Snow Leopard: How Serious Are the Compatibility Issues?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on September 2, 2009

It’s impossible to tell from the anecdotal reports showing up here and in other forums just how serious Snow Leopard compatibility problems are. My gut feeling is that they are widespread but not pervasive, certainly nothing like the problems people had upgrading from Windows XP to Vista. Still, in reflecting on the reports, I think there are three things Apple should have done differently.

  • Apple should have provided a pre-upgrade compatibility checker like the one Microsoft offers for Win 7. This would have allowed people to find out what wouldn’t work and then make a choice whether they wanted to upgrade or wait.
  • Apple needed a public beta with a release candidate to detect the sort of problems that are turning up now but apparently did not show up in the tightly controlled betas.
  • Apple did not give third-party software and hardware vendors enough time with the final code before general availability. Microsoft released Windows 7 to manufacturing at the end of July with general availability on Oct. 22. Apple sent out final code about week before Snow Leopard went on sale. Microsoft has been using this period as a sort of extended beta; setting up a new Win 7 machine today with the gold master code, I discovered that there were already three updates available. I didn’t check what they were, but my guess is either bug fixes or new drivers.

Snow Leopard is a great product, but an ambitious one; the relatively unchanged user interface belies a major revision of the underlying code. A little more testing would have been a good idea.

Reader Comments

Techgoose

September 3, 2009 2:06 AM

The author writes as if the update were being pushed - as if users had no choice or ability to do testing and due diligence.

In fact, Apple has a "compatibility" checklist of 3rd party apps on their public site, as do about 30-odd independent geek sites specific to Mac tech. Too, betas have been seeded to developers in a fairly generous fashion - but in case the author is new to the platform, may I point out that Apple NEVER public betas anything, ever - that's part of the culture and the way they handle their IP. Expecting otherwise is pure naïveté.

Finally, no one should rush out and install a new OS on a critical system in week one, period-- Apple or otherwise: do a test of your software on an extra machine, or wait for the early adopter reports for a week or two. If you rush out and buy it and install it on your main axe the day it comes out, you should EXPECT some bumps! Trust me the same will be true of Win 7 too, public beta or not.

But let me guess: you didn't do a backup before you upgraded either, did you Stephen? Have a little patience, do your homework, and proceed only when fully informed, with backups at your side. And quit whining.

Brett Lindsay

September 3, 2009 7:37 AM

Hi All!

I bought Snow leopard on the day of release and promptly installed it on my brand new 15" Macbook Pro, Leopard 10.5.8 which is totally ready for anything I can throw at it.

That's what I thought until I started trying to use Snow Leopard. My Mac was hanging almost every minute and making it very difficult and very frustrating to try and work on it.

Eventually I went to Disk Utility and verified and repaired my File permissions there was one error. Once that was fixed everything seems to working very well and I am quite happy.

There are bound to be some issues but as soon as we can all get together to start fixing them the world of Snow Leopard I am sure will be a good one.

Hope this helps with anyone moving from Leopard to Snow Leopard and experiencing similar problems.

Cheers,

Brett

Barry

September 3, 2009 8:55 AM

Steve, as you know, I'm a huge Apple fan. However, I agree with you on this one. I upgraded one of my machines, fortunately one that's not in critical use, and the incompatibilities, while small, are driving me nuts! Of course I did a full backup before upgrading, and spent a while with Apple's list of incompatibilities so I'd know what I was up against. But I wasn't prepared for the pain in the a** caused by, among other things, printing, MobileMe, keychains, Tech Tool, and Norton Anti-Virus. It was enough to make me delay upgrading the rest of my machines until I read about some significant changes both from Apple and the third-party vendors.

Bradley Dichter

September 3, 2009 10:16 AM

Techgoose must either have a short memory or be new to Macs. Safari 4 public beta was the most recent public beta from Apple. Before that there was a public beta of Safari 3.0.3 (which included Windows users) You can also point to a public beta of iwork.com in conjunction with iWork '09. There was a public beta of boot camp. There was even a public beta of X11, although not popular. Back in 2000 there was a public beta of Mac OS X itself.

sane

September 3, 2009 10:24 AM

The author of this article is naive. The cutting edge has its price, being on it invariably hurts.

Being an Apple fan isn't enough, due diligence and common sense are also required when running any machine.

Jon

September 3, 2009 10:27 AM

Haha...Nortan Anti-Virus! No wonder you were having issues!

Steve Wildstrom

September 3, 2009 10:38 AM

@Techgoose--I upgraded three Leopard systems to Snow Leopard with no problems whatever. But it's clear that lots of people did have problems and I and others are just trying to help them work their way through them.
By the way, I have been using Macs for 25 years--yep, since the very beginning. And I am well aware of Apple's resistance to public betas. What I am saying is that in this case, they made a mistake and I hope they will leave room for more extensive compatibility testing the future. You can't avoid all problems, but you can minimize them.

Ricky

September 3, 2009 11:03 AM

Techgoose is a typical Apple Fanboi! LOL

If anybody dares to question the mighty Apple then that means only one thing which is that they are completely loony!

Techgoose's post in a sentence says this much..."Nothing is Apple's fault...if a user is having problem then it's the user's fault!"

Apple fanboi's are insecurity filled sad sad people!

jambo

September 3, 2009 11:36 AM

After my friend installed snow leopard, he lost all his photos in iphoto.

Luckily, I didn't lose any when I updated. We have no idea why, because we have identical imacs that we bought 4 month ago.

Jose

September 3, 2009 12:15 PM

@Ricky: as sad as Apple Fanboi's haters

Leo

September 3, 2009 12:57 PM

As stated, the list of common incompatible apps was listed. Furthermore, most are those that weren't written for Intel Macs yet (they've had 4 years) or those that took advantage of an Input Managers issue for certain of their functions, which is rare for apps on a Mac since the huge majority don't need to be installed (and of those that do only a small percentage used Input Managers). Their is no need for folks to recode, unless their app was a PPC (they had 4 years) or used Input Managers (this was noted to be changed back when Leopard came out). Comparing this to Vista is ridiculous, and seems to be trolling. FYI, my only issue was the loss of iStat (Input Manager issue since it needed to be installed), but they already posted a new version.

Garryzm

September 3, 2009 2:42 PM

Okay Apple is good. Well better than other systems in my opinion, and I am a religious Apple user, but what amazes me is that with all the co
outing power and expertise they have (including Microsoft) they can't get it right the first time. It is all well and good to argue that users may want to hold off until the first revision, or backup, or read the fine print, but seriously isn't Apple about simplicity, ease of use, for the common ignorant computer user? Well that to me is the key selling point with which I convince my friends to switch and when a major upgrade like Snow Leopard comes along and is heavily advertised as so then Apple should get it right. They do a good job but let us not give them the benefit of the doubt when Steve's marketing machine present something as complete to the consumer and it isn't.. There is no harm in being a fanboy but stating that good enough is not good enough is important. Apple get it right the first time or you risk becoming another Microsoft.

Justin Berkovi

September 3, 2009 4:00 PM

I love Apple products and have done so since my good old Classic eons ago.

I have to say though that I hate Snow Leopard. I think it has been rushed and has left me with a MacBook that now is virtually useless:

1. My Vodafone USB Dongle immediately causes a massive Kernel error and crashes the entire machine. So I now can't take my MacBook out on the road.

2. Adobe CS4 programs are riddled with bugs and type problems are causing constant crashes and restarts.

3. There are no EPSON drivers for my printer so I can't print anything.

A disaster. In one hour my computer has gone from being a favourite workhorse to a totally useless piece of junk.

VERY disappointed.

Martin Doettling

September 3, 2009 9:08 PM

I agree with the author, it is difficult to gauge how widespread the upgrade issues and incompatibilities really are. It appears that the issues are sporadic and mostly associated with highly customized systems.

Having worked in the software business for the past 18 years, a simple fact of life is that software vendors can never ever test for all possible iterations and variations of software installs. Even in the most comprehensive testing environment one can only get it right for 90%, maybe 95% of all installs. The rest is simply not feasible nor is it economically justifiable.

In the case of my 17" MBP, the SL install couldn't have been smoother: 40 minutes, no issues, now running better and faster than ever.

I loath the day when it's time to move my XP and my Vista system to Windows 7. If early reports are to believed, it could be a colossal nightmare, both for the users, and more importantly, for Microsoft.

Ronald Willey

September 4, 2009 12:14 AM

I immediately upgraded to Snow Leopard and then found out that Windows Live Sync (WLS) does not sync. Working at 3 different work stations daily, I depend on WLS. It also looks like Calendar does not sync thru the Mobile me web site that does sync with my iPhone. Finally, Norton Antivirus is going crazy and I have no idea how to resolve this. I installed via Bootcamp Windows XP on my Mac Book Pro. I am amazed how fast the Windows Office Suite loads and runs (I didn't load a virus checking program yet). Sure hope all venders and Apple resolve the incompatibility issues soon. This release will hurt Apple's reputation long term. Previously, every Apple upgrade I made, went very smoothly.

Bill

September 4, 2009 2:07 AM

The biggest problem I've had with 10.6 is it makes Numbers unstable. I have several versions of a spreadsheet that will crash in 10.6 and work in 10.5. Apple is working on the problem, but no solution at this time..

Unbelievably Helpful Contributor

September 4, 2009 2:42 AM

@Justin

So what is it that is wrong with Snow Leopard? You've just indicted Epson, and Adobe, major players who've had ample time to get their products up to speed with an OS that has been in the public eye for how long? A year or more? Is it just me, or did Adobe just release CS4 like 3 months ago, knowing full well that they'd have to support SL sometime in the late summer or fall of this year? Is it possible that they'd like to sell the next version which is SL compatible to those who didn't buy into their 24 month upgrade program some working software at full market value?

Have you tried to run the OS in 32-bit mode?

I'm not sure what to say about your dongle, other than that's just funny on its face.

Why don't you restore the backup img of your leopard drive before update and take a deep breath and see if some of these fixes don't happen in a week or two.

What's that? You prematurely eMaculated? Sometimes when you don't wear a rubber, you end up down at the clinic waiting for a hypodermic.

@ whoever else is gonna post...

Btw, the most tired theme EVER is to compare Mac and Microsoft. They are different, we get it. They both achieve similar ends. Great. Hipster creative types use macs. Boring spreadsheet gurus and WOW nerds bask in the neon glow of their CRT monitors left over from 1985 or souped up liquid cooled customized 900W custom builds (respectively). Whatever.

You LOVE whatever machine you have and HATE whatever is not yours. You're the best. No comparison. Your positive experience obviously trumps anyone else's because you've probably used every hardware/software combination in the world, and LINUX has done everything faster and firster (wimu*) than anyone or anything else, only more awkwardly and with far more penguins.

Anyways, i don't have any more time for this, i'm too busy sorting through this last box of FORTRAN punch cards. i just know that i can sort out this Y2K error before it's too late and prove that you CAN think of everything ahead of time because it is so f-ing trite to say that hindsight is 20/20.

*Word Intentionally Made Up (this is for the humorous benefit of anyone left who actually cares about correct spelling, accurate use of the English language, or any sort of thoughtful consideration for anything other than their own perspective, idea, or personal fabrication).

Mike

September 4, 2009 10:40 AM

I updated to Snow Leopard 2 days ago. It starts faster and shuts down faster. Can't say I've actually noticed it any quicker when using it on a MacBook Pro with 4GB RAM within iWork 09 stuff or any other applictions and one problem I did have was Mail insisted on resurrecting an email account that was deleted from within Mail some 6 months ago and used obsolete password for another current email account. Another tiny grumble was losing the password for the WD_My Book drive over the network but it was easily fixed. The two shiny new apple stickers were very nice tho' :-)

Squeezebox

September 4, 2009 11:13 AM

@ unbelievably helpful: you take the fun out of everything! Some of us like jousting with the other side!

Adam

September 4, 2009 8:18 PM

I downloaded the new Snow Leopard and i'm having trouble running some of my applications like iChat, iCal, Photobooth. Safari works as well as iTunes. I try to open iChat and i get an error that says, "You can't use this version of the application iChat with this version of Mac OS X. You have iChat 4.0.8". Why am I getting this error and how to i fix this? I should add that my friend purchased it and burned it to a CD for me. I ran software update and my computer is up to date. I previously had leopard. I have Mac OS X 10.6

KISS

September 5, 2009 12:07 AM

To those of you complaining that there are problems with the upgrade process. I would say: Computers are complicated to start with. Add all sorts of custom software and added hardware and you are looking at an extremely complicated structure. That is why apple tries to control so much under it's own roof.

For there to be a perfect system every time would only be possible if an apple employee installed the software on a brand new computer with no ad-ons. If you are exchanging 20 gigs of complicated computer code for 7 gigs of computer code. There will be problems. If you Aren't prepared to put some time and frustration into the process. You have some choices.

If your system functions well as is. Don't upgrade. You'll likely not notice a huge difference

If you want to upgrade but don't want the frustration. Go to an apple store and have them upgrade for you.

People have had so many terrible experiences over the years with evil corporations that they have become super demanding of their needs being met at infinum. Time to take a step back and ask "Did they at least try and meet my needs?"

I think clearly apple has made a very good effort. As described in the article they did their best to make a good experience. If you want to find people to blame(because that's what we do) blame the people who make the software and products that you use that are not functioning. Most other companies are not held to the same standard as apple and skate by with crap quality.

gerry bro

September 5, 2009 7:59 AM

The release of SL is clearly rushed in order to beat W7 to the market place.The result is a complete lack of preparation and help from Apple in Australia about issues or how to fix them.
I have had a problem with mail since installing 10.6 (with 3 macs) and Apple Australia can not offer any help at all.

