back to article Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose

You will have noticed that Apple just pushed MacOS under the wolves, thrown it to the bus and left it hanging out to dry like a post-Brexit fishing net. In the ever-enthralling Epic Games versus Apple court case, the latter’s software supremo Craig Federighi trash-talked his own operating system. MacOS was sub-par for security …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    WTF?

    "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

    I'm sorry, I can't wrap my head around that phrase. Especially when, litterally in the same sentence, it is followed by "Microsoft’s dominance in the enterprise".

    So, the enterprise is not where the professionals are ? That's news to me.

    Let's be clear about things : Microsoft is the most used desktop OS, whether you like it or not. Linux is actually what makes the Internet function, is part of the backbone of all communications, and is the spearhead of most things we send into space. It's also what makes The Cloud (TM) work - yes, even Azure. Apple is for the people who work on making things look good. There aren't that many of those, but their work is just as valuable.

    Saying that only Apple has professionals is uttely ridiculous.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

      Yeah, but Mac lusers are most likely to sue if you don't pander to their delusions, so it's safer to just play along.

      1. ThomH

        Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

        Hands up all those who have been sued by Mac users due to their adherence to reality.

        Anyone? No?

      2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

        "Yeah, but Mac lusers are most likely to sue"

        I've never met a Mac luser. Worked in a company with 430,000 Mac users though.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

          My condolences.

          1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

            More than you know. Nothing to do with Macs though...

    2. Steve Graham

      Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

      I assumed that the intended meaning is that Mac is the preferred platform among, say, product designers, artists, advertising drones and musicians and "that" kind of professional.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

        Don't forget movie and television studios.Gotta have glowing fruit on the desks.

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

      I think the comment about Mac being "the professional's platform" was as opposed to iOS (i.e., 'the consumer platform'); not vs other desktop platforms.

      At least, that was how I interpreted it.

    4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: "Apple is, after all, the professional’s platform"

      Apple is for the people who work on making things look good

      yeah , but its still a mystery to me why.

      its not like a mac does anything a windows machine cant do.

      in 1993 yes , but times have moved on a little since then.

      The only thing about the situatution thats the same is the price differential.

  2. amacater

    Just give me a Linux desktop

    Absent Outlook and now Teams - what has Windows got for the Enterprise per so. If applications become commodities - and Microsoft's push to make them web apps is just that - give me a decent Linux OS, a minimal GUI if I really want it and let me use whatever I want. Regularly updated desktop Linux is at least as secure as corporate Windows updated a while behind anyway.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Just give me desktop applications - that do what I need

      I really do not need an Apple desktop, a Windows desktop or a Linux desktop - I need applications. Application will never become commodities - the simplest one might, the complex ones - which usually are what pays the bills and more, won't.

      Most web applications are a bunch of crappy code that desperately tries to do something useful using far more resources than needed. Hence now "canvas" to draw widget directly and webassembly to get rid of HTML and Javascript.

      They are trying to become desktop application just running on top of another layer because web gooooooooood, native baaaaaaaaaaad. And just because native application may not be so good at hoarding your data.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Just give me desktop applications - that do what I need

        Absolutely. I own a Windows tablet because I need a few applications that won't run on any other OS.

        Similarly, corporations run Windows because they can ensure that their corporate applications run on all their machines (which are often provisioned from a disk image).

    2. stungebag

      Re: Just give me a Linux desktop

      Windows has all of the active directory, group policy, deployment and other bits of infrastructure that enterproses need.

      1. sreynolds Silver badge

        Re: Just give me a Linux desktop

        All to help decrease productivity.

        Actually it's all fucked. All OSes carry baggage from the multiuser days. FFS they are still DISK orientated because RAM was in such short supply that everything was designed to swapped to disk loaded from disk - and everything has file interface FFS.

    3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Just give me a Linux desktop

      I run Teams every day on a Linux desktop. At this time there are only 2 things MS related that cannot be run on a Linux desktop.

      Outlook and Office and you really only need Office if you need the advanced Power Query/Power BI features of Excel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just give me a Linux desktop

        >>you really only need Office if

        It depends on what you mean by "need".

        The real time collaborative tools in Office are excellent, and massively improve productivity in the workflows I have seen and use.

        You can certainly survive with an older workflow and OpenOffice, but in enterprise and with remote working, Office has built a huge lead..

        The subscription model makes it now even easier for SMEs to bite.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just give me a Linux desktop

          Ah, you mean someone sending you a long incomprehensible Sharepoint URL in Outlook which can't be opened in Word ot Excel itself, you have to launch it in the browser?

          And that takes 10-15 seconds from clicking on the URL to the browser finally drawing the dropdown menu with the "Open in app" button.

          Then Word/Excel opens and downloads the document which takes another 10-15 seconds.

