Months after we were first teased with demonstrations of the next release of Mac OS X, Leopard was unleashed today. I arrived at the Apple Retail Store about 4:30 and waited with a bunch of other Mac faithful. The best part was seeing the reaction on the faces of the passers by asking what we were standing in line for. Just as the Apple website countdown clock hit zero (we were all verifying on our iPhones) the doors flung open to enormous applause from the gang of Apple employees. As they cheered and high-fived us, we piled into the store to claim our copy of Leopard.
Now for a couple of observations. Leopard was not the only thing flying off the shelves. It's no secret that Apple retail stores are sales powerhouses (see Apple Stores Now More Profitable Than Tiffany's Per Square Foot) and anyone at an OS launch day can easily see why. Anecdotcally, nearly half of the people I saw snatching up Leopard were also buying external hard-drives. I recommended theLaCie Big Disk 1TB drive to a fellow shopper but they sold out of all of them in just a few minutes. Gone, too, were the 500GB LaCie drives among most other high capacity external hard-drives. The cool thing was to see just how many new Mac users there were joining in on the fun of a new OS launch.
Two hours versus twenty? Waiting on line for the iPhone was great fun, but doesn't come close to the excitement of the Leopard launch. Sure, it might've been because we got my iPhone at an AT&T store but I still think the excitement of the crowd was still higher today. I mean, the iPhone is cool because it is a phone and it has the look and feel of Mac OS X... but Leopard is Mac OS X!
Well, I just glanced over to the PowerBook and see that the installation is complete... time to get to work. I opted for an erase + clean install on that computer. Later this weekend - the iMacs get the upgrade.
Rock on Leopard!
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