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Leave the Past Behind?

by Derrick Story
Mac Newsletter for 08/16/2002

Dear Mac Reader,

I've received lots of good comments since I wrote the last newsletter focusing on the move to Jaguar. For very logical reasons, many folks still aren't ready for Mac OS X. I understand that.

But there was another thread that I detected in some of the notes that I'd like to write about today. The inference that:

"Mac OS X is really part of a bigger scheme to force us to upgrade our hardware and our software when we're otherwise perfectly happy with the stuff we have now."

Some Mac users expressed to me, either directly or in TalkBacks, that they felt left behind because they're not ready to buy a new computer right now.

And they hated that feeling.

My guess is that Apple doesn't want to leave anyone behind, especially its loyal customers. In reality, it was Apple that was in danger of falling behind--behind more modern OSs such as Linux and Windows 2000.

Apparently the bleeding has stopped. Since the introduction of Mac OS X, we've seen former Windows and Linux users take note of Apple's new operating system, and some have actually switched. Now if Apple can hang on to its existing customer base while it attracts new users, then it is in a good position to remain a force in the personal computing market.

All that aside, you and I still have a deal here. The agreement is that I try to be as honest with you as possible when I write these notes, and in turn, you tell me what you think when you feel moved to do so.

To subscribe to the Mac newsletter (or any O'Reilly Network newsletters), visit and select the newsletters you wish to receive in your user profile (you'll need to log in with your existing O'Reilly Network account -- if you don't yet have an account, you'll need to create one).

For those of you who have told me about your frustrations with Apple's migration to Mac OS X, I have passed that information along and hope that it will keep the conversation alive about the importance of retaining existing customers--a group that I belong to.

Believe me, I still smile when I fire up my Performa 5215CD, pick up its remote control, and surf TV channels, not Web pages. Try doing that on a stock TiBook running Mac OS X.

For me, moving ahead has not meant leaving the past behind. And it never will.

Thanks for reading,
Derrick Story
O'Reilly Network Managing Editor

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