Question: I had been waiting to buy my first Macintosh until this spring, when Apple’s new Leopard operating system was supposed to be released. Now that Leopard has been delayed until October, I am wondering if a Mac I buy now will be compatible with the new system?
Mossberg: Leopard isn’t an entirely new operating system, but a major new version, or edition, of Apple’s Mac OS X operating system, which made its debut in 2001. It will replace the current version, which is called Tiger. As you noted, it was supposed to become available this spring, but now has been delayed until October. Apple will say only that “We’re designing Leopard to deliver full functionality and performance on the widest number of Macs possible, and upgrading a system to run on Leopard should be simple and smooth.” I believe that it is highly likely that Leopard will run with all its functions and with decent speed on any Mac purchased today, and in fact on any Mac purchased in the past 18 months or so, at the least. Compatibility could go back much further than that, though some old Mac models will certainly be incompatible, or will slow down unacceptably. Upgrading to new Apple operating system versions has generally been a very good experience in recent years, much better than similar Windows upgrades. If you intend to upgrade to Leopard, then the biggest downside to buying a Mac now may be financial, not technical. If Apple’s past practice prevails, Leopard is likely to cost $129 for any Mac purchased today. If you wait until you can buy a Mac with Leopard preloaded, you will save that extra cost.
Full article which also contains a Q&A about removing old versions of iPod software here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Island Girl” and “ForkBall” for the heads up.]
We’ve upgraded several Macs from Mac OS X Public Beta all the way on up to the current Mac OS X 10.4.9 with excellent results. If anything, old Macs tend to get faster with each successive Mac OS X release which is certainly something we can’t say about Microsoft Windows releases. We do recommend getting as much RAM as you can for your Mac as Mac OS X does love RAM with a passion.