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Leopard First Impressions

Now that Leopard has been released, we can now talk about our experiences with it fully - whereas before we were limited by the pre-release non-disclosure.

So the good news so far: Performance is good: Intel machines and PPC alike get more responsiveness in the Finder. It's too early to tell whether or not the applications are much faster with the final release, but my guess is that they may be here and there, but not a lot generally. Interface wise, there's a lot of tweaks - useful things like spaces, a new dock - but we'll review those separately. What most people are concerned about right now is "Will it run my old software?"

CS3 seems to work well (confirmed by Adobe's reports), although full testing is still underway. The Filemaker conflicts rumored on the 'net earlier last week didn't happen - Filemaker 8, 8.5, and 9 work well with Leopard, with the minor exception of Instant Web Publishing and multi-region settings. Suitcase and other Font Managers also reportedly work well.

Problems? Well, we've seen a smattering of them. A few clients had boot drives not show up in the installer, usually indicating a drive formatting or directory issue; some clients have had their email not migrate properly; and access to 10.4 server sometimes doesn't work as well as it should.

Incompatibilities? So far, one big one in the software that we use - VPN Tracker on Intel Macs. It crashes.

So far, it's all on par for an Apple major OS release - minor issues, but no show stoppers. At the same time, we've seen enough issues in the first few days that we recommend that people don't rush out to install it on business-critical machines, further reinforcing my earlier post about "To Leopard or Not To Leopard."

Finally - always remember - make a complete backup of your system before installing Leopard.

More posts will be coming from me and the other Superpowers...

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