If a car was released with such obvious flaws there would be a recall- why do software manufacturers think it is ok to trial products on the public?


My advice to anyone in Australia thinking of installing SL who is not a supergeek capable of rebuilding the OS from the ground up is don't.

Jim Culmone

September 5, 2009 9:06 AM

A Mac user since '84. I'm disappointed in this so called upgrade. Apple could have thrown us a bone.. it's boring and doesn't look any different...

Vjogran

September 5, 2009 9:26 PM

snow leopard is apple's windows vista!!!

Marston Gould

September 6, 2009 11:54 AM

To Techgoose - not to be picky, but you are incorrect. Apple did public beta OS X back in the day when it was first released. I still have the public beta install disk.

Don Weiser

September 6, 2009 9:21 PM

I'm one of those with problems on just one iMac.
If you call MS Word crashing constantly, documents lost, only my Brother laser printer will print and only for the iMac attached directly to it, my 2 HP printers are useless.
Try checking for Help/Updates in Firefox; not pretty.
Honestly, after many years as a Windows user, I was very spoiled by Leopard.
Snow Leopard puts me back in my Windows days full of frustration except, unlike Windows, there is help and good help over at Apple Support.
My advice to you is what Ed said to do, wait 6 months.
I wish I'd listened.

Anne Elterman

September 7, 2009 6:20 PM

Snow Leopard does not print wirelessly from my Canon Pixma 980. Leopard did! Down with the new. Little help from both Apple and Canon!

Robert Cabes

September 8, 2009 9:51 PM

I am always amazed at these comment strings after any OS upgrade. I installed Snow Leopard on 5 machines in my office, had only one incompatibility, naturally a Microsoft product, with a message to download Rosetta, which cleared it up. I have Epson drivers, everything works as well as it did before, and I have 14 GB back, which is especially good on a laptop. I realize there can be esoteric hardware that may require updating, but very simply this ¨worked" (which is what I expect. Try upgrading from XP to 7 and see how much fun that is.

Chester Vlasic

September 9, 2009 8:32 AM

I think that those who have been belittling the complaints and concerns from users with Snow Leopard upgrade issues are excellent examples of why most people just want a computer that works without the need for being technically savvy.

The majority of responses are from techies who are lashing out at users who have seen their systems bricked by an operating system upgrade. Apple did not tout this as the second coming, but a tweak that would provide more features and a more secure platform for future applications to take advantage of the 64bit processors. Most users assumed it was just going to make their computers faster and better.

Given how Apple markets the Mac it is anything but naive of users to think that Apple would soften the transition to Snow Leopard. While nothing can be made idiot-proof without also making it virtually unusable (see first generation Vista), a compatibility checker would not have been difficult and would have at least avoided problems for most people.

One week to validate the final code. Give me a break.

Several key programs that I use are standard tools for small business users and they are not operable in Snow Leopard. Of course a week went by before the vendor even had the chance to review the software and determine that major changes were needed.

Now the Apple geeks are on every forum claiming that the problem is with the vendors, not Apple. That is naive. In the real world the computer is a tool to accomplish tasks and those tasks require software and hardware. Apple tells users that they don't have to be technicians, just connect it and go to work. Just insert the disk or download the program and it will work.

Along comes Snow Leopard and this is no longer true. All of the sudden users, many of who have never done anything technical with their computers, are being told they have to update drivers, run utility programs multiple times, and otherwise go through complex procedures to get their systems to even accept Snow Leopard, only then to find out that their printers are useless and their software crashes or spits out errors.

The word is disillusionment. The Apple fanatics can bemoan the naivete and what they consider whining, but in the end Apple messed up and they are going to be paying a price for pulling back the curtain and showing that the Mac and OS/X have become just as labor intensive to maintain as the PC and Windows.

People gladly paid the premium for a Mac to get simplicity and ease of use, but now they have to pay for a new printer and new software just to be able to continue to use their system with Snow Leopard. It remains to be seen if Apple can get the shine back.

RT

September 9, 2009 12:14 PM

Thanks for breaking filemaker 8.5 printing a $29 upgrade has now cost me $500

JP

September 9, 2009 4:35 PM

@Robert Cabes
"Try upgrading from XP to 7 and see how much fun that is."
Just did upgrade to 7 Enterprise (final) on my PC desktop. It was flawless and fun too. I'll be upgrading my MacBook Pro to Snow when I hear of some solid updates from Apple.

connor Smith

September 10, 2009 12:39 AM

this severe lagging that is happening to people after installs is OS X trying to index your Hard Drive. If you don't believe me after installing snow leopard look at the spotlight icon if their is a blinking dot it means it is indexing, this can take lots of time depending on how large your hard drive is.

porsay

September 10, 2009 4:19 PM

Immediately after upgrading to SL. my printer stopped working. Then every MS Word item I opened would only open in Textedit. It did not help to drag them across
the Word icon. Them immediately reverted to Textedit.