          And don't forget to immediately turn off the autosave otherwise it saves a new version of it and people ask you what you're changed.

          You mean that productivity?

  3. Blazde

    "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

    I'm not sure this is fair. NT was multi-user and networked by design, and released in both workstation and server versions from the start. I don't think it shared a single line of code, or even any key designers with 16-bit Win3.1 - the single user legacy at the time - except insofar as it implemented an emulation layer for backward compatibility. That didn't affect it's essential security architecture (although it added a small amount of complexity to the kernel and resulted in at least one vulnerability - just a general hazard of all monolithic kernels).

    If it had weaker security than some Unixes at the time (opinions vary in my experience) then I'd say that was down to it's relative maturity, being closed source, and Microsoft's changing commercial priorities rather than the company's separate single user OS legacy.

    To bring this full circle: NT's better designed, 90s-modern, distributed access control compared to the whole Unix class of OSes is probably one of the key reasons why it does dominate in centrally administered hot desking workstation environments - the precise opposite of single user disconnected PCs. The most common scenario today where multiple actual human beings use the same Unix-running hardware probably involves Virtual Machines rather the native access control, doesn't it?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

      The biggest problem of NT was the need to be compatible with Win 3.x/9x.

      Without that need, the security model is better than *nix and its seven bit ACL and its sudo hacks to avoid to be root almost all the time.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

        It's not compatibility with the Win 3.x line which harms the security architecture of the NT line; it's user habits. That's why Vista introduced the split token and UAC – because Microsoft had given up on trying to wean people off doing everything with administrative access, and figured they'd just try throwing a half-height security barrier in the way.

        Users, even technical ones, are notoriously resistant to security measures that affect their workflows.

        That said, there are some problems with NT's security architecture, like the excess authority required to monitor processes (owned by other tokens) for termination. And the biggest issue with Windows security remains its enormous and crufty attack surface. Even without excess permissions, if you can drop a keylogger through an RCE you can eventually capture the current user's credentials, and pivoting and escalation will almost certainly be possible.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

          Don't buy it - MS had to bludgeon the developers to write software which accepted long filenames with spaces and not dump whatever it wanted (.inis, .dlls and whatever else it wanted) into C:\Windows.

          This is why the main directories (e.g. Program Files) were long names which were localised and had spaces, to force developers to write software which asks the OS where files should go.

          And still there were Raymond Chen-style work-arounds for specific software.

          How can you have proper security with that going on?

    2. gratou

      Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

      >NT's better designed,

      You meant the NT that could freeze for a second when you inserted a CD? Good one. Or do you mean its more recent W10 offspring that can still be crashed by Excel? Shite the whole lot. And I'm no fan boy. The competing offerings are far from perfect.

      1. very angry man

        Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

        You have of course got some things better?

      2. Blazde

        Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

        What have those things got to do with access control?

    3. Mage Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

      NT had true multitasking and token based security more flexible than UNIX since 1993. You could have thousands of user accounts. Only remotely accessed Server applications were multiuser. You couldn't have multiple users logged in at the same time, even swapping between them like Unix SU till much much later. DR Multidos and UNIX allowed actual multiple users logged in at the same time.

      1. Blazde

        Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC"

        There were some very early 3rd party remote login solutions like WinFrame (which Microsoft subsequently based Terminal Services on). By the time Rupert is talking about, 2001 when MacOS launched, multiple users at the same time, either remote or locally with fast user switching was supported natively. The underlying multi-user architecture was always there because services used it, just interactive multi-login was missing.

  4. the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

    Craig Federighi

    Am I the only one that keeps misreading that as Craig Ferengi? Every single time.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Craig Federighi

      You aren't now!

    2. JohnMurray

      Re: Craig Federighi

      Rule of Acquisition 208: Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer

  5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    "on the desks of enterprise workforces"

    You say that like it is a specific thing, like everyone working in an enterprise is doing the same job. It isn't. They aren't. But the IT admins need /some/ commonality, so they roll out a single platform that is capable of being many different things, which (as the article says a few lines earlier) is the desktop model and not the sandbox model.

    Happy to hear otherwise from enterprise admin commentards who have rolled out a sandbox-style OS across the entire organisation and managed to find apps for every aspect of their business. Not expecting to, though.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: "on the desks of enterprise workforces"

      I agree.

      When I was working at an oil refinery we had users ranging from the PR office, engineering and safety as well as all the process operators, HR, research and development and training. I don't think that it would have been possible to have discrete systems for each department . As it was it was God's own job looking at all the specialised programs needed for the work being carried out and that was based on a common operating environment.

      Chromebooks and their ilk maybe suited to some roles but trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is never going to work.

