I'm a little behind in my reading as I just finished my September 2011 issue of MacLife. I read with interest MacLife's editor Paul Curthoys' column (as I do each month) thoughts about upgrading to OS X Lion (10.7) or not. I'm sorry Paul, but I have to disagree with your conclusion -- I am not fine with Apple dropping support for Rosetta in Lion. Not at all. Unfortunately, it will probably keep me from upgrading anytime soon.
Backing up a step, Rosetta is the software that allows applications written for older PowerPC Macs to run on newer Intel Macs. All Macs sold today and most for the past five years have been Intel-based. While I may not be 100 percent correct, I don't think there are any new pieces of software that would require Rosetta, but that's not the basis for this post.
My concern is about the older pieces of software that I use that will be rendered useless with a move to Lion.
I agree with Paul's point that part of the fun of new technology is the march forward and needing to leave behind older technology, but I disagree with Apple's decision to pull the plug. While there are not a lot of applications that I use day-to-day, Quicken and BBEdit are two that I do.
And, of the two, Quicken doesn't have an upgrade to a version that would work with Lion. BBEdit does have an upgraded version, but it's $39.99 through the Apple App store for an application that works perfectly fine for what I use it for in it's current version.
So, while I'm not happy with Apple for dropping Rosetta support, I'm also not so happy with Intuit for not coming up with a suitable solution for long-time users. I've looked at other solutions (such as iBank), not that my home finances are all that complicated, but I have years and years of data in my Quicken file and I would loose most, if not all of that data. Basically, while I HAVE gotten my money worth out of the investment, why should I be forced to change from a piece of software that does what I want just because the main software for the computer is being upgraded.
There are others, mostly games or utilities that I don't use nearly as often and could probably live without with some adjustments.
I really hate to say this, but Microsoft has figured out a way to do this. There are pieces of software that I run on my Windows 7 (virtual) machine that I've had for 10-plus years. I understand Rosetta would be slower as it has to do emulation, but hey, it's Apple we're talking about.
Why can't Apple leave it as an optional install as they did in Snow Leopard. Those that need it can install it and those that don't, don't. This is how they dealt with the Classic-OS X transition years ago. Heck, that wasn't even an optional install, if I remember correctly. It was there and available, launched if it was needed (or you could set it to automatically launch on startup). I understand... it may be slower than native written software and I'm ok with that.
Yea, I know OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) won't stop working anytime soon, but I'm interested in trying the new things in the new OS X such as Mission Control, Resume, Launchpad and the new version of OS X Mail.
I've looked at running 10.6 in a virtual machine with Parallels for the few applications I would need to, but the OS X license does not allow the desktop version to be virtualized (and the Parallels install doesn't allow it), only the much more expensive server version (that's a discussion for a different time) will work.
Paul promises the October issue will have a "major Lion story" which will have information on how to use PowerPC applications with Lion. So, I'll wait, with interest, for that issue which should arrive in the next few days, I think. Maybe I'll reconsider after reading that piece, but until then, I'm stuck on 10.6.