Fortunately, I had a backup copy and immediately erased my harddrive and copy the back onto it.

I have had Macs since 1987. This is the only upgrade
that has given me any trouble. This is a setback for
Apple. I hope Steve Jobs is recovered.

Lindsay

September 19, 2009 6:37 PM

I upgraded to SL five days ago and have spent the past five days with a useless computer. It fails to print, doesn't recognise the printer, photos attached to mail messages causes it to crash, excel crashes, even moving the finder around the screen causes it to crash. I have been in touch with Canon for a driver but am informed that none is available. I'm a photographer and my £800 newish printer is now useless. I have been an Apple devotee for decades - Classic, LC475, Powerbooks, Imac Mac books and this is the worst product that Apple has ever brought out. This is ruining Apples reputation and has lost me significant amount of money this week. Truly an awful product, don't buy it.

Erin Womble

September 21, 2009 10:54 AM

Snow Leopard is evil. I installed it over the weekend. After saying installation successful, it asked my 45 times to install Rosetta - which it still hasn't done. Tech support is stumped - they suggested I take my computer to the Apple Store. "Perhaps it's a bad disc."

Since installing this weekend, I've had to reinstall the entire Microsoft Office 2008, Quark and Acrobat Professional. Everytime I open something new, it seems to crash...

Don't make the switch to Snow Leopard - to many issues!!

Nick

September 23, 2009 1:48 AM

I have been using Apple products ever since I entered design school over a decade ago. Usually I have nothing but praise for Apple's products, they are almost always beautifully thought out, well-engineered pieces of technology. Sadly, I have to say that Snow Leopard is utter rubbish. I run a Mac Pro, and I thought that nothing could slow it down or make it unstable; somehow Snow Leopard managed to do just that.

The Finder is clunky and unstable - it is not at all "snappier and more responsive" as Apple claims, quite the opposite. I have had the Finder crash at least 4 times in the last 2 weeks since I installed it. I've had random problems with Quicktime X as well as other third party applications. It just doesn't seem as smooth, elegant or cohesive as Leopard. I could go on and on about every issue I've encountered but I'll spare you.

I highly recommend NOT upgrading to Snow Leopard. It is buggy, buggy, buggy. A LOT of people are reporting these sorts of problems. When you upgrade to Snow Leopard, you really are replacing your $129 OS with a $30 OS, and that's exactly what it feels like.

S Swail

September 24, 2009 10:58 PM

I also wouldn't do Snow Leopard yet. I did it and am not pleased, mostly because of Windows Live Sync. I rely heavily on WLS for my business. Now my Macs don't work on it. As a workaround, I now just use my MacBook Pro on the Windows 7 side (which I have installed), and use WLS there. Not perfect, but it works. Anyway, my office programs work way better on the PC side of my Mac than on the Mac side. Go figure. Thanks Microsoft.

Emilio Lavignasse

September 26, 2009 8:19 PM

Same here, problems printing with Filemaker Pro 8.5 Advance; slow loading Excel and Word 2008 and no real gain.
Stay away from Snow Leopard!

wally

September 27, 2009 2:10 AM

As a dedicated mac user, and one who tends to have faith in the reliability and the "it just works" thing related to osx to date, I updated to snow leopard. As an ex programmer I do appreciate that there would be a few problems but previously osx upgrades were very reliable and I suppose I had a bit of blind faith in Apple technology - I also back up with time machine.

I had no end of small problems, but problems no less, that became very annoying and stressful including printing of course, mobile broadband, apps working but not as they were, some not ... in short the once very stable reliable and easy to use mac wasn't. After reading of more problems on the forums I decided to restore back to leopard.

Following the instructions, my heart skipped a beat or three when the restore failed. A clue from the forums prompted me to boot from the leopard disk and restore from this - no problem and I now have a once more stable, wonderful system.

It seems that Apple have dropped the ball on this one - it obviously was not tested sufficiently (heads should roll). It has been compared to the vista debacle which does no good for Apples reputation. Microsoft must be loving this - if it can bring out a good windows 7 it would not reflect well on Apple.

However, in my opinion, osx and macs in general are streets ahead but Apple should not become complacent - please get your act together - maybe a reissue of SL.

