I’ve been reading some of the feedback and talk about Tiger throughout the ‘net. One of the interesting ones was a short interview of Derrick Storey at Apple Matters.
Derrick is a smart guy, I’ve enjoyed his writing and last year spent an hour or so chatting with him at O’Reilly’s OS X conference. More important is that he is a guy who uses a computer for work – rather than working on computers as I do.
The guy says a couple of interesting things, including Panther (10.3) was the upgrade we had to have – before that OS X was “an emerging OS” and Tiger begins the “refinement phase”. I know exactly what he means. Panther has, particularly at the user level, always felt to me like a ‘real operating system’ with all the tools I’ve needed. OK, at the Server level I’ve seen a few holes in Panther – most starting to fill in with Tiger Server (better LDAP integration and support, better Active Directory integration, an alternative to SharePoint).
At the user level what I see in Tiger is starting points for fully integrated refinement. I’m betting that the version of Tiger we’re seeing now is given to us so that Apple can watch what we need to complete the task. Dashboard, Automator and Spotlight are marvelous tools but at deep levels they all feel just a fraction incomplete. Between 10.3.0 and 10.3.9 Apple did a fair amount of deep work. I’m hoping that the same deep work is still going on with Tiger. I’d also surmise that Tiger is the first step in making OS X a better enterprise operating system – the LDAP and AD improvements in Server and the better address book point strongly to this.
Oh, and if you want to know my favourite new tech in Tiger Server, the one that will have the biggest impact. Blogging, without a doubt, blogging. I think Blosjom is going to gain a huge kick along in function when all those Server administrators start working on plugins, expect some great things. With some work from Apple, the Blosjom community and all the new users we might end up with an open source alternative to SharePoint that will blow Microsoft away.