Comes from this post:
[quote=113096:@Eduardo Gutierrez de Oliveira]Well, kidding aside, I have one friend who keeps an old PPC mac and a “modern” Intel mac with Leopard (10.5) so he can keep using MORE and MacDraw (one in each).
MacDraw kept existing and being updated as ClarisDraw but this user happened to prefer MacDraw. ClarisDraw in turn was made obsolete not by Apple but by the market itself, where it became a small player and was discontinued along with AppleWorks.
MORE was a product created by Dave Winer (of RSS fame and who created the first blogging platform) in 1987, sold to Symantec and then discontinued by Symantec in 1991. Its existence and obsolescence in Macintosh are a product of their developers, not Apple.
What we’re talking here are software products from the Windows 3.11 era which kept working more than a decade after they had been discontinued and stopped receiving support officially. Neither are “Apple-promoted technologies”, only happen to run on Apple hardware/operating systems.
In both cases, Apple made enormous changes to the infrastructure and made sure the software ran OK in it. When switching to PPC from 68K it supported the older code natively for over 10 years in the PPC platform.
I had a software called “Bus’d Out” (later released as Maze Wars), it’s very famous because it’s a huge hack that permitted running a multiplayer first-person maze game back in 1982, something supposedly impossible, in prototype Macintoshes, to test network protocols. I could still run that hacky thing in 2006, 24 years later, in a machine with a completely different architecture both in CPU and in motherboard, not to mention 20 major OS revisions (System 0 up to OS X 10.4, with the switch to Intel) and one major OS change later (Classic to OS X).
Your software for PPC (which debuted in 1994) could still run natively in 2006 and emulated under Intel (again, a whole new architecture) until 2011 (when 10.8 “Lion” removed the PowerPC Rosetta emulator). That’s 17 years of support, throughout 16 major OS revisions and one major hardware switch (PPC to Intel)
The hardware switch, obviously, did mean that newer OSes can’t go as far back as desirable. So while your Mac Plus from 1986 could install System 7.5.5, released in 1996, the machines sold right before the switch to a new platform would’ve enjoyed only 7 or 8 years of support for new OSes.
Your PowerPC machine, purchased in 1999, could still have 10.5, Leopard installed in it, launched in 2005. That’s 10 major OS revisions, from 7.1.1 to 10.5.
The discussion about Apple deprecating technologies has usually no basis in reality, and comes from side comments and generalizations. We heard here about “deprecating Carbon in favor of Cocoa”, but in reality Carbon exists precisely because it’s a compatibility layer to ensure software created in the 90s could function in the 00s. As such, it was deprecated 12 years after its introduction, having enabled 15-yeard old software to run. “deprecating QTKit in favor of AVFoundation” is another one, that usually forgets that QTKit has allowed us to keep software from having to be majorly rewritten for two decades.
Of course, it’s annoying that we need to modernize our programs as OSes modernize themselves, but I would argue Apple provides enormous facilities for old technologies and backwards compatibility. That Microsoft is even better only makes Apple second to Microsoft, which doesn’t translate into doing a bad job.
If you keep in mind that Apple has transitioned through various hardware architectures, it may make sense to see how Microsoft has fared in that same situation: How much support do you get today from Microsoft if you happened to foolishly purchase NT for Alpha, MIPS, ARM or PowerPC? (supported only 7 years) What about Windows for Itanium? (supported for only 5 years). Microsoft has kept backwards compatibility only because it doesn’t need to change anything to do so. Another good example is backwards compatibility with DOS, for which it would’ve needed to do similar work to what Apple did in its transitions. It didn’t, and tons of DOS sofware doesn’t run properly under Windows now.
I know this won’t change anybody’s idea of Apple’s “obsolescency problems”, but I had this response waiting for several years and I guess this is as good as any a time to type it.