The Leopard Report: Mac OS 10.5 and iLife — Happy Together

January 23rd, 2007

Some of you must be wondering why Apple hasn’t said anything about when the next version of iLife will appear. Yes, there were all those expectations that you’d see this wonderful digital lifestyle suite during the Macworld Expo earlier this month, but that was not to be.

The rumor sites even had a few suggestions about feature updates and maybe an extra application or two. But none of that is really relevant, because I am about to make a bold and foolish prediction: You will not see a new version of iLife until Leopard ships!

If you look at today’s preview of Leopard on Apple’s Web site, you will find this statement: “Now Built In –Mac OS X Leopard offers some new standard features you may have seen before.”

True, only Boot Camp, Front Row and Photo Booth are mentioned, and this makes sense, since the first was already promised, and the next two are based on hardware that many Macs already have. But is that all?

All right, you know what I’m getting it. I have a hunch that Apple will also roll in the iLife applications into Leopard. Not some of them, but all of them, so you don’t have to buy a separate product to be current with the latest iDVD, iPhoto and iWeb. It’ll all be standard issue, and maintenance updates over the life of Leopard will be free, as usual.

Part of the reason is pretty obvious when you realize the system needs for the present version, iLife ’06. According to Apple it requires: “Mac OS X v10.3.9 or v10.4.3 or later; v10.4.4 recommended.”

So to get the best possible performance and reliability, you need a recent version of Tiger, even though iLife ’06 is a separate retail product.

No doubt iLife ’07 will contain features that integrate nicely with Leopard. If it was designed to be a standalone product, it would, perhaps grudgingly, function with Tiger. So you’ll need to buy the operating system upgrade anyway for maximum performance, and to access all the cool new features.

There’s another reason, and that is to remain, on the surface at least, competitive with Windows Vista. You see, the equivalent Vista versions of some of the iLife applications, which include Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Media Player and Windows Movie Maker, are already bundled with the higher-priced versions of the operating system, such as the Home Premium and Ultimate editions.

As you know, you pay a higher price to get all these extras. Apple, on the other hand, offers a one-size-fits-all package for the client edition of Mac OS X, and I don’t expect that to change for Leopard.

Apple’s philosophy is to keep it simple, so you don’t end up having to upgrade to another version when you find the one you have lacks what you need. Or downgrade, because it has more features than you want or need, and, besides, no dealer is going to offer you an exchange to the cheaper version.

At the same time, it’s time for the other shoe to drop. You see, Apple isn’t going to bundle iLife applications in Leopard and not charge you extra for all the goodies that were formerly available separately. No, It won’t increase the retail price to, say, $208, which is the combined price of the two packages based on current estimates. I’m thinking more like $159, which doesn’t strike me as a steep rise from $129, and therefore won’t cause a hue and outcry from a lot of you.

Yes, I realize that a $30 price increase isn’t something to regard casually, particularly if you only recently bought a Tiger upgrade. At the same time, unless you buy a PC preloaded with Windows Vista, as you’ll be able to do shortly now, the cheapest comparable Windows Vista upgrade, Home Premium, retails for $239. The upgrade version, which requires a previous installation of Windows XP or Windows 2000 (and their various and sundry sibling editions), is $159.

So is Apple really gouging you?

Now I’m not going to dwell on that other subject, which is whether Apple should be giving recent Tiger users — or all Tiger users — a $30 rebate. That’s yesterday’s news, as far as I’m concerned, since I’ve made my pitch and I consider it a logical and exceedingly fair move.

I also think that bundling iLife into Leopard is a brilliant idea. The small price increase should be sufficient to cover Apple’s development expenses, and it’ll put every Mac OS 10.5 user on an equal footing from the get-go. And, lest you forget, your new Mac always has the latest iLife already installed anyway at no extra charge.

Sure, some of you may want to revolt over paying another dime for any Apple product, considering its terrific profit margins. But can you really say they don’t deserve the money?

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18 Responses to “The Leopard Report: Mac OS 10.5 and iLife — Happy Together”

  1. shane says:

    wouldnt that leave apple open to anti competitive law suites ?
    I mean MS got done for including some pretty basic stuff in with their installs
    Aple seems to have gotten away with it a bit in the past but if they add too much in expecially as the OS gets more popular.

  2. Aaron says:

    It’s hard to see how they would be considered anti-competitive with a 10% market share

  3. Joe S says:

    Does this include iWork too? It would seem reasonable. Look at the small advantages if Apples does not have to make and distribute separate products. That frees up valuable retail shelf space. These two benifits are not huge, but they are real.

  4. Does this include iWork too? It would seem reasonable. Look at the small advantages if Apples does not have to make and distribute separate products. That frees up valuable retail shelf space. These two benifits are not huge, but they are real.

    I don’t think that’s a possibility. I don’t pretend to know what iWork sales might be, but I could see where it might be something that, like AppleWorks had been in the past, bundled into new consumer Macs. Right now, all you get is a demo version.


  5. Keith says:

    I may be wrong but I seem to remember Steve Jobs mentioning at WWDC this past year that iLife would be included with Leopard. I recall him mentioning PhotoBooth and FrontRow being included but he also mentioned “packages”, with an icon of a present on screen and him saying iLife would be bundled with the OS.

  6. I may be wrong but I seem to remember Steve Jobs mentioning at WWDC this past year that iLife would be included with Leopard. I recall him mentioning PhotoBooth and FrontRow being included but he also mentioned “packages”, with an icon of a present on screen and him saying iLife would be bundled with the OS.

    I was there, and I don’t recall that it all. Certainly he implied that more things would be packaged with Leopard, and we’ll have to wait and see what that is. But with Vista at hand, bundling iLife is only logical.


  7. Andrew says:

    I’d like to see iWork bundled as well, at least on consumer models, as it makes them useful right outof the box the way older Macs with AppleWorks used to be.

    Speaking of AppleWorks, I would love to see an upgrade, though I doubt it will ever happen. Am I the only one who still loves the simplicity and elegance of this program? Its so good that I use it on my PCs as well as my Macs (cross-platform is a wonderful thing).

    My only AppleWorks complaint isn’t about features or power, but about the very antiquated text engine. Text doesn’t space properly on the screen (kerning), though printed output is perfect. This is common to the Mac and Windows versions of AppleWorks.

  8. Georgy Porgy says:

    Look at the possibilities here. M$ offered IE bundled for free and quickly took almost all the marketshare. If Apple were to just break even or even lose money on iLife and iWork, bundle them with Leopard and charge $150, it would do several things. It would not only create the anti-type psychology of multiple purchases, it would take chunks out of M$ office, it would be huge incentives to purchase Leopard and kill the scrutinizing about whether or not to upgrade, the tech support for software and/or which system it should run on would decrease substantially, it would increase sales of Leopard. and most of all, there would be alot more OS X out there on alot more macs. The halo effect of this is the purchasing of the hardware that uses Leopard…the Mac, the iPod, and the soon to be iPhone, where Apple makes its money on hardware. Even if they lost money initially like M$ did for IE and the XBox, it would help their already increasing marketshare and make their wallet fatter longterm. This would be a smart gamble longterm. Just how many more revolutionary features can they add to the operating system in the future to make it worth upgrading for the average Joe?

  9. Aronius says:

    I’m all for OS X shipping with iLife as a standard OS feature. The iLife suite is awesome!

  10. KenC says:

    Wasn’t it the inability to unbundle, what was considered “anti-competitive”? It’s quite simple to make some other app, your photo browser. And, the same applies to any iLife app.

  11. Stephen Vaughan says:

    I’m with including iLife as well and willing to pay say €160 for this type of OS X upgrade.

    It also means that it keeps things simple in terms of knowing which versions of iMovie, iDVD etc. you are dealing with when you encounter a 10.5 Mac. I often run into a situation say where i use a Mac with Tiger but it has iLife 05′ and I am sitting there scratching my head trying to figure out where that cool feature has gone that is usually in iMovie…till the penny drops and I realise that I am using the older version and not the one I am used to e.g 06″

  12. Dorian says:

    In regards to the anti-trust issues, I believe the reason Apple wouldn’t be breaking any laws is because Apple allows for any other program to be installed or be set as the default program to run any file.

    In the case of MS, they would not allow for other programs to be used and they went as far as threatening vendors if they shipped computers with other browsers, etc. as the default app.

  13. thinkx says:

    The mentioned bundle was for all the extras that were only shipped with certain computers. For instance, PhotoBooth was only shipped with Macs with built-in cameras. That leaves a lot of iSight out in the cold. Front Row will also be part of Leopard. Stuff like that.. not iLife and iWork.

    However, I’d expect that iLife will continue to be bundled with new machines, and will time my next purchase accordingly.. get Leopard, and iLife for free when you buy a new Mac.

  14. I was speculating on this with a co-worker just yesterday. This makes all the sense in the world. I believe both iLife and iWork should be rolled in so that when you get the OS, you have everything you need to get right to work right out of the box. Heck, I think they could even go to $179 