James Carter

September 29, 2009 8:18 AM

Apple have seriously dropped the ball on this one and don't seem to want to recognise that so many people are having problems.

My MacBook is six months old. Running the old OSX I never had one problem - nothing.

Now with Snow Leopard installed, Microsoft Excel is so slow you just can't use it. iPhoto is flakey. InDesign CS4 is a complete disaster. Not only is it dreadfully slow it crashes when you try to print and you have to perform a Force Quit. Printing has been a disaster across most apps and I've also had many problems with external drives.

Yes I've tried reinstalling Snow Leopard. Yes I've repaired permissions and disks. I've lost count how many times I've run Disk Utility. THIS IS A SIX MONTH OLD MAC!

Come on Apple get your shit together.

cornelius matwijecky

September 29, 2009 11:57 PM

I have had nothing but headaches since I upgraded to Snow Leopard. I also have Windows XP partitioned on my hard drive and have to reboot using Bootcamp. My computer now is so slow and loading any email program whether hotmail, gmail or mac.com are slow as molasses. My windows Xp does not function as well. The printer issue finally was resolved with the new driver repairs and the printer works at last. I have downloaded the latest upgrade to 10.6.1 but when I try to load the new Safari download upgrade it will not load because it states that I require OS X 10.5.8! Well I have OS X 10.6.1 as my latest upgrade but by computer does lot recognize that and so I cannot upgrade to Safari 4. Anon, anon, anon. The Mac technical support person was very patient and recommended that I save or back up all my files to an external hard drive and then wipe my hard drive and remove Windows XP on its partitioned hard disc space and do a clean install of Snow Leopard because the Windows XP might be the problem. My family members want me to cease and desist because they are afraid they will lose valuable information such as all their I-Tunes music etc. ANY SOLUTIONS FROM ANYONE or SUGGESTIONS?

Tony

October 1, 2009 9:59 PM

I upgraded two machines, A 2007 iMac and a 2009 Macbook Pro. Prior to the upgrade they used an identical image. bit for bit. The Macbook Pro worked like a champ. The iMac sucked wind. ( spaces was slow, Time machine no longer did incremental backups, Firefox crashed, and, at on certain sites, the video card went nuts and filled the screen with garbage. Other apps just acted weird, ( actions are delayed when a key was hit or the screen didn't refresh as quickly as it used to ). Luckily I kept the original boot image so all is good now.

I work with literally hundreds of servers and all major software platforms in a corporate data-center environment and can tell you that my issues were not application compatibilities. It's Apple being sloppy with their builds and not testing adequately.

Charles Van Heerden

October 5, 2009 7:37 AM

As a big Apple fan, I am really disappointed with system performance with Snow Leopard. I have regular crashes with MS Office, as well as other applications.

Also had major issues with HP, not really Apple's fault, but I just wonder if they have given enough time to third party developers to update drivers.

Come on Apple, you can do better!

Paul Bielicky

October 5, 2009 5:24 PM

All I can tell you is that Adobe CS3 and CS4 have lots of glitches which are enough to effect your work. The problems where serious enough for me, to remove Snow Leopard and turf it in the garbage. Unless you intend on buying CS5 for about $1,800.00, (when available) I would stay clear of this OS. It's not worth the upgrade even for $35.00. Give it a couple of years until all the 3 party vendors have updated their apps to run properly on Snow Leopard.

Jukka Palm

October 7, 2009 3:11 AM

I'm also very disappointed - some app's stopped to work. Greatest problem for me is OnOne Software Photoshop plugins. Juniper Networks VPN software is also incompatible. It's also very starange that system shutdown takes about two minutes after update. I'm lucky enough to have quite new Timemachine backup before update - I'm going back to my old Leopard.

Zach M.

October 8, 2009 3:24 PM

My experience was fine at first. Then apps started to run extremely slow, crashes were often, and the pinwheel showed up more often. Im thinking of reverting back to 10.5.8 knowing I'll be more efficient with it. Good thing they didn't call it "Cheetah"...

The price is cutting edge. The idea of making the OS more slim lined and quicker was great. But if the author's remarks are true with Apple, then I'm a little disappointed in them. Most Apple fans were going to buy regardless and making it more accessible with the price will bring even more buyers around for the update, but what about the user experience Apple has always cared and excelled at?

Maybe 10.5.8 was as good as it gets for this release... Maybe the features should be aimed for on OS 11.

