, why? Does this mean that Apple is feeling some heat, or does it mean that they have made the major under the hood changes required?

I think that Sarbanes-Oxley is behind the change in direction. Since Apple has to declare the feature set for each major release of the OS, and not really add material features without charging for the upgrade, they're going to have to go back to the old model of a new OS every 12 to 18 months, in order to keep pace with their desired rate of innovation.

Perhaps a better idea would be to move to an OS subscription model, where you pay a certain amount per year, and get your OS upgrades, .Mac, and everything bundled together. This would enable Apple to add features whenever they'd like, provided that they realize the subscription revenue over the course of the year.
post #9 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Look everyone! Look how bad our desktop lineup is! Compared to everyone else, almost no one wants to buy Apple desktops, isn't that great?!

do you have a brain they don't go off and buy desktops from dell (or any other pile of crap windows machine) they buy a mac because they want a mac portable or not it just so happens most people want a computer they can take to a coffee bar or use on the train and have you seen the g5 i bet that wipes the floor with what you wrote your post on
Ok i admit it i'm a Fanboy, and my opinions are alway's biast towards my love for apple
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Ok i admit it i'm a Fanboy, and my opinions are alway's biast towards my love for apple
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post #10 of 153
Could that extra $129 a pop for a new upgraded OS be driving his quest for more frequent upgrades?
post #11 of 153
I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.
post #12 of 153
Hey, I just wanna see the Doonesbury cartoons again...
post #13 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bboybazza View Post

do you have a brain they don't go off and buy desktops from dell (or any other pile of crap windows machine) they buy a mac because they want a mac portable or not it just so happens most people want a computer they can take to a coffee bar or use on the train and have you seen the g5 i bet that wipes the floor with what you wrote your post on

Bboybazza,

Have you met the Full Stop?

Full Stop, I'd like you to meet Bboybazza.

Punctuation is our friend.
Aside from that bag of hurt, Mrs Lincoln, what did you think of the play?
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Aside from that bag of hurt, Mrs Lincoln, what did you think of the play?
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post #14 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post

I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.

Go ahead. Can't stop an idiot from overreacting.
post #15 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post

I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.

Big whoop. Enjoy your windows experience.
post #16 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post

I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.

They offer three.

Mac Mini
iMac
Mac Pro


No need to go to Dell.
post #17 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedonga View Post

I guess I'm no one then, because I want a desktop but Apple doesn't have one...workstation? yep. glorified upright laptop? yep.....desktop nope.

What's wrong with the 2.0GHz Mac Mini?

Sure it's not (easily) upgradeable, but it has decent specs, and as you can tell from the majority of Apple's computer lineup, they aren't creating products for the "I want to customize every component in my computer" (read: gamer) crowd.

If that's what you're looking for, then you'll never be satisfied because Apple doesn't want to get into providing tech support for problems like: "I just bought and installed Knockoff brand expansion card in my Mac and now it locks up all the time. Please spend lots of time and money in tech support helping me with a problem that's due to Knockoff Inc. not creating their products to spec, providing decent drivers, and/or rushing them to market as cheaply made as possible."
 
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post #18 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

With Leopard, Jobs quipped, "everybody gets the Ultimate edition and it sells for 129 bucks, and if you go on Amazon and look at the Ultimate edition of Vista, it sells for 250 bucks."

According to the Times, Microsoft has hinted that its next operating system, code-named Windows 7, would not arrive until 2010. By that time, the paper said, Apple will have likely introduced two successive versions of Mac OS X.

So by my very rough calculations, by early 2010 I'll have shelled out 387 bucks to keep up to date with my Apple OS, compared to 250 to stay "current" with Vista.

I'm beginning to understand how this marketing thing works.
post #19 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Look everyone! Look how bad our desktop lineup is! Compared to everyone else, almost no one wants to buy Apple desktops, isn't that great?!

You have to be kidding.

Our accounting, video production and graphics departments are totally desktop. Why? Think about it. You have a 64 page annual report and you want it on a laptop so you can work on it at home? You have to be kidding.

Between the Mac Minis and the Mac Pros there's the iMacs and with all the various configurations. You call this bad? And if you really are mobile and you have the right upper management credentials, we allow laptops. But man, our work is so critical that there are a number of VPs here that will never get a company one.

