“Several New Features”

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, and I apologize to the two people subscribed to my newsfeed. (That may be wishful thinking; I should run it through FeedBurner and find out.) Things may or may not be more regular during the summer.

Today’s post is a snarky one; next week should be back to the “cool programming features”. It came to mind when viewing a Mac Rumors article, “Snow Leopard Videos Demonstrating Several New Features Surface”. You can take a moment to skim the news/rumor, then come back and see if you agree with me.

“Several new features”? In the first paragraph, two of those are minor UI changes, three are potentially welcome but still not that exciting, and the very first has been in Windows for years. I’m not saying “Put Back” isn’t useful, but I hope they have the sense not to put it in their marketing campaign. The Spaces and Substitutions “features” are sort of building on older stuff. (Substitutions seems like Office AutoCorrect in a framework and might be turned off as soon as I get Snow Leopard.) The changes to the Finder prefs do not fix the old and new UI problems plaguing that cornerstone app—though I’ll admit I do full-computer searches more than home-directory-only ones. And QuickTime X (ten? ex? MR calls it “10”) is just a new UI (okay, nice) on QuickTime Pro, which should have been made free a long time ago.

OK, so these are videos, and the article’s only about what’s in the videos. And hey, didn’t Steve Jobs say Snow Leopard would only have one new user-facing feature?

It’s not that I mind not having new features. I just don’t like old features being repackaged and sold. Especially not “Put Back”, since Apple has had a long history of making fun of Microsoft for stealing feature ideas. (Which, by the way, does not mean the feature should not be included; it just means you shouldn’t make it a major selling point. Which, AFAIK, Apple hasn’t. So okay.)

For the other side of this, see an Apple fan’s updated version of a classic Apple ad from 1995 (via Waffle). These are forward-facing features, and it shows one of the problems with Microsoft’s current behavior (at least with regard to their OS): despite having a ridiculously high market share, they’re playing catch-up to Mac OS X, when they should be parading and upgrading Windows like a leader, with new features.