Robert Borowski

October 19, 2009 12:32 PM

Sounds like most of you are Mac-tards. Answer me some things here...Why would you pay 4 times as much for a computer that has obvious fallacies in its' OS and uses intel based hardware? Apple doesnt beta test anything and its users compose 2% of the worlds' computer users. I use a MAC at work and its substandard for the amount of money involved. A 4500.00 MAC G4 is an absurdity. I can build 3 machines with the same hardware and Windows 7, which may I add had been deeply tested, for the same amount of money. Also I will have reliability which no mac from now till 25 years ago has ever had.
PC Forever.

wally

October 19, 2009 9:55 PM

Robert,
I think you missed the point of this group of comments - it is all about 1 version of an update that has a few problems. Are you going to tell us Windows doesn't suffer similarly ?

Leopard has been exceptionally reliable, fast, and in my opinion easy to use. Apple informed us that some applications would have problems with Snow leopard but, as I said, minor or not, they can become annoying so back to leopard for me. I suspect Snow leopard is a stepping stone for more to come. We should separate the OS and Apps for any discussions of reliability.
As far as cost goes - yes Macs are more expensive but one does not have to go to extremes - in my case the extra cost was well worth the advantages as I see them.

You are obviously a Windows enthusiast - fine if that suits you, but as an (old) programmer, I find the Mac OSX far more user friendly and reliable and simply "works" - as far as available software, well except for maybe games (which I do not use) there is plenty available for all applications. In any case I can run any windows software concurrently with Mac apps so that is no problem.

My son runs an internet cafe (windows machines because, as you say, most people are used to using windows stuff). He has tried Vista and Windows 7, both leading to disaster - he has returned to XP which apparently is sufficiently reliable for his application (for now).
All in all this Windows Vs Mac thing is very subjective so if you are happy with what you use why denigrate those doing exactly the same thing ?

Viper

October 20, 2009 2:31 PM

I wish the apple lovers would just admit. That Snow Leopard is just as bad as vista when it came out. I love and hate both computers. Windows needs to come out with a commercial about how bad SL is just like apple likes to poke at microsoft. I guess karma really is a bitch.

JohnS

October 21, 2009 2:48 PM

I upgraded a MacBook and a Mac Mini and both have had network issues and/or Safari 4.0 issues with pages loading very slow or not at all. Even clean installs did not help. A performance update seemed to help with many of these issues. But Safari 4 to me should have been tested more. I have a feeling although Apple brags it is Acid 3 compliant. I think it breaks some web sites by doing so. Unfortunately not every site goes by Acid 3. Too bad but a reality check.
I agree that Apple pretty much did what Microsoft did and forgot to give time to its partners to fix their drivers and software to work with SL. I know so many Apple fans stick up for Apple no matter what. But they are missing the point that Apple is supposed to be simple is what they tout. So even a small percentage of user's who are having problems is a issue. They expect more then a Microsoft experience.

les

October 24, 2009 9:03 AM

Would you ever take your brand new macbook pro -top of the line-which comes installed with snow leopard, and downgrade it to leopard in order to avoid supposed compatibility issues with your existing software-- specifically Office 08 and photoshop cs4?

PeterG

October 27, 2009 12:52 AM

I hate Snow Leopard. After seeing the Mac ads on TV recently trashing Windows for upgrade issues, I think Apple should be ashamed.

I have two printers that won't work, the HP Laserjet 1020 which worked on Leopard but has now been rendered obsolete, and an HP Laserjet P1006 bought as a replacement, but which won't print PDF files. Apple blames HP, HP blames Apple and Adobe is silent.

Windows XP running with VMware Fusion does not recognize any printers. It is impossible to get any work done. I am taking the new printer back, and I guess I will use my old laptop running XP. I wish I had NEVER "upgraded" to OSX.

Davn

October 27, 2009 11:04 PM

snow + CS4 is HORRIBLE MESS.
CS4 finder and networking is BIG FAT MESS.
Crashes in Snow is TOTAL MESS.

SNOW IS SLUSH. THIS IS CRAP and I bought an iMac with it pre-installed and can't go back.

CLUSTER.

Ash

October 30, 2009 10:42 AM

at work i use adobe production premium CS4 on a very high spec mac pro and sadly its running very slow compared to my imac at home which was less then half the price of this machine and is running the previous OS. Adobe "support" is utterly useless ....

