Washington Post: Creaky Operating Systems Show Their Age

The Washington Postis Rob Pegoraro recently wrote a story dissecting the status of expired operating system releases from Microsoft and Apple, assessing the major pitfalls of using them.

Mac OS 8.0 and Mac OS 8.5, Pegoraro said, are almost useless for modern computing tasks due to their lack of USB support, missing modern Web browsers, and limited multimedia software (all dated). Mac OS 8.6 through Mac OS 9.2 are a bit more capable thanks to USB support and an early version of iTunes that exists, but newer iPods wonit work with them, for example.

Only half of the 19 million Macs out there are running Mac OS X, according to a recent IDC survey, but Mac OS X 10.0 and 10.1 "have been so badly outclassed by succeeding releases that there is no good reason to run them," Pegoraro said. Even Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, which is just 2 1/2 years old is not fairing so well in light of recent Safari and iLife upgrades that require Mac OS X 10.3.

In that sense, Appleis frequent operating system upgrades can play against the interests of customers who arenit ready or used to paying for a new operating system every year or two. No matter what operating system youire using, however, if itis allowing you to accomplish everything you need it to, then thereis little reason to upgrade, Pegoraro said.

Following the storyis publication, The Washington Post hosted an online chat between Pegoraro and readers. The entire transcript of the 10,000 word chat can be read here.