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Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks

 

Computerworld - Apple on Tuesday made it clear that it will no longer patch OS X 10.6, aka Snow Leopard, when it again declined to offer a security update for the four-and-a-half-year-old operating system.

 

As Apple issued an update for Mavericks, or OS X 10.9, as well as for its two predecessors, Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), Apple had nothing for Snow Leopard or its owners yesterday.

 

Snow Leopard was also ignored in December, when Apple patched Safari 6 and 7 for newer editions of OS X, but did not update Safari 5.1.10, the most-current Apple browser for the OS.

 

Apple delivered the final security update for Snow Leopard in September 2013.

 

Traditionally, Apple has patched only the OS X editions designated as "n" and "n-1" -- where "n" is the newest -- and discarded support for "n-2" either before the launch of "n" or immediately after. Under that plan, Snow Leopard was "n-2" when Mountain Lion shipped in mid-2012, and by rights should have been retired around then.

 

But it wasn't. Instead, Apple continued to ship security updates for Snow Leopard, and with Tuesday's patches of Mountain Lion and Lion Tuesday, it now seems plain that Apple has shifted to supporting "n-2" as well as "n" and "n-1."

 

(In that scenario, Mavericks is now "n," Mountain Lion is "n-1" and Lion is "n-2.")

 

The change was probably due to Apple's accelerated development and release schedule for OS X, which now promises annual upgrades. The shorter span between editions meant that unless Apple extended its support lifecycle, Lion would have fallen off the list about two years after its July 2011 launch.

 

None of this would be noteworthy if Apple, like Microsoft and a host of other major software vendors, clearly spelled out its support policies. But Apple doesn't, leaving users to guess about when their operating systems will fall off support.

 

"Let's face it, Apple doesn't go out of their way to ensure users are aware when products are going end of life," said Andrew Storms, director of DevOps at security company CloudPassage, in a December interview.

 

To Apple, Snow Leopard increasingly looks like Windows XP does to Microsoft: an operating system that refuses to roll over and die. At the end of January, 19% of all Macs were running Snow Leopard, slightly more, in fact, than ran its successor, Lion, which accounted for 16%, and almost as much as Mountain Lion, whose user share plummeted once Mavericks arrived, according to Web analytics firm Net Applications.

 

With Snow Leopard's retirement, 1 in 5 Macs are running an operating system that could be compromised because of unpatched vulnerabilities.

 

Snow Leopard users have given many reasons for hanging on, including some identical to those expressed by Windows XP customers: The OS still works fine for them; their Macs, while old, show no sign of quitting; and they dislike the path that Apple's taken with OS X's user interface (UI).

 

Also in play is the fact that Snow Leopard was the last version of OS X able to run applications designed for the PowerPC processor, the Apple/IBM/Motorola-crafted CPU used by Apple before it switched to Intel in 2006. Snow Leopard, while requiring a Mac with an Intel processor, was the latest edition able to run the Rosetta translation utility, and thus launch PowerPC software.

 

The one comfort in Tuesday's updates was that it looked like Apple will continue to support Lion and Mountain Lion a while longer, even though it has offered those users a free upgrade to Mavericks. Yesterday's security updates patched 21 vulnerabilities in Lion, 26 in Mountain Lion.

 

In December, Storms bet that Lion and Mountain Lion had been retired when Apple did not issue security updates for those two editions, even as it fixed a handful of flaws in Mavericks. But he gave himself an out at the time, noting that Apple's silence -- it has long declined to comment on almost any question related to security -- on those editions may be temporary.

 

For parts of Apple's customer base, the free-OS X strategy seems to be working: By Net Applications' tally, Mavericks accounted for 42% of all versions of OS X used in January. Mavericks' continued gains, however, have come mostly at the expense of Mountain Lion -- which lost 6 percentage points in the last two months -- and Lion, which dropped by 2 points in the same period. Yet Snow Leopard has been largely unaffected. Since October, when Mavericks appeared, OS X 10.6 has dropped less each month than either its 6- or 12-month average.

 

Source: Computerworld

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Posted

What a fool I am. I was reading through this and thinking, "why did I not think that this would happen before?" For some reason ever since I've had a Mac this idea has not gone through my mind once. But of course they would eventually stop updating the older systems, everyone else does.

Oh well, yet more incentive to go and buy a new Mac. And before someone makes the comment, I have been planning to get a new computer for a while now. I'm not stupid enough to think that to get a new OS I need a whole new computer, this is just one more reason for me to get it. :laugh:

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Posted

Why is OS X Snow Leopard afraid of OS X Lion?

 

 

because

 

 

7, 8, 9.

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Posted

What a fool I am. I was reading through this and thinking, "why did I not think that this would happen before?" For some reason ever since I've had a Mac this idea has not gone through my mind once. But of course they would eventually stop updating the older systems, everyone else does.

Oh well, yet more incentive to go and buy a new Mac. And before someone makes the comment, I have been planning to get a new computer for a while now. I'm not stupid enough to think that to get a new OS I need a whole new computer, this is just one more reason for me to get it. :laugh:

Have you checked if your Mac is compatible with Mavericks yet? Chances are it is - compatibility goes all the way back to the 2007 iMac.

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Have you checked if your Mac is compatible with Mavericks yet? Chances are it is - compatibility goes all the way back to the 2007 iMac.

Sure, but as I mentioned in the second paragraph I've been looking for a new Mac for a while now. The one I have now is showing its age in many ways, and it's had a good run.
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Posted

What a fool I am. I was reading through this and thinking, "why did I not think that this would happen before?" For some reason ever since I've had a Mac this idea has not gone through my mind once. But of course they would eventually stop updating the older systems, everyone else does.