John S

November 3, 2009 11:16 AM

Apple's biggest problem is its denial by both Apple itself and its loyal user's. Who commonly blame someone else besides Apple for problems. This is just the opposite with Windows users. They tend to blame Microsoft when its common for third party vendors to be the problem. This was common with Vista. Apple with Snow leopard has gone down that same path. In my own opinion Apple pushed out Snow leopard early to beat Windows 7. This surprised third parties who were not ready. Second, Apple was not ready to support SL itself and still thinks if its own software works everything will be OK. Heck even Safari has problems with SL and why this was not addressed before SL release is beyond me. Again Flash has been targeted? One thing I have found working with both Windows 7 and Snow leopard. Snow Leopard has created more problems for more users running basic systems then Windows 7 has. But the most frustrating thing for me about Apple is their lack of transparency about problems. Even when they are solved.

snakiy

November 3, 2009 6:40 PM

Great to see the fanatics are here too-Apple is going to need them. 10.6 isn't very old at all and stories are now starting to unfold-particularly wifi connection issues.

It's always good to keep the lid on things too-that way the resulting explosion will be all the more messy. Got to love that perverse face saving strategy.

Walter

November 4, 2009 1:02 PM

The worst mistake I have ever made in the computing world. Show Leopard is a night mare, Apple should be Ashamed of itself. Steve Jobs is a ASSHOLE for letting this out to the consumers.

Andy

November 4, 2009 7:11 PM

This pile of doo is worse than Vista. Shame on Apple!

-hh

November 5, 2009 7:07 AM

@ Chester Vlasic:

"One week to validate the final code. Give me a break."

The first developer's beta = June 2008
The last developer's beta = August 2009

For any developer who was actually doing his job, he had 14 months with which to cull down his list of incompatibilities and provide feedback.

The general problem is that you're trying to compare how Microsoft developers operate versus on the Apple side of the fence. Briefly, MS Developers have gotten burned too many times and thus strongly distrust MS, so they don't really even start any serious code work until MS *claims* to have completed (ie Golden Master). Thus, MS has learned to have months of delay between GM and release to compensate (with a serial process) due to their 3rd party developers' reluctance to risk getting burned by developing in parallel.

Thus said, I do agree with most of the essence of your other comments: much of this is early adopters and individuals who expect old legacy devices to be supported forever, for free.

Another big question mark is how many of the complaints are coming from "Hackintosh" techies, who aren't running genuine Apple hardware? In general, these users are disproportionally over-represented on tech forums, and there has become a popular naiveté that the "Just Works" paradigm applies to unsupported hardware.

The simple bottom line to all of this is that Early Adopters always take risks. Doesn't matter if we're talking new OS software, or the first year of manufacture of a new automobile. For OS upgrades, my personal rule of thumb is that since my PC isn't an entertainment toy, I always wait for the first update before even starting to consider if/when to upgrade. Its a simple risk:benefit analysis.


-hh

Liam Sands

November 6, 2009 6:34 PM

Hi all!

I was excited to upgrade from Leopard but now I'm wishing I hadn't. I use music software such as Logic & Pro Tools and my mac is now worse than ever. Things quit unexpectedly all the time and it can be very frustrating if there is something I am working on.

I'm wondering whether any future updates will fix this or whether I should just go back to good old stable Leopard.

MG

November 7, 2009 9:39 AM

My MacBook Pro has turned into the most unreliable Mac I have ever owned ever since I upgraded to Snow Leopard. I have constant crashes and spinning wheels, the main culprits are Excel and Entourage with occasional freezes from Safari, yes it's the latest version of Safari.
I took it to the Genius Bar in London when I was there and the Genius was aware of the problems and did something (no idea what!) and sent me on my way sayingThis has fixed it" two days later the same crashes and spinning wheels.

Geezer

November 12, 2009 10:07 AM

I upgraded (hah) a MacBook Pro to Slow Leopard and have had a month of hell. At least 50% slower, pdf files won't open in Firefox, Word files vanish in thin air, etc. Mac OS 10.6.2 is a total disaster, as a little googling will clearly demonstrate for you.

At least SW, bless his heart, and others warned us about Vista. This nightmare has come out of the blue, and so far Apple has done nothing you can download to fix the mess.

Apple has betrayed it's loyal base of individual computer users big time. I'm already pricing PCs with OS 7.

Perhaps some of you Apple polishers on here could explain what exactly due diligence means as applied to computer purchases and take the trouble to explain how you have so easily made Slow Leopard just dandy.

coom

November 21, 2009 11:09 PM

I have several problems with very mainstream applications. Put off installing SL.

Stormy

November 22, 2009 9:03 AM

Snow Leopard is kicking my butt ... I have had more crashes in the last month than I had in the previous decade of using Macs. And I have to disagree with one of the earlier comments (Techgoose?) about testing the new OS on an "extra machine" or not installing the new OS right away. I don't have an extra machine, and I always viewed the problems inherent with the introduction of a new OS something Windows users had to worry about - but not us.

I fear Mac is becoming more and more like Windows - but with fewer apps. That's a path to failure.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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