Reader reaction to Apple's decision to scrap the British version of its Mac operating system (see "Apple defends UK Mac OS 9 chop") has been vociferous - and generally 'unfavourable', I mean 'unfavorable'.
Despite, Apple's claims that the move would mean faster operating-system and hardware introductions and allow easier software updating, Macworld Online readers are demanding the return of the British-English version of Mac OS 9 and the exile of the hated US-centric "International-English" version.
Even Windows speaks English
Apple UK polled "a large group" of British users and found them more concerned with localized paper sizes and Date-&-Time issues than with "the odd spelling incongruity".
They never asked me! And I sell Macs to home users!
This is suicide. Even Windows is UK localized. This is yet another hurdle to overcome trying to compete against the like of Time and Tiny Computers.
Apple UK is living in dreamland if it thinks it can get away with this, especially after the Apple Expo fiasco.
I am aggravated beyond belief at Apple's constant undermining of its loyal customer base in the British Isles. If Apple wants to cut costs then let it sell the US-phonetic English version to the non-native English speakers and leave the native British-English version alone. Pretending that the US-based, phonetic 'International-English' is another language yet again just boggles the mind!
Apple could save even more money - and aggravation - by not selling to Britain at all. That would mean an excuse to not having "International" English either. Pronounced 'eye-thur'! It need sell only the US-phonetic English. Massive savings all round.
Just a shame that another language bites historic dust due to a personal inability to learn the 'Mother' language. I hope I am being grammatically incorrect enough!
Best wishes to fellow English speaking dinosaurs.
- David W Gameson
My dear, what's on?
I've just read your article about the "non-British" Mac OS 9. I personally don't think it's that big a deal - the issue of spellings is annoying rather than fundamentally disturbing. But, something that wasn't mentioned in the article, and which I think IS a big issue, is what happened to Sherlock.
Mac OS 8.6 is stuffed full of UK search sites for Sherlock; Sherlock 2 in Mac OS 9 has none whatsoever. Bearing in mind that Sherlock is supposed to be the keystone of Apple's approach to the brave new world of hyperspace, I find this omission extremely disturbing.
Apple also seems to be suffering from a form of rampant institutionalized arrogance - why didn't they tell us what they were planning to do? Seems like we've just got to take what we're given regardless of what we think about it.
It all smacks of a hurried, bodged, cost-saving measure.
- Bill Murray, Livingston, Scotland
Following recent events (Apple Expo, lack of UK version of OS 9, changes to G4s, etc.) I can only presume that Steve Jobs intends to close the folder named 'UK Mac users', drag it to the newly named Wheelie Bin and dump the lot of us!!!!
- Justin Spain
We English-speaking Canadians have been favoured with the unmodified US version of the Mac OS for years now.
Not being the centre (surely you mean 'center'? - ed) of the universe, our American (by the way, America does NOT include Canada!) version does not include Canadian spelling (which is quite similar to the British), and also comes with the wrong date format (US month/day/year, rather than Canadian/British day/month/year).
Finally, Canadians refer to the "alley-way icon" not as a Trash can but as a Garbage can (your Bins, I believe).
- Mark Hume, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Mac education trashed
For nearly 10 years now, I've been trying to tell anyone who'd listen how much better the Mac is than the PC. I know I'm not alone - the same applies to almost every Mac user I've ever met. A remarkable situation, in view of Apple's continual practice of attempting to build a barrier between itself and what must be just about the most evangelical, loyal bunch of customers any corporation could wish for in its wildest dreams.
During that time, and despite the lack of any real customer care - apart from slick PR and corporate affairs exercises - I must have purchased about £350,000 of Mac equipment for myself and my staff.
Well, I have to say that the presentation of OS 9 to the British market is just about the last straw - 'trash' instead of 'wastebasket' (along with a host of other US spellings), an AppleWorks updater that only works on US versions, a StuffIt Expander that doesn't work at all. Presumably, Apple have abandoned the educational market - along with Europe's Apple Expo exhibition - because no English teacher is going to let his kids pick-up transatlantic spelling from this OS.
Whatever you think Windows, Bill Gates does at least provide an alternative. I, for one, am getting tired of paddling upstream - I'd keep doing it, too, if only I wasn't getting punched in the face by Apple at the same time.
I'm sitting typing this on a new G3/450, and I'm astounded and deeply saddened to realize that this latest piece of cost-accounting nonsense (because that's what it is) is making me think quite seriously of binning the whole lot and buying a Windows machine.
However strong your belief, there comes a point where you simply have to vote with your feet and walk quietly away.
- Chris. A Ferne
Opportunity (not) knocks
Apple's scrapping of British-English in favour of International-English is an opportunity as much as it is a problem. I bet that some enterprising programmer will produce an extension or some sort of customization to give users the choice of British or International.
- Spec Bowers
What do you think? Are you in 'favor' of Apple's decision to scrap the British version of the Mac OS? Or does it send you a funny 'color'? Tell us what you think: [email protected]
To get to the 'UK OS' index click here