  6. Empire of the Pussycat

    Last orders

    I've used Mac's 20+ years, but the last few releases of what is now MacOs have been a steady slide into unwanted, CPU-burning, pointless, bloat (Apple glorify new emojis ffs), bugginess, and increasingly annoying/unproductive controlware masquerading as security, as Apple continues to turn it into iOS for keyboards.

    With the GPU design flaw ruining my trusty old 17" MBP, I refreshed with the 16" MBP, even though it required adding umpteen adaptors and external drive to get similar functionality.

    Can't see Apple changing course, the next refresh will be running Linux with a VM for anything that can't run native..

  7. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Macbooks, which admittedly is going a bit far

    That bit I might agree with, though they look nice in their natural habitat, on acrylic stands, surrounded by acolytes in T-shirts.

    The problem with the rest of the argument (even if el Reg is making it tongue-in-cheek) is that there isn't much material difference between a mobile operating system and a desktop operating system, they have largely the same underpinnings. It's not really the OS that Apple is throwing under the bus, but the unfettered ability to install software. Or, in essence, the whole concept of "ownership".

    The logical conclusion of the Apple argument is that computers are too complicated for ordinary people to understand and that Apple must therefore retain a proprietorial control over them for their owners'users' own good. And, just incidentally, extracting a continuous revenue stream for their trouble. The trouble with that argument is that it goes far beyond mere operating systems - for "Apple" and "computer" read "everyone" and "everything".

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Macbooks, which admittedly is going a bit far

      Well the same is true for gaming consoles. XBox runs a cut down version of the same OS installed on a billion PCs. Sony used to allow people to install Linux on Playstations, which turned them into a general purpose computer. They are all running on ordinary PC hardware now, it was the choice of the Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo to limit what can be installed on those devices.

      If Epic wants to go down the road of claiming that phones and desktops are basically the same because they are running basically the same OS with only the ability to install what you want limited, then they are going to upset the whole console market because the same is 100% true there. I don't think Epic wants to risk upsetting those guys though, because they would feel a lot more pain than giving Apple a 30% cut.

  8. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "the mutant offspring of Windows 3.1"

    I would argue that Windows 10 is technically the mutant offspring of Windows NT 3.1. This was, confusingly (for marketing reasons), the first version of Windows NT, and it went on to become things including Windows 2000 [NT 5.0], XP [NT 5.1], and finally [NT] 10.0 (which, also confusingly and for marketing reasons, is the version right after NT 6.3, AKA Windows 8.1). The core of Windows 3.1 died with Windows ME. Thankfully.

    1. bean520
      Headmaster

      Re: "the mutant offspring of Windows 3.1"

      The core of 3.1 died with 3.11. Back then, Windows wasn't even an OS, just a DOS GUI. That then gave way to 95's 16/32 bit hybrid kernel.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: "the mutant offspring of Windows 3.1"

      There was an MS version of OS/2 in 1989, for servers using win3.x clients and MS LAN Manager. I always wondered if that was why NT starts at 3.x

      Absolutely correct. Win10 is NOTHING to do with Win3.0 to WinME as they were shells loaded from booting DOS. Win95 merged Win32s and Win 3.x 32 bit drivers, wrapped up all the diverse multimedia addons in Win 3.0, added DirectX to ease porting DOS games and added Explorer. It wasn't any more secure or reliable. You only needed to login for MS network shares to work. It ran very poorly on a Pentium Pro because of the frequent native use of 16 bit code. NT used NTVDM and also Win16->Win32 API thunk, so the 16bit Windows applications ran on Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC and also Pentium Pro without any native x86 16 bit execution.

      Win95 only got USB later (only a preview ever on NT 4.0 after SP6) and OpenGL later (on NT at the time). It was a shame that Win95 and Win98 and ME were EVER sold to businesses by anyone. Yes, NT needed more RAM, but in comparison was reliable and secure. NT4.0 was less stable if you installed a buggy GFX or Printer driver due to stupid decision to move stuff into kernel for maybe 10% performance at a time when PC performance was sometimes more than doubling per year (approx 1992 to 2002).

      Only a misconfigured NT paused on CD, one cause would be an HDD and CD drive on same IDE port. Also Autorun was an abomination. We disabled it in the Registry.

  9. Adam Jarvis

    The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

    Anyone that owns a 2017 Macbook Pro (my example, bought in Sept 2018, came pre-installed with High Sierra) may not have checked for updates recently, but when you do you're going to get a big surprise. Apple has put your 2017 machine running High Sierra out of support (February 2021), and, out to pasture.

    The updates won't show with the usual slick presentation style font you're familar with, they'll be shown to you in a garbled left aligned basic font, that makes it difficult to read, let alone install the updates (if any) are available. It's one thing to stop support, that much is expected after 3-4 years with Apple, but the crux here is something new and Apple have clearly crossed the line of what's acceptable in the desire to sell more macs.

