Apple Must Focus on Software Quality

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-09-11 Print this article Print

The security notice came on the heels of several other updates made to Apple's OS over the past few months that have addressed similar problems. Apple isn't unique in needing to update software, but I do believe that as these issues become more frequent, Apple will need to do a better job of proving to users that it really is providing a premium product.

For the past few years, Apple has spent millions of dollars advertising the quality of its products. Its "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads have done wonders for the company. They have detailed (fairly or not) how far superior Apple's operating systems are to Microsoft's. As a user of both operating systems, I think it's safe to say that Mac OS X is indeed more robust than Windows Vista.

But with the release of Windows 7 right around the corner, Apple can't rest on its laurels, allow software issues to frequently arise and expect to maintain its monopoly on the OS conversation. Windows 7 is a better operating system than Vista. And although it will undoubtedly suffer from more security problems than Snow Leopard and Microsoft will eventually release updates to fix bugs, what can Apple really say to make itself look better if it is updating its own software with almost the same frequency?

On the mobile side, it's an entirely different story. The fact that the iPhone can't quite get Exchange support to work is an embarrassment for Apple. But it's only embarrassing when the company considers those who use Exchange support. The vast majority of users who don't use Exchange won't even know the difference. And even with all the software updates affecting their iPhones, they're probably quite pleased with the Apple product.

Going forward

So as we look ahead at how Apple will adapt to its success, it's important to realize that the company still reigns supreme when it comes to hardware design. On that side, it's still a premium provider of a premium product. But in software, there's room for improvement. 

Although it might appeal to some, the company's operating systems aren't quite as "premium" as its hardware. And if there's any place where competing companies can capitalize on an Apple weakness and possibly capture market share from the company, it's in software. A better operating system providing a more robust experience might be able to beat Apple. The only problem is, right now, no such operating system-either in the mobile or desktop markets-is available.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel