Apple has always been about moving forward, about pressing customers to buy the latest and greatest. Product pacing has been high in Cupertino (except for the Mac Mini, obviously), and this is obviously a good thing if you’re an Apple bean counter. Most Apple fans more or less accept this planned obsolescence without question, but the company may have just gone a little too far.
iLife 09 has recently been released, and among all the excitement about the new release, as well as the hubbub surrounding Steve Jobs’ health, it was relatively easy to miss the alterations in the system requirements for the new iLife suite: one of the most significant iLife 09 features now requires an Intel dual core machine.
Learn to Play, the feature where major artists like Sting (Sting! Sting!) learn iLife users how to play their songs via Garage Band, requires at least a dual core Intel Mac – leaving not only PowerPC G4 and G5 owners out in the cold, but also the newer single core Intel machines. This means that a Mac bought in late 2006, like the Intel Core Solo, can no longer fully enjoy the iLife suite. That’s only a little over two years ago.
It also seems like a rather weird feature to require an Intel machine at all. You could argue that when iMovie 08 dropped support for the G4 it kind of made sense, since that’s a processor-intensive application, and the G4 couldn’t handle it. But is Apple seriously trying to tell me that a quad-core G5 machine can’t show a video of Sting telling you how to play Englishman In New York? Or a machine touted only two years ago as powerful?
Apple made a big deal out of its fat binary feature, but it seems like the company is just a little too eager to ditch the PowerPC ship. If I had bought a dual quad-core PowerMac G5 2.5 years ago for three kidneys and a liver, I’d be pretty pissed off right about now.