    In my book of basic principles, the page informing customer that the OS is out of support and there are no updates, should remain working for the life of the machine, and have the same out of box experience as when you bought it. Apple have cross the line here, by trashing the page presenting the notification of, (if any) updates to customers.

    Apple clearly believe you should run the latest and greatest to solve any issue, but sometimes there are reasons to stick with the version of macOS that came pre-installed. Time, is the main one. Matching the version of macOS with other machines in your household. Certain software only runs on that version of macOS. Stopping children arguing over who has the better, newer laptop. The reasons are many.

    Apple's biggest competition is itself. Older (better made) devices running High Sierra, still compete with the latest and greatest devices sold running Big Sur.

    As said, in February 2021, Apple dropped support for High Sierra, newer versions of macOS Mojave, Catalina and Big Sur use a different method of presenting updates to the user. The old system of presenting updates is now obsolete, and crucially out of support.

    Changes were made on April 4th 2021 to the backend of Apple Servers, and it seems (difficult to work out the secret sauce exactly) Apple has switched off the server that applied the necessary javascript/css formatting to the page presenting updates to the customer, when accessing the App Store Updates Page.

    It's all just made to be on the border of acceptability, play with the level of OCD you suffer from. Updates will still download and install, it's technically, a cosmetic issue, but it's a cosmetic issue that can give rise to a lot of time spent trying to resolve said issue.

    Worse, for the non-technical Apple user leave them open to IT scams where people are cold called, asked if they have a iMac/macbook Pro running High Sierra, and then state that they should open the Apple Store, look at the updates page, because your machine is sending signals on to the internet, "a virus" onto the internet, infecting other machines. They then request the clueless user to download malicious software from the internet to solve the issues and charge an exhorbant fee.

    You get the picture.

    The result is Apple users running El-Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra are presented with a garbled mess, that looks like the machine is infected with a virus, but it's a 'virus' (so to speak) that's been appled by Apple (it's side effect is to trash that machine, make it difficult to resell, and make second hand machines running High Sierra difficult to resell), all done, by removing the formatting of the page. In a word, it can be seen as anti-competitive.

    You can imagine what went on. Someone at Apple said, this server creates the formatting of the pages delivered to customers to show the updates available for High Sierra. High Sierra is out of support. We no longer need this, either reconfigured it for newer versions of the OS or just pulled it/switched it off.

    This issue that this has caused is affecting customers worldwide, not just the UK.

    I'm surprised it hasn't become a headline for the National Cyber Security Centre, and the fact this has passed them by, with no public mention of it, makes a mockery of the whole organisation. A complete waste of money.

    About as useful as a chocolate teapot. If they were worth their salt, they'd have been pre-emptive and forced Apple to switch back on this server, pronto.

    If you want to read more about it (and my other replies)

    See:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252635034

    (P.S. Rupert Goodwins, on El-Reg. Let's hope this is a regular occurrence. Great to read your writing again).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

      At the same time, my 2014 MacBook is running Big Sur just fine, and still gets security updates. Heck even the iPhone 6 I still have from that time just got a security update, Not seen hardware supported that long anywhere else.

      As for desktop, the only way the Windows TCO lies lower than MacOS is if you omit the waste of the most precious and costly resource of all: staff time (which, naturally, Windows TCO studies do).

      Now I'm the first to admit that Apple is regrettably doing less well on the usability front than it used to, but patch, crash and reboot events still clock up enough of a meaningful and financially significant difference. That doesn't count for home use, of course, but at Enterprise level this matter a lot - which is why Windows TCO studies studiously avoid the very mention of the idea.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

        Every Apple update burns an entire day of my time.

        Some of them have burned two - 48 actual hours.

        Yet Windows Update hasn't taken more than 20min of my time for a decade.

        Yes, sometimes they go wrong. But the above macOS update times are all when it went right.

        1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          I've not experienced Apple updates, but I can say that many a Windows update has ruined my day. Usually because I left some long-running job going overnight only to find it had been rudely stopped at 2am and the machine rebooted, leaving only a BitLocker password prompt and meaning I had to start it all over again. I've got a handle on it now, but I shouldn't have to go through all this to achieve something that should be doable with a simple option switch.

        2. pc-fluesterer.info
          Happy

          Linux updates burn zero time

          Of course I use only LTS systems (debian, Mint, LMDE). All of them are automatically updated in background; very seldom I have to perform a few clicks. When I sometimes start my Win-10 VM - what a resources hog! Linux rules.

        3. 23Badger

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          I’ve experienced the exact opposite. Windows needed two days of attention the last time it tried/forced and update. Shit down i said, installing update came the reply! Since when where we renting our OS and unable to decide when we want to update.

