There was a time when you had to wait for weeks to get a decent review of a new product. Broadcast media has never stepped up to the plate, and only dead trees would do. It may have taken ten years or more for the internet to find a business model which could support in-depth analysis to accompany its immediacy, but there’s no doubt we’re here now. Case in point: the launch of Apple’s new OS X release, Leopard. The software is launched on the Friday, and by the weekend I want to see a decent review. And by that, I mean something unpatronising written by a genuine techie, not something written by a Sunday paper columnist for my Mum’s benefit. As an average potential customer, I now know the likely sources, and go to them directly, without even thinking of Googling “OS X Leopard review” (which by the way, suggests your first port of call is an outdated year-old hatchet job from a Windows site – d’oh!). That I now ignore the Google option is in itself worthy of discussion. And indeed I find what I want, already there, on Ars Technica.
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: the Ars Technica review by John Siracusa, is what I want, when I want it, and means I’ll never bother to buy a Mac mag to see whether I should upgrade or not. Big deal, you may say, Chris uses a bookmark to read an article. But I think there’s a story in there.
(By the way, the “icon” above – and OS X icons are more like photos nowadays – is the one in Leopard for a generic Windows PC, and it’s rather amusing. Yes, it is the blue screen of death. On a monitor I had in 1998, if I’m not mistaken).