However, I have a laptop, as does my one kid in university, my wife a Mac Mini, and the youngest, an iMac. And when he gets older, more mature and accepts the responsibility, he will probably get a laptop too.

Sure the swing is towards laptops. Not just because of anything that the desktops can offer, but because for most people, the MacBooks can do so much for so many (mobility aside). Laptops are not for the very young, not for most internal company personnel, not for hog video-processing and the likes, or not for holding highly sensitive corporate data.

And as has been shown, desktops last longer, for a lot of reasons which I am sure you can figure out.

Finally, who cares? Apple certainly doesn't. One way or another, you are buying a Mac. That is, if you a intelligent enough to appreciat the very best.
post #20 of 153
I find myself having to agree with those saying that Apple doesn't have a decent Desktop. The iMac and the Mac Mini both seem to cater toward the low-end users, while the Mac Pro caters toward the pro-users. What are the middle-of-the-road folks supposed to buy? An MBP. Though ATM this isn't true, typically MBPs are stacked nicely between the iMac and Mac Pro.

So what about Mac Books? They're for college students who need their computer in the dorm, library, friends' houses, home, lecture hall, cafeteria, etc... but rarely have the need (for the funds) for a MBP. I wouldn't be surprised if 75% of MB sales are to college students.

I've been pulling for a mid-range tower for a LONG time... but if I had to buy a Mac today, it'd be a MBP... not because I would take it with me wherever I went, but because of the prosumer appeal.

-Clive
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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post #21 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by intruth View Post

So by my very rough calculations, by early 2010 I'll have shelled out 387 bucks to keep up to date with my Apple OS, compared to 250 to stay "current" with Vista.

I'm beginning to understand how this marketing thing works.

LMAO. I was just going to post the same thing. Although, at least you'll have paid 387 bucks for a decent OS and not one that immitates functionality that has been available for years...
post #22 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post

I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.

Please! But why wait?

And when you do, forget this address. No wait. Forget it now!
post #23 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by djpadz View Post

I think that Sarbanes-Oxley is behind the change in direction. Since Apple has to declare the feature set for each major release of the OS, and not really add material features without charging for the upgrade, they're going to have to go back to the old model of a new OS every 12 to 18 months, in order to keep pace with their desired rate of innovation.

Perhaps a better idea would be to move to an OS subscription model, where you pay a certain amount per year, and get your OS upgrades, .Mac, and everything bundled together. This would enable Apple to add features whenever they'd like, provided that they realize the subscription revenue over the course of the year.

I don't see what S-O has to do with this. It's a matter of coding for new features, both under and over the hood. S-O is a separate issue entirely.
post #24 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I find myself having to agree with those saying that Apple doesn't have a decent Desktop. The iMac and the Mac Mini both seem to cater toward the low-end users, while the Mac Pro caters toward the pro-users. What are the middle-of-the-road folks supposed to buy? An MBP. Though ATM this isn't true, typically MBPs are stacked nicely between the iMac and Mac Pro.

So what about Mac Books? They're for college students who need their computer in the dorm, library, friends' houses, home, lecture hall, cafeteria, etc... but rarely have the need (for the funds) for a MBP. I wouldn't be surprised if 75% of MB sales are to college students.

I've been pulling for a mid-range tower for a LONG time... but if I had to buy a Mac today, it'd be a MBP... not because I would take it with me wherever I went, but because of the prosumer appeal.

-Clive

Clive, aren't you the guy that is running a 6-year-old 800MHz G4 iMac and a PC that you bought a few years ago. As such, your opinion is based on what? Certainly, not by experience.
post #25 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenstee View Post

Could that extra $129 a pop for a new upgraded OS be driving his quest for more frequent upgrades?

I doubt it. When Apple was struggling, it could have used that, but even then, when 10.1 came out, it was a free upgrade. While the boost in profits is great, Apple is beyond needing to do it just for the sake of getting some more money. People would not feel too happy if they felt the OS upgrade was a thinly disguised profit booster without giving enough to make it worthwhile.

Some people here already feel that's the case.
post #26 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post

I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.