          The MAC is bloating though, and painfully slow in recent times. On my phone now takes about 7seconds to find an album that’s on my phone, where last month it was near instant.

        4. TheFifth

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          Whilst I agree MacOS is getting worse, I think you must have something wrong with your hardware or OS install. Updating is one area where I don't get any pain from MacOS. It's always been pretty smooth for me and the longest updates are normally only 20 minutes or so. I've never had a Mac down for a whole day, even when updating between major OS versions. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've had various Macs since 2006, so it's a reasonable sample size. Note however that I never update until a few days after a major update has been released. Always let the dust settle a bit first.

          Windows on the other hand has led me down update hell many times. I have multiple Windows machines and I've had issues on all of them at one point or another. I've lost count of how many times I've set an update going and ended up leaving the machine on all night to finish, only to find when clicking the 'check for updates' button the following morning, there are a bunch more updates to install!

          That's what I don't get about Windows update. You tell it to search for updates, it brings back a list, you install all of them and maybe you perform a restart. Then when you check again there are more updates. You install all of those and maybe restart. Then you check again and there are yet more updates. I have a desktop Windows machine that only gets used once every few weeks. Sometimes I have to install updates and restart the thing several times before Windows decides there's no more updates to install.

          At least with MacOS, no matter how long it is since the last update, it always seems to do it in one go. I can't remember ever having to perform an update more than once to get fully patched.

          1. Adam Jarvis

            Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

            "Whilst I agree MacOS is getting worse, I think you must have something wrong with your hardware or OS install. Updating is one area where I don't get any pain from MacOS."

            https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252635034

            Before commenting, you really should have read the discussions thread on apple.com before making assumptions that this is a local issue with the hardware / OS install and not a server side issue with Apple. It comes across as a typical Apple support reply to attempt to deflect attention away from the issue at hand and sow doubt in the reader's mind, that this is just another reader miffed at 'perfect' Apple, when this a worldwide issue affecting all iMacs, MacBooks, MacBook Pros, mac minis, from 2008 (approx) to 2018, running El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra (that all use the same App Store Update Page) to download updates.

            A great deal of time has been spent on this to work this out.

            The issue doesn't affect Mojave, Calalina, Big Sur because these use a different method to show the updates that are available.

            The issue is massive, and affects all legacy Apple users running El Capitan, Sierra, HIgh Sierra. Apple have crossed the line here, and it needs to be put right, pronto. I've no problem with Apple not providing updates for these machines, that much is known. But the page presenting that information to Apple Users should be clear and be formatted correctly for the life of the machine, the same as the day it was taken out the box. This is a big step change by Apple, and Apple users shouldn't accept it. You shouldn't accept it.

            And if you still say the issue is local to the machines I have access to (hundreds), here's my answer to you. Head to your local Apple Store, say you have an issue with High Sierra and ask if they have a machine to hand so you can show them the issue. Then go straight to the App Store Update page on the Apple Store machine, and the machine (assuming it gets it's updates in the normal way, not from an internal network) will have this error.

            In summary:

            ** The simple answer to you, is show me an iMac, macbook, mac mini aka. any Apple device running El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra that doesn't have this garbled App Store Update Page since April 2021.

            I'm yet to see one, and I have access to a lot of macs at my disposal, from 2010 to 2020. **

            This is clearly Apple Server side. Support have admitted to this.

            It's subtle. You can only be sceptical because the effect of this is win, win for Apple, to sell more macs.

            It doesn't disable the ability to update the machine, its effect is to trash the formatting of the page that presents what updates are available, by failing to load a css style sheet/javascript.

            The best analogy is one morning you get in your Audi or BMW or whatever, switch on the ignition and the centre console entertainment system no longer displays the media information correctly, it's completely garbled.

            Yes, with a bit of effort you can change radio stations, select a media track, but you can't read the title of the track, or see the name of the station currently playing. In those circumstances, if my car was under 3 years old, even 7 realistically. I'd be straight on the phone to the dealership, and without question, they'd fit a replacement, as it's something clearly not designed to fail in the first three years.

            1. TheFifth

              Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

              Dude, calm down. You may want to read the thread you are the OP of before directing me to read a thread on the Apple discussion forums.

              If you notice, I'm directly replying to 'Richard 12', who said:

              "Every Apple update burns an entire day of my time.

              Some of them have burned two - 48 actual hours.

              Yet Windows Update hasn't taken more than 20min of my time for a decade.

              Yes, sometimes they go wrong. But the above macOS update times are all when it went right."

              I was just letting Richard 12 know my experience (as others have also done) and letting him know that what's happening to him is not the norm. I'm just trying to give him a pointer that maybe he should check if his hardware / software install is OK if updates are taking 48 hours. So it wasn't directed at you at all.

