Ben Supnik, Laminar Research lead developer, comes with the following advice regarding OS upgrade like the upcoming El Capitan and the recent released upgrades from windows 10.
In the last few years, we’ve seen the price of major operating system upgrades drop, down from $100-to-$150 to…$0. And free is a magic number – once you make something free, people install it without doing a lot of critical thinking about whether something is a good idea or not. This creates a software compatibility disaster for OS vendors, app developers and users.
The OS vendors (Microsoft, Apple, etc.) try really hard to keep the minor patches to the OS from breaking compatibility. They need users to install updates aggressively to fight malware. So a break due to a minor patch is a rare thing.
The OS vendors can’t keep legacy APIs going forever – at some point they need to change fundamental technology.** So they save the big changes for major versions. Major versions are now free – so users install a major update aggressively, taking incompatible changes that the OS vendors had to put somewhere, breaking their apps.
We first saw this with Yosemite, which caused us a bit of a fire drill, and now we’re seeing it with Windows 10, where I have just seen a pile of weird-o random behaviors that are specific and unique to Windows 10. At least some of them seem to be a clear case of OS compatibility rules changing at a major version.
Want to read Ben’s advice? Check out his blog.