Good for you!
post #27 of 153
welcome to appleinsider!
zenga
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zenga
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post #28 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

What's wrong with the 2.0GHz Mac Mini?

Sure it's not (easily) upgradeable, but it has decent specs, and as you can tell from the majority of Apple's computer lineup, they aren't creating products for the "I want to customize every component in my computer" (read: gamer) crowd.

If that's what you're looking for, then you'll never be satisfied because Apple doesn't want to get into providing tech support for problems like: "I just bought and installed Knockoff brand expansion card in my Mac and now it locks up all the time. Please spend lots of time and money in tech support helping me with a problem that's due to Knockoff Inc. not creating their products to spec, providing decent drivers, and/or rushing them to market as cheaply made as possible."

Some people, while they never upgrade their machines (esp. PC users), love to think that they WILL upgrade their machines, and so, will never buy anything that can't (in theory) be upgraded.
post #29 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post

I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.

Do you honestly think that your lame, pointless, and ultimately false threat will make Apple design and produce a "Mac" in three months? Forget it! It won't happen! As long as Steve Jobs heads Apple, your "Mac" will not happen. As Auxio said, the Mac Mini is good enough and as fast as most desktops offered by Dell. In fact, every part of the Mac Mini can be upgraded, save for the GPU. If you were to buy a Dell, would you acctually upgrade it anyway? Really, how many of you that "went there" would acctually upgrade your computer as often as you claim to need to? Dell Computers need to be upgraded constantly because they suck, and come with parts that suck, and the OS sucks, and needs a beastly computer to handle. When Apple Starts to suck that much, then you will need to upgrade them constantly, and you will have a valid complaint!

Shut up you whiners!!
17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
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17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
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post #30 of 153
So what kind of groovy new things can we expect to see in 10.6 and 10.7? Presumably 10.6 will have full implementation of RI, and ZFS (if ready) as default, how about a new (non-cocoa) Finder? Any other ideas?
Peering even further into the crystal ball what about 10.7? Full tea-making facilities (finally!)? Holographic pixies?
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #31 of 153
I actually can understand the people who want a nice, $1,000 mark Apple Mac. I used to be that guy, back in the late 90s, when it was all about building half of your computer to get the best bang for the buck.

Then I embraced the all-in-one. Sure I couldn't upgrade my video card every 6 months and my CPU every other 6 months to stay current, and then upgrade the motherboard every 12 months so that the new video cards and CPUs would work on it, so on and so forth. But it was worth it. I was spending so much more time on my computer (iMac) than in my computer. Computers are so cheap now that if you need to upgrade, you can easily buy the entire thing. Case in point: I bought the iMac G5 in Sep. 2004, then a Core2Duo iMac in Sep. 2006. After selling the iMac G5 for $1,000, the difference I paid for the upgrade was $700 (cuz I have Edu discount). So for $700 I was able to upgrade the entire innards of the computer (CPU, MB, GPU, HDD, but same 20in monitor). Try to do something like that by buying the parts separately.
post #32 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The story is somewhat at odds with what Jobs had said a couple of years ago. Then, he had said that Apple would take more time between upgrades, as the OS had become more settled, and usable.

This seems to have been missed. Is Apple now going to move back to the torrid pace of yesteryear? And if so, why? Does this mean that Apple is feeling some heat, or does it mean that they have made the major under the hood changes required?

Maybe it means they have a lot of good ideas they want to get in, but need to space them out over updates.
post #33 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

I find myself having to agree with those saying that Apple doesn't have a decent Desktop. The iMac and the Mac Mini both seem to cater toward the low-end users, while the Mac Pro caters toward the pro-users. What are the middle-of-the-road folks supposed to buy? An MBP. Though ATM this isn't true, typically MBPs are stacked nicely between the iMac and Mac Pro.

I just don't understand how the 2GHz Mac Mini (or the iMac) is underpowered for the average user?

ok, so the onboard graphics in the Mini won't support the latest 3D games. If you're a gamer, you're not looking at a Mac anyways.

You do video editing you say? ok, then get a Mac Pro if you're doing it seriously. If you're just a hobbyist, then the Mini or the iMac still work very well.

My wife does professional graphic design on her Mini and has no problems.

