Friday, May 20, 2005

Steve Jobs: Panther will never work with May 2005 iMacs

We mentioned in the previous iMac article that one of the potential issues with the new iMac is that it comes with Tiger only. Interestingly, although the dual G5 2.7 GHz Power Mac has been confirmed to work fine with a cloned 10.3.9 boot disk, the new iMac G5 has fan control problems with Panther. This sounds like this may be purely a marketing decision, since the new Power Macs were released just a few days before Tiger was released, and the new iMacs were released just a few days after.

What's wrong with the machine coming with Tiger only? Well, for end users like me it's great, but it's a big drawback for large institutions and enterprise customers who cannot migrate immediately to Tiger because of OS bugs or issues with certain critical software, or who simply do not wish to migrate because of economic and human resource issues and the lack of need to upgrade. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This has already affected several institutions that either planned to purchase or already purchased new iMacs. One enterprising soul got the idea to email Apple's CEO directly about the problem it has created at his institution. This is Steve Jobs' response:
Not going to happen. You should embrace Tiger. Its so much better than Panther. Most of its shortcomings (Pro Tools, etc) will get fixed rapidly.

All the best,
This is unfortunate. Although it was nice to see such a quick reply from the CEO himself, the response will not make future potential enterprise and institutional customers any more confident in Apple's customer support.