              I actually largely agree with what you have written as my Mother has an older iMac that relies on High Sierra. Unfortunately MS are also 'end of lifing' versions of Windows 10 at an even greater pace. Windows 10 versions 1909, 2004, 20H2 and 21H1 only receive around two years support before they reach end of service and are no longer updated. Granted they do have long term support releases (1507, 1607, 1809), but that's for Enterprise only. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, both MacOS and Windows are going over to being rolling releases and once they are out of service, we are out of luck. Doesn't mean we have to like it, but that is the way things are going.

              Ironically, as if to prove the point I made in my first post, after posting that comment I remembered I hadn't used my dual boot Surface machine in about six weeks, so thought I should probably update the Linux and Windows installs on there. I first updated Linux. Two bash commands later and around 10 minutes I'm fully up to date. I then booted to Windows, which spent 45 minutes stuck at 74% installing a 'Windows Cumulative update', finally it finished and then restarted, which took another 10 minutes on the blue 'installing' screen. I went back to update again, it said 'You're up to date', but I clicked the 'Check for updates' button anyway. Up pops another two or three updates. I install those and restart again (thankfully only about 15 minutes this time) and then check updates again. Yet another update! Only a small one though and thankfully that was the lot.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

                .. and I just updated a Macbook and a Mac mini M1 to MacOS 11.5 beta 5/

                Yes, beta. I run betas now because they're so reliable that I even use that on work machines. Of course, not without a backup first (which, btw, takes about 5 minutes in diff mode and 7 via Time Machine) but I have not had to use that recovery once in the two years since I decided to run betas.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          Really? You must be doing something wrong then.

          I have as yet to see an update take more than about 15 minutes, and that's including download. As a matter of fact, I get the impression iOS updates take longer because they just sit there for a while "preparing" - God knows what it's actually doing.

          Also, I have as yet to get a download that borked things but since I've only been using Macs since 2006 I may have missed one. On that score, iOS is the same. No problem, so no fights afterwards to get things going again.

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

      Apple has put your 2017 machine running High Sierra out of support (February 2021), and, out to pasture.

      Just to be clear -- it's High Sierra that has gone out of support, not your 2017 Mac. MBPs as old as Late 2013 Retina models are supported by Big Sur.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

        They will however run at around 1/2 to 2/3 their original speed.

        It's super frustrating.

        1. Ace2 Bronze badge

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          That has never been my experience *except* for anything with an HDD - they have turned to frozen molasses. The last several major releases assume an SSD and structure their I/O accordingly.

        2. Snapper Bronze badge

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          You must be a 'PC' person. Every time I see a Mac running at 1/2 to 1/3 speed I know a 'PC' person has been fiddling with it.

          Yes, over 30 years in the business.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

            This is a vanilla install on a 2015 iMac. I have changed nothing whatsoever, only installed the applications I need to do my job, like xcode.

            Apple appear to assume everything has an SSD and burn all the I/O bandwidth fiddling with nothing. This machine wasn't even available with an SSD version, so it's not like I had a choice.

            I also don't like waiting half an hour to start newly installed applications while Apple "verifies" the bundle. There is no possible excuse for "verifying" to take longer than the original download!

            Downvoters: This is the reality of macOS. It's really slow.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

              If your machine is that old it will also be one you could still open and use standard PC parts for - replace the drive with something faster. First connect it via USB (which, admittedly, WILL be slow) and once you've set it up swap it over.

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

            I once started at a major software company as a software developer. I was given a brand new Mac. Well, brand new except that IT had got their hands on it first and had put all the directories in their "right" places exactly where Linux wanted them. Result: MacOS was borked because nothing was where it should be. So my first step was to reinstall MacOS on a brand new Mac...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          Stick a hybrid drive or an SSD in it, that will help, but I don't think you can blame Apple for slow running.

          You clearly are too young to have lived through the Microsoft - Intel update game. Every new release of Windows was always alleged to run OK on the same hardware, but only if you interpreted the word "run" as "will eventually boot up after enough time to have a four course meal and work as smooth as an unsheared sheep will slide over a velcro floor".

          I've had much less of that with Macs.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

        Big Sur on a 2013 Mac? I've got Windows 10 happily running on a PC much older than that, with a HDD. It's tolerably usable.

        The view (granted it's not a view you have expressed) that Apple has an advantage when it comes to compatibility and longevity because it's their hardware hasn't really been borne out. They do enough to get away with it, but MS has really smashed that one out of the park. Windows copes just fine with an astonishing array of hardware going back a very long way.

        Same goes for software. It's is, just (with 32 bit Win10), still possible to run Windows 3.0 software from the mid 1990s. Can't do that with a Mac. Probably can't do that with Linux either, not without a lot of work on installing deprecated dependencies.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The sorry state of Apple's garbled App Store Update Page: High Sierra.