Heck, the latest Mini has the same specs as my 1st gen MBP which I do serious software development on (aside from the fact that I've upgraded to 2GB of RAM).

I just have a hard time coming up with a use-case where the new Minis/iMacs fail to be powerful enough, and a higher performance model is required for the average consumer.
 
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post #34 of 153
I for one would actually like to see what wold come out if Apple pulled a Microsoft and spent 7 years on their next upgrade. Not the waiting, but the end result.
17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
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17" i7 Macbook Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Mini (early 2006), G3 B&W, G3 Beige Tower, 3 G3 iMacs (original, bondi, snow), Power Mac 7600/132, Power Mac 7100/100, Power Mac 6100/60, Performa 5280, Performa...
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post #35 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by firevsh2o View Post

I WILL buy a desktop from Dell if Apple doesn't offer one at Macworld at the latest.

Enjoy! I'll give you 3 mos tops before you throw it out the window...

So does anybody have those comic strips? Love to see em!
post #36 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I doubt it. When Apple was struggling, it could have used that, but even then, when 10.1 came out, it was a free upgrade. While the boost in profits is great, Apple is beyond needing to do it just for the sake of getting some more money. People would not feel too happy if they felt the OS upgrade was a thinly disguised profit booster without giving enough to make it worthwhile.

Some people here already feel that's the case.

Who and what?
post #37 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by intruth View Post

So by my very rough calculations, by early 2010 I'll have shelled out 387 bucks to keep up to date with my Apple OS, compared to 250 to stay "current" with Vista.

I'm beginning to understand how this marketing thing works.

Great false logic that's propagated by either clueless people or trolls.

You don't need to constantly update your Apple OS. If you're content with what you have, you can skip a release or two. So, If you have Tiger and Vista right now, you can wait to upgrade your Mac till MS puts out Windows 7 in 2012 (let's face it, that's when it'll *actually* come out). By then, Apple would've gone through Ocelot (1Q 2009), Cougar (4Q 2010), and will be releasing Margay (2Q 2012).

So, you'll spend $250 to stay current on Windows, and $129 for Margay to get current on the Mac.
post #38 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by intruth View Post

So by my very rough calculations, by early 2010 I'll have shelled out 387 bucks to keep up to date with my Apple OS, compared to 250 to stay "current" with Vista.

I'm beginning to understand how this marketing thing works.

True. But you also have two other options!



(Oops.... very impolite of me..... welcome to AI.)
post #39 of 153
Kasper,

You better reign in your reporters ot the NYT will eat your lunch. It looks like everything except the first sentence is lifted directly from the NYT story linked with no attribution in your site at all. A couple sentences here and there directly atributed in the story won't get you in trouble, this can get you in big troble. Links don't count as attribution, it just shows how pitiful a job the reporter actually did.
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post #40 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by intruth View Post

So by my very rough calculations, by early 2010 I'll have shelled out 387 bucks to keep up to date with my Apple OS, compared to 250 to stay "current" with Vista.

I'm beginning to understand how this marketing thing works.

Don't forget that Vista (aka Longhorn) was to be released almost three years before it actually was.

Going by that schedule, you would have had to shell out another $250 upgrade, sometime in early 2007.

By 2010 therefore, you would be shelling out $750 for those on-time upgrades, if MS was capable of doing them.

In reality, MS has almost never been close to being on time. If we went back to the past four or five releases, and went by the original timetables, Win 95 would have been out in 1994. win 98 would have been out in 1996, Win 2000 would have been out in 1998, XP would have been out in 2000, Vista would have been out in 2002, and we would have had two more releases already after that one.

Going by that schedule, by 2010, If you start your calculations from 2000, which was the NT OS with Win 98 GUI, the first release after DOS, and the equiv to OS X, you would be spending at least $1,500 for MS upgrades this decade (assuming they are all upgrade pricing), as compared to (assuming that Apple WILL have two more upgrades to 2010) $903 (list, but obtained for 15% less usually) for OS X 10.0 through 10.7 (10.1 was free).

I think that's pretty good.

It's not Apple's fault that MS hasn't ever been able to make good on its release dates by such large margins. You can bet your bippy that MS wanted to release at least one more OS version by now. It's why they are forcing subscriptions on corporations. That way they get their money even if no new version comes out.
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