[Correction: We originally reported Scott Williamis name as Scott Williams. In addition, our original report said that the site was offering free e-mail accounts, when in fact MacOSX.com charges for its e-mail service, starting at US$9.95 per year. Both mistakes have been corrected in the article below.]
Even as one of our own forum members started a very interesting thread about the dichotomy building in the Mac community, the Webmaster at MacOSX.com has shut down his forums to protest, well, sites like this one. We have seen various sites, such as Low End Mac, protest actions by Apple by shutting down their site, or placing a moratorium on their own writing, but Scott William, the Webmaster of MacOSX.com, is upset with the Mac community as a whole. The message posted in place of the forums yesterday at 5:00 PM:
This board has been shutdown for 24 hours in protest of how negative the Mac community has been and continues to be over all the great products Apple releases for us. They may not be all we ever dreamed of, but when last I checked we still donit have cars that fly and rocket packs to blast off with for short Sunday afternoon flights. Sometimes dreams are not reality and that is okay.
Apple is still the leader in this industry and continues to create wonderful products (that I canit afford). This forum will return Wed, August 14th, around 5pm CDT. Until then, you can send your comments of raves or rants to email@example.com.
PS - This is not meant to censor thoughts or opinion, it is a protest against the overall feedback on all Mac sites, not just this one. We all have the right to complain, just as I am... and I am complaining about the complaining.
At issue is what Mr. William perceives as the constant hum of negativity that comes from the Mac community whenever Apple releases a new product. "After months, maybe years of it, I finally decided to stand up," Mr. William told TMO. "I honestly believe that the silent majority needs to step up to the plate. I am willing to bet that on any given day, I would have more people standing on my side than the other."
The problem, according to Mr. William, stems in part from hype raised by Mac rumor sites. "The expectations are set high for people and when Apple fails to meet the rumors sitesi rumors, then Apple has somehow disappointed them."
So far, some 80% of the correspondence Mr. William has received has been supportive of his protest and his stance, though not everyone is a fan. "I have been called anti-American, a Nazi, a hypocrite, and some other words Iid rather not repeat," said Mr. William. "But aside from those comments, the overall response is positive and people have expressed to me their frustration at visiting sites and reading the negative reactions."
Many Web sites, and particularly the readership of those Web sites, have been critical of such moves from Apple as moving the free iTools service to the paid .Mac service, and for not offering an upgrade path for Jaguar. TMO itself is numbered among those who have been critical of these moves.
"Some .Mac complaints do hold merit," said Mr. William. "I think Apple made a mistake by not offering an ie-mail only solution." MacOSX.com offered e-mail-only accounts to its readers starting at US$9.95 per year in reaction to this. Complaints about Jaguar, on the other hand, get less play from him. "I paid for the beta, I paid for 10.0, Apple provided 10.1 for free, so I think its time to pay the piper."
Apple released Mac OS X 10.1 to the public for free, but only after intense criticism from the community decrying a US$19.95 fee to have the upgrade CDs shipped to them. Apple met that criticism by releasing upgrade CDs through its dealer network throughout the US. Other instances of Apple changing its policies in reaction to customer criticism include reversing a policy of retroactive price increases on early orders for the first PowerMac G4 models, lowering the price of Mac OS X Server, and bringing the Apple menu back to Mac OS X. From Mr. Williamis viewpoint, itis time for the criticism from the Mac community to stop.
MacOSX.com will be down until 5:00 PM today.