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NewsPoster Jul 24, 2013 06:52 PM
Apple seeds sixth OS X 10.8.5 beta to developers
Right on schedule and one week after <a href="" rel='nofollow'>the previous build</a>, Apple has again made available a new beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.8.5 for developers to test. Also like last week, the new version (12F26) is just three build numbers higher than the previous one, suggesting that the company is nearing the end of testing.<br />
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As with last week's build, there are no known issues -- however, due to the <a href=" en/" rel='nofollow'>prolonged downtime</a> of Apple's Developer Center, download options to obtain the latest build are limited. Those who are running previous builds can obtain the new one through the Software Update mechanism, and AppleSeed members can also download it. However, the download page through the Dev Center continues to be closed.<br />
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The latest update also comes with a new build of Safari. Apple is still asking developers to continue testing components like graphics, Wi-Fi, wake-from-sleep functions, mobile device management, and PDF viewing and accessibility.
The Vicar Jul 24, 2013 08:24 PM
I really, really hope there are no last-minute changes to the list of supported hardware. I'm using a laptop which is right at the cutoff point for 10.8, and I'd love to squeeze just a little more usage out of it. (It would also be nice if Apple could start extending the "not-yet-obsolete" life of its hardware. Mac OS X shortened the average time before a Mac would no longer be able to run the latest OS to 3 years, when before it was 5.)
Charles Martin Jul 24, 2013 09:49 PM
Vicar: I think you're confusing "gets active updates" with "can actually run it," and further confusing this story (about 10.8.5) with one about Mavericks (10.9).

Most 2007 and later Macs could run Lion, which came out in 2012 (five years). Some but not all 2008 machines and all 2009 machines can run Mountain Lion, and to the best of my knowledge Mavericks is keeping the same "supported" list as ML, so this means they'll almost certainly get at least a further year (whether some of those older machines will run Mavericks *well* is another question).

Apple only updates the current and last two OS versions, which covers about three years, so only Snow Leopard and later are getting any updates these days, but there's really nobody still using Leopard or earlier (in percentage terms). ML being current, it gets active updates, while Lion and SL only get security/compatibility updates.
The Vicar Jul 25, 2013 01:02 AM

Oops, you're right. I was thinking of 10.9, not 10.8.5. I see "seeds" and "beta" in the headline and just think of their latest stuff.

But you're apparently slightly misinterpreting what I said: prior to Mac OS X, if you bought a newly-released model of Mac, with a few exceptions you could more-or-less count on being able to run the latest version of the OS on that piece of hardware for about 5 years. (There were some exceptions -- I forget which one, but there was one which lasted for less than 3, which was crazy. On the other hand, the SE/30 was able to run the latest version of the OS for 11 years after its introduction.) Since the introduction of Mac OS X, the average new hardware lasts 3 years. In fact, what with the major releases being so close together, it has become almost exact. That may be great for Apple in terms of getting people to buy hardware, but it's clear that the cutoffs are often arbitrary -- machines which were supported by the developer previews end up being cut without any particular justification other than "they're old". I'd love to see Apple start taking the approach that they did with Airdrop: "if you don't have the right hardware, this optional feature won't work, but we aren't going to force you to buy a new machine just because of that".

(It can be important -- for instance, if you can't run 10.7, you can't do video chats with iOS because iChat didn't handle it, you needed the FaceTime app which only came with 10.7. Since I do remote support for my family, I hate having to leave a single machine a full version behind -- particularly if it's MY machine, so that I don't get used to the new OS everyone else is using and which I have to support.)
Spheric Harlot Jul 25, 2013 01:41 PM
The cutoff for OS X has, with very few exceptions, been consistently at five years.

My November 2006 MacBook runs everything up to the last version of 10.7. 10.8, released in 2012, more than five years after that generation MacBook went off sale.

The only notable exceptions were the last generation of PowerPC machines, which were no longer supported by the newest OS (10.6) after about four years. But that was mostly about intel optimization, with almost no new functionality at all.
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