Oh well, yet more incentive to go and buy a new Mac. And before someone makes the comment, I have been planning to get a new computer for a while now. I'm not stupid enough to think that to get a new OS I need a whole new computer, this is just one more reason for me to get it. :laugh:

Apple loves you for giving them more money!

 

lol .. just kiddin, Apple doesn't love you at all.

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Posted

Not even 5 years of support. :(

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Posted

Not even 5 years of support. :(

pretty much every apple computer that can run snow leopard can upgrade for free to mavericks so i really see it as a non issue

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Posted

Yup, and MS is getting the heat for finally killing off XP after 13 years of service.... ;-)

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Yup, and MS is getting the heat for finally killing off XP after 13 years of service.... ;-)

 

That is different.  If they offered Windows 7 or 8 for free, they would not be getting so much heat.

 

Mavericks is free for A LOT of macs since 2007.

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Posted

ALL servicepacks were free. Same thing imho.

Also Win 8.1 was free too.

 

It's all how you see a 'new' version of OSX.......

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ALL servicepacks were free. Same thing imho.

Also Win 8.1 was free too.

 

It's all how you see a 'new' version of OSX.......

 

Um Service Packs do not contain features.  Is 8.1 free to XP users?

 

That is what we are saying.  If you are running Snow Leopard, Mavericks is FREE.  To get from Windows XP to 8, you have to pay.  That is why businesses and people do not want to upgrade - they do not want to pay for something new when XP works just fine for them.  Apple does not have this problem since going from Snow Leopard on a 2007 iMac to Mavericks is free.

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Posted

Never heard of moving between version was free. afaik every new release was at least $15,=?

If free, a lot of people I know were talked into paying for an upgrade.

 

I admit $15,= is cheap compared to a Win 7 upgrade, but for a glorified SP is still $15,= to much.

And ALL SP's did add functionality, especially SP's Sp 2 and 3.

 

Also don't forget, Apple already made money by selling you the HW. Not the same thing for MS.

But whatever floats your boat, not going to let this slip into a long discussion ;-)

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Posted

pretty much every apple computer that can run snow leopard can upgrade for free to mavericks so i really see it as a non issue

The CoreDuo-Books and some early C2D-Books certainly can't. For what it's worth, they can run Windows 8 just fine...

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Posted

I'll have to retire my Macbook (32-bit processor) since I can't upgrade the OS anymore.

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Posted

4 year support compared to XP's 13 yr.

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Posted

Why is OS X Snow Leopard afraid of OS X Lion?

 

 

because

 

 

7, 8, 9.

 

 

Why was OS X Leopard afraid of OS X Lion?

 

EgCrVv8.jpg

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Posted

That is different.  If they offered Windows 7 or 8 for free, they would not be getting so much heat.

 

Mavericks is free for A LOT of macs since 2007.

You write that like it's a bad thing. Even if Mavericks is free, it still does not compare to Microsoft's support for Windows XP. Microsoft has supported XP for almost 13 years.

Are we forgetting that Windows 8.1 is a free update for users of Windows 8, one that will be supported until 2023?
 

Um Service Packs do not contain features.  Is 8.1 free to XP users?

You're quite wrong about that. Windows XP Service Pack 2, for example, introduced many new features and improvements. You may consider XP SP2 to be an exception, but Service Packs for previous versions of Windows also offered new functionality.

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Posted

does not compare to Microsoft's support for Windows XP. Microsoft has supported XP for almost 13 years. 

Now, that's the other extreme, which Microsoft was sort of forced into. Thankfully Apple users aren't quite as 'clingy' when it comes to old operating systems as MS users are... :D

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Posted

Had to happen sooner or later but I won't be retiring either of my Snow Leopard machines anytime soon.

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4 year support compared to XP's 13 yr.

vista and 7 will not get 13 years. xp wasnt replaced for 5 of those 13. 

 

4 years of support but really you should have updated to the newest version for FREEEEEEEEEEEEE which makes the support last that much longer. 

 

xp >vista >7 > 8 = upgrade cost of hundreds of dollars 

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Are we forgetting that Windows 8.1 is a free update for users of Windows 8, one that will be supported until 2023?

 

Bless MS for giving us a service pack for FREE!  Lol.  Hats off.

 

It was good that MS supported XP for so long, but that was an exception and not a rule.  Surely you see that.

 

All the same, IMO Apple's drop of support for Snow Leopard seems to be done in haste.  I think, these days, support should be for at least 7 or 8 years... Some people might require legacy PPC apps that require the emulator in Snow Leopard that was not included in Lion on up.

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Posted

Snow Leopard is still the best Mac OS X version ever.

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Bless MS for giving us a service pack for FREE!  Lol.  Hats off.

 

It was good that MS supported XP for so long, but that was an exception and not a rule.  Surely you see that.

 

All the same, IMO Apple's drop of support for Snow Leopard seems to be done in haste.  I think, these days, support should be for at least 7 or 8 years... Some people might require legacy PPC apps that require the emulator in Snow Leopard that was not included in Lion on up.

 
No reason to be snide, Shadrack. Both Mavericks and 8.1 were free updates, but unlike Mavericks, Windows 8.1 will be supported for a fair amount of time.

Microsoft's (mainstream and extended) support for Windows XP is not very different from its support for subsequent versions of Windows.

Windows XP was released in 2001. Mainstream support ended in 2009. Extended support is to be terminated this year (2014).
Windows 7 was released in 2009. Mainstream support is expected to end in 2015. Extended support is to be terminated in 2020.

In other words, mainstream support for Windows XP lasted approximately eight years; mainstream support for Windows 7 will last almost six years. Extended support for Windows XP, once terminated this year, will have spanned almost thirteen years; extended support for Windows 7 will last almost eleven.

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