Too few new features in OS upgrades?

in macOS edited January 2014
Here's a question. Why does Apple only put like 4 or 5 major new features in each version of OS X? I'm not complaining about this, just simply posing a question.

Think about this. A feature like Dashboard widgets might cost $20 from a shareware vendor. But a shareware vendor sells many times less copies than Apple does of an OS upgrade.

A feature like Expose probably took very little effort to code at all. It is just a few graphics routines that use the drawing system Apple already has. I bet one programmer, given three months, could write Expose. A feature like Spotlight, on the other hand, is much more difficult, since it is integrated into the core of the OS.

But the point is that the new and exciting features Apple gives us would cost about $100 as shareware, but Apple is selling so many more copies to pay the same number of developers. A shareware vendor might pull in $50,000 in sales at $10 a piece for making a virtual desktop switching program. But Apple will make so, so much more because people love an Apple solution.

I guess the reality is that most of the $129 you pay goes to upgrading the underlying code, like adding Rendezvous, Bluetooth, etc. and all the functionality that must be added as new technologies come out.

In fact, I've said the same thing about Microsoft. They are selling 30 times as many copies as Apple, for about equal level features, but the cost certainly is not 30 times less. After all, a spreadsheet will cost the same to develop whether you sell 500 copies or 50,000,000. So given all the extra money and programmers they have, why can't Microsoft pull way ahead feature-wise?


  • Reply 1 of 2
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    You're choosing to focus on what Apple's marketing as the go to features.

    The reality is there are Hundreds of new features in your typical point release.

    Features that look simple are often enabled by core level changes to the OS and API which take work. Frankly I'm amazed that Apple keeps the new OS version at $129. That's barely above a decent linux distro.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    pbg4 dudepbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member
    Core Data is amazing built-in technology which is new in 10.4. With Core Data you can write simple databases without using any code. CD will also handle file saving/loading without any code as well. Anything beyond simple won't be code free of course, but to have so much low level stuff already taken care of allows a developer to concentrate on the real meat of their program.

    Same thing with Core Audio. Compared with what it takes to get MIDI sounds to generate in Windows, it's a walk in the park. I never would've added MIDI playback in my app without Core Audio, some sample code from Apple and cherry picking from Simple Synth, developed by Pete Yandell.

    Then there's Xcode & Interface builder, which to me is worth the $129 all by themselves.
Sign In or Register to comment.