          Now you're really trolling.

          Sometimes Linux is the only way to still get some use out of hardware old enough to require steam power. Running Windows on old hardware means a hunt for drivers.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the trenches

    I am now in my third consecutive job that has primarily involved writing code that runs on servers. That typically means developing on servers, remotely. The first of these jobs was Google, the subsequent two have been at low-latency trading firms.

    I am also on my third consecutive job for which Macs have been standard issue. They have the full UNIX toolset available directly from first boot, they're easy to order in volume across the globe, are generally reliable, and are very easy to replace in an emergency if one should arise.

    There's nothing whatsoever about the macOS desktop, or anything that has ever been spotlighted in an Apple keynote, that makes them the most useful tool; this usage is completely disjoint from the things Apple is publicly smug about.

    So it's not just media creatives that use them. And, honestly, if you can put your feelings about the manufacturer aside then I can't seriously fault them as tools.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: From the trenches

      I can happily fault the amount they charge for these tools, though (even if they are admittedly reasonably useful tools).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: From the trenches

        I can happily fault the amount they charge for these tools, though (even if they are admittedly reasonably useful tools).

        I can't, for one simple reason: I value my time. If you discount staff time, yes, then Apple hardware is expensive. The moment you start adding staff time to the TCO calculations the equation changes so much that it explains why private banks and the whole of IBM switched over. They're not charities.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From the trenches

      If I were presented with a Mac Book for that job I'd be saying "no thanks, I'll have a PC lappie". There is at least three sane ways to be unixy on a PC, all of them better than MacOS's half-arsed effort, and after nearly forty years of using a PC keyboard and 25 years of one set of keyboard short cuts, the Mac Book would be a real nuisance. Plus it'll have far more in common with the servers than the Mac Book.

      I've noticed the "let them use Macs" trend grow over the years largely in line with recruitment challenges, not technical opportunities.

      This has recently infected my workplace, but what's interesting is seeing the return rate. Now that Covid and working from home has meant that they have become an essential tool rather than something one flashes up only occasionally outside of the office, there's a lot of people asking for a Windows laptop as a replacement. We're currently scrapping Mac Books as a result, and can't get hold of enough PC laptops.

      1. Dinanziame Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: From the trenches

        If you want your laptop to have anything in common with the servers, you've got the wrong kind of servers

        1. ThomH

          Re: From the trenches

          Agreed in general, but you can see an argument for having the same instruction set in the world of containerisation — in that scenario you might develop locally for server deployment and therefore incur some potential risk with an ARM-based Mac.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: From the trenches

            Not anymore now virtualisation has caught up and allows you to run x86 code on the M1 chipped machines. Just kick off a Linux VM.

  11. doublelayer Silver badge

    Mobile to the enterprise: go away

    "it is true that Win10 in a well-maintained enterprise environment is no more inherently vulnerable than Apple or Linux would be, were that ever to happen. But all three are the wrong answer to 21st century general business computing needs."

    This argument is not a good one. Of course the complexity of a desktop OS means there's more work to do when a bunch of people are using them, but the reason that's still the case is that simpler mobile devices frequently come up short. Whether IOS, Android, or Chrome OS, these things will not be suitable for some users and some companies. You could still segregate the business into those people who can use something simple and those who can't, but that means you have twice the variety of systems to support for your users.

    There are a few things that basically every desktop OS can do which basically every simple OS can't well. Multi-user is one thing. If you have a computer that multiple people may use, you can do that with Windows, Mac, or Linux but just try to do that well with an Android tablet. Yes, they do multiple users, but they don't easily handle the authentication process or sync preferences. Try that with an iPad and you'll find it's not capable of the task at all. How about using a full set of peripherals for someone who works better with some large screens, keyboard, mouse, etc. Some devices won't support multiple displays. Some weren't designed with mouse use in mind and will be painful.

    Mobile devices can be used in some places, and they can even be superior for some tasks than a desktop. For most use cases, though, they'll be much worse than a desktop. If you have to have one standard, it should be a desktop.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the article:

    "And desktop OSes are more vulnerable than mobile OSes, purely because they’re general purpose tools designed to run arbitrary code from arbitrary sources."

    It's not actually compulsory to run dodgy code from unknown sources on a desktop OS. And with Windows in a corporate / enterprise setting, it's perfectly possible to reign in what users can / cannot run through Group Policy. If an organisation has that need, that's one of the big benefits of a Windows Domain; the freedom to easily and reliably define what can and cannot be done on the desktop. There's an amazing amount of things that can be restricted this way - networking, apps, browsing, the lot.

