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