The majority of Macworld readers taking part in this week's poll are looking forward to getting their hands on the next iteration of Mac OS X – Tiger.
But while 56 per cent of readers claim they will buy the upgrade when it ships in the first half of next year, a quarter (25 per cent) don't think that it is worth £99, Apple's usual price for OS updates.
Another 18 per cent of the 1,489 voters are waiting for more information before they make up their minds.
Some forum posters are full of praise for the new features in Mac OS X Tiger, others are less impressed and don't think they are worth the £99 price tag. Apple claims the new iteration will include 150 new features and demonstrated a number of these at its Worldwide Developers Conference last week.
Under the spotlight
A number of readers are completely sold on the idea of Spotlight, Apple's "revolutionary" way to instantly find any file. "Spotlight is astounding, the meta-data handling is really superb," says one.
Another says: "Spotlight is soooo fast – amazingly fast. It searches everything in a drop of a hat; truly amazing."
One reader admits that the productivity boost offered by Spotlight will be a bonus. "I think it's going to offer a considerable productivity boost now that many users will be storing vast numbers of files on huge hard disks. Being able to search in this way and have instant access to your files is superb, and is something Redmond has been striving for over the years but never quite achieved."
But for some readers Spotlight just isn't special enough. "My stuff is well organized – I don't need Spotlight," says one.
Dashing about on Safari
One new feature that has generated a lot of debate is Dashboard. Described as "Everything you need in a dash,” Dashboard offers instant access to accessory applications – Widgets – such as stock quotes, webcams, calendars and calculators. The reason for the debate is the similarity between this feature and an application called Konfabulator.
It seems that forum respondents are not completely sold on the concept of Widgets, however. "That's a feature that I'm not at all sure about, but there again I never took to Konfabulator when I tried it and couldn't work out what it was offering that the System 7-Mac OS 9 Control Strip hadn't already done for me."
Another says: "Widgets – bah – I'd buy Konfabulator if I wanted them and it's available now."
One reader wants his Widgets. "I like and use Widgets, usually for monitoring CPU or other housekeeping chores. I use Konfabulator and like that application, so I guess I would probably use this feature too."
One feature that receives nothing but praise is the incorporation of instant access to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) newsfeeds into the upgraded version of Apple's Web browser Safari that will be offered in Mac OS X Tiger.
"I will probably upgrade to 10.4 as I am keen to get hold of the RSS feeds in Safari," says one.
Another states: "RSS in the browser is a good feature which I would use – I already do!"
Another new feature that comes with Tiger is a new version of iChat. It offers multi-person audio and video conferencing in a 3D interface, according to Apple.
However, this isn’t a considered much of a bonus to one reader: "I don't own an webcam so iChat AV isn’t a lot of use to me," he says.
But another reader is impressed: "The ability to have a three way conversation would be great."
The new iteration of Mac OS X also offers native support for 64-bit applications – another new feature that will not be a benefit to all Mac users. One reader picks up on this, saying: "If I had a G5 then maybe, just maybe, it would be worth it for the OS being 64-bit aware."
The price isn't right
Regardless of their appreciation of the new features being offered in Tiger, many readers will not be upgrading because they feel the £99 price point is too high.
One reader explains: "Don't get me wrong, I'm not against either upgrading my OS occasionally, nor re-subscribing to .Mac (which I have done for the last two years, and will again this). But £99 every year is a lot of cash for some people to spend for what, for most home users, is a lot of cool features they may not regularly use."
Another adds: "I don't doubt the OS is improving all the time. A £59.95 upgrade would be fine, but not another £100 for 150 tweaks."
One reader suggests: "Maybe a discount for users who bought the last version could help – Steve, are you listening?"