    MacOS and Linux haven't got any such mechanism (well, no easily utilised / administered mechanism).

    Apple's argument that iOS is somehow better is a load of bollocks; it's running the same kernel as MacOS, a lot of the same libraries, etc. Measures that they claim make it better - App Store, and all the rules surrounding that - are not really any different to "security through obscurity". It's strongly enforced, certificate / signing backed security through obscurity, but that's all it is. And its a blunt instrument; they, and only them get to say what you're allowed to run.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Coat

      "the freedom to easily and reliably define what can and cannot be done on the desktop" - I think users called them 3270/VT terminals...

      Mine's the one with the FORTRAN 77 cards in the pocket >>====>

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      For Linux if you want higher user security you simply mount the user-writeable areas (typically /tmp and /home) on partitions as 'noexec' and then they can only use programs installed via the package manager. Which obviously they cannot use as you have not given them any administrative rights...

      https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/end-user-device-security/platform-specific-guidance/ubuntu-18-04-lts

  13. greatpix

    In the land of luddites

    Re: "Legacy of single user on a disconnected PC". I am literally that. I have oen desktop configured with all the apps, MS and otherwise, that I need. It is connected to nothing except by a thumbdrive onto which I load my work product and transfer to my connected workstation.

    No upgrades, no pushes, nothing to interfere with a setup that will never see a cloud or a rainy day either.

  14. pc-fluesterer.info
    Thumb Down

    ridiculous - "Win10 ... is no more inherently vulnerable than Apple or Linux ..."

    https://www.cvedetails.com/product/38/?q=linux

    https://www.cvedetails.com/product/32238/?q=Windows+10

    and that is only five years for win10!

    Just two figures: code execution vulnerabilities

    Linux - 50 in eleven years

    Win10 - 468 in five years!

    What's more, nearly all of the Linux vulnerabilities are only locally exploitable.

    Thus, the claim repeated in the title is a very bold - and false - assertion.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: ridiculous - "Win10 ... is no more inherently vulnerable than Apple or Linux ..."

      Comparing vulnerabilities is useful, but ultimately not that important. The real down-side of Windows are (a) its popularity, and (b) the fact that well-managed / secure was never its default configuration, so you depend more on competent sysadmins to use group policies, etc, sensibly to make it so.

      You can find examples of Linux systems with default user/password that makes their security a joke, so the underlying OS details are only significant if you really have eliminated the other factors.

  15. Tom 38

    ...to access their browser-based HR [..] forms

    Never fear, ADP's "MyFreedom" website, which I have to use to get payslips and P60s, will refuse to work with anything other than IE - lock in forever!

  16. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    That Harvard Guy's bio ....

    Excellence. Quality. Science. These are just a few of the words that have been applied to the illustrious research career of James Mickens. In the span of a few years, James Mickens has made deep, fundamental, and amazing contributions to various areas of computer science and life. Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest scholars of his generation, James Mickens ran out of storage space for his awards in 1992, and he subsequently purchased a large cave to act as a warehouse/fortress from which he can defend himself during the inevitable robot war that was prophesied by the documentary movie “The Matrix.” In his spare time, James Mickens enjoys life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, often (but not always) in that order, and usually (almost always) while listening to Black Sabbath.

    1. Arthur 1

      Re: That Harvard Guy's bio ....

      I was just coming in to post about this, surprised nobody beat us to it. I've never seen a more arrogant pile of clear red flags of incompetence.

      "Excellence. Quality. Science. These are just a few of the words that have been applied to the illustrious research career of James Mickens." with the picture of him staring off into the distance is almost enough to make me side with Apple.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: That Harvard Guy's bio ....

      James Mickens is hilarious. Watch some of his recorded presentations sometime – he has a great one on Byzantine consensus protocols, for example. You're not supposed to take that stuff seriously.

      Honestly, the ability of some people in IT to utterly fail to understand jokes remains impressive even after decades of observing it.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: That Harvard Guy's bio ....

        It's obviously a series of jokes. In my opinion, none of those jokes are funny, but they're clearly intended as such. The problem is that jokes which aren't funny and do sound like bragging can be interpreted as either just bragging or trying to hide bragging under a veneer of self-deprecation. He can do whatever he wants, but I wouldn't recommend such an attempt unless you want some people to express views as seen above.

  17. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

    These arguments make no sense in relation to this case. Epic is not saying they want to sell their software outside the app store they are saying they want to sell swag for their game fro their web site and have it appear in the IOS version of the game. Apple say no, you must sell the swag in our store and pay the 30% extortion fee or we will ban you. Any other business that tried something like this would be slapped with an anti-trust suit and be charged with running an extortion ring "RICO" in the US) I fail to see what the sate of the desktop OS has to do with this. It is just FUD by apple to confuse the court.

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