Mac, News, Software

Apple, Where’s My Software?

Software

I have an old 2006 MacBook Pro that I just reformatted and installed Lion on and was planning to reinstall my software so I could give my old Macbook to my daughter as a first computer.  Here’s the rub, I was disappointed and upset to find out that I can’t download any older versions of software that I bought and paid for.  When I click on Pages the App Store reports the computer is too old, iMovie says the video card is not supported, etc, etc.Software

So what’s the deal Apple, do we no longer buy software, are we merely renting it until you determine it is outdated?  My old MacBook is alive and well and would serve my daughter well if not for this software debacle. This is especially frustrating when you are selling an older Mac. You surely want to wipe it clean and install the software before handing it over to the new owner.

This planned obsolescence really creates a problem for those with older hardware. I realize the machine is old, but it works perfectly well and is more than suitable for my young daughter.  Not having access to purchased software that was on this computer is not a very customer friendly position.  I’m not going to give my daughter my brand new Macbook Pro to explore with, why should I, I have a perfectly good older Macbook Pro that had all the software she would need.

This is not an issue of Apple not supporting older software. I don’t need you to support it, I merely expect you to make available what I previously purchased. I have no expectations of receiving support for software that has past its life cycle. As a former Support Manager in the software industry, I know a thing or two about a software product’s life-cycle. I’ve written policy, implemented it and published an article on the subject.

What a customer expects when they pay for software is that it will be made available to them and that they will determine when it is no longer useful.  Apple should not be making this decision for us. As long as an Apple customer has the hardware, Apple should provide the software that was purchased with it.  This only seems to support a growing level of distrust a growing number of people have for software purchased and downloaded from or hosted in the cloud.  That goes for hardware supported in the cloud as well, (See Revolv Hub Shutdown).

I have the solution to my particular problem with backups on disk of iWork and iLife, but others are not so lucky. I just thought I would make this point since the disks were not immediately available to me when I was setting up the old Macbook. I thought I would just download them and was very disappointed when that was not an option.  Apple, your products are generally expensive, they are worth the money you ask for them, but since your customers pay a premium for your products you really should make it easier for us to extend the life of these great machines by anticipating and providing for this need.  I know I’m not the only one experiencing this frustration since I found many posts from frustrated legacy Mac users who are faced with the same problem.  When older Macs are passed on they are usually given to someone that has never owned one, so in a sense we’re cultivating new customers.

There are some sources for old Mac software out there like, OldApps.com, or The Vintage Mac Museum for really old software, but Apple’s own older titles are missing, which makes owning an older Mac problematic.  If there is a source for older Apple software out there please let me know and I will certainly update this article, but as far as I can tell, if I did not have my old iLife and iWork disks, I’d be S.O.L.

Apple, do us a favor, let your customers determine when their hardware and software is no longer useful. It costs very little to host a server with final builds of legacy software you could make available for download. The understanding that the old titles are no longer supported is a given, but please make the files available and let the user work through any usability issues.  At some point, we’ll give up and buy a new Mac. Just let that be a decision your customers arrive at and not one forced upon them.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of CupertinoTimes.com.
 
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Carmine Delligatti-Drummer, former Support Manager for Deneba Software, ACD Systems, Mareware, Inc. and Swiss Made Marketing. Avid technology blogger and Managing Editor of Cupertinotimes.com.