Apple has just released macOS Catalina, its latest update to the operating system powering Macs and MacBooks, and while the launch hasn’t been flawless (check out our guide on how to fix macOS Catalina problems), it’s the kind of update that Microsoft must be eyeing enviously.
The situation has gotten so bad, that it’s no longer just embarrassing for Microsoft – it’s in danger of seriously damaging the company’s reputation.
Apple take heed
Now, it might be tempting for Apple to sit back and enjoy its old rival’s current travails. To be fair, we wouldn’t blame it for indulging in a spot of schadenfreude, but what we really want Apple to do is learn from Microsoft’s mistakes.
Apple knows only too well what happens if you release an update that ends up causing additional issues, and how angry that can make its users.
It’s happened to Apple in the past, and while macOS Catalina’s launch hasn’t hit any showstopping issues yet (knock on wood), Apple needs to make sure that when (not if) it needs to release a patch for macOS Catalina, it won’t introduce further problems.
What can Apple do?
So, what can Apple do to avoid Microsoft’s update problems? There seems to be a number of theories about why Microsoft is having so many issues with its updates recently.
Are they being rushed out? Is Microsoft fully testing them? Is it listening to its collection of Windows Insiders – users who have signed up to try out early versions of the updates and report back about any problems?
Amidst all this, Dona Sarkar, one of the leaders involved with Microsoft’s Windows Insider initiative, is leaving her role. With the Windows Insider team being so important when it comes to testing new updates, the fact that it now appears leaderless isn’t great.
What Apple needs to do is make sure that its upcoming updates aren’t just thoroughly tested, but that it is in constant communication with developers and users who are testing out early beta versions of the update. If they find something’s wrong – listen to them. Delay the update if necessary.
By taking its time with the updates, Apple could find it’s actually fixing issues faster – rather than rushing out an update, only to have to then spend time fixing all the other problems that emerge.
Apple should look at Microsoft’s current problems, which can be summed up with the old phrase “more haste, less speed”. By hastily releasing updates, it’s actually slowing the speed in which problems are being fixed. There’s no need for Apple to gloat – just learn.
As for Microsoft, let’s hope that the Windows Insider team gets new leadership that can get these updates back on track – hopefully before it’s too late.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.