Apple Identifies Snow Leopard Incompatibilities - InformationWeek

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8/28/2009
03:28 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
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Apple Identifies Snow Leopard Incompatibilities

In the wake of widespread concern about software that might be incompatible with Snow Leopard, Apple has posted a support page describing known incompatibilities and how Snow Leopard handles them. A few items of interest to SMBs are on the list, and the smart businessperson will make sure to wait for updates or be prepared for workarounds.

In the wake of widespread concern about software that might be incompatible with Snow Leopard, Apple has posted a support page describing known incompatibilities and how Snow Leopard handles them. A few items of interest to SMBs are on the list, and the smart businessperson will make sure to wait for updates or be prepared for workarounds.Apple surprised many developers by releasing Snow Leopard today, earlier than had been predicted, and caught some without their planned updates ready to go. Further, SL orphans some older software, which may no longer work right and will be considered unsupported. (There was some question of whether Adobe Creative Suite 3 might be among those, but that concern appears to have been overblown.)

According to the support page, Snow Leopard moves software known to be incompatible to a special folder and also blocks it from opening. "If you see an 'Incompatible software' message," the page advises, "contact the software's vendor or visit their website for a later, compatible version."

Don't Miss: Apple Releases Snow Leopard

The list of incompatible software of possible interest to SMBs includes the virtualization package Parallels Desktop 2.5 and earlier versions -- these get moved to the Incompatible folder. Version 2.5 was superseded by version 3 in June 2007, but even that one is not completely compatible and will generate the warning message on opening. Version 4.0 is the version you need now.

Many virus scanners, including some mentioned in my last post, don't work any more either. McAfee VirusScan 8.6 and Norton AntiVirus 11.0 will get moved to the Incompatible folder, while Intego VirusBarrier X4 will be blocked from opening. New versions of VirusScan and AntiVirus are so far unavailable, while VirusBarrier is up to X5.

Most of the rest of the listed software is assorted drivers and plug-ins, few of which will affect more than a handful of users. Ironically, among them is Apple's own Keynote 2.0.2 and earlier versions of the presentations software. They're more than 4 years old at this point, though, so that shouldn't generate many complaints.

Apple's list isn't exhaustive, though. This page at Wikidot has a user-generated list of known glitches, many of which are minor annoyances but some of which might be deal-breakers for your particular configuration.

Another area of concern is scanner and printer drivers. Apple's also posted a complete list of directly supported scanners and printers. Devices not on the list may still work with software available from the manufacturer. Nevertheless, to avoid headaches, you should check the list before installing SL.

Bottom line? This is no time to ignore the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Snow Leopard offers some real, measurable advantages to the vast majority of Mac users, but nothing that trumps business continuity. If there's anything on any of those lists that gives you pause -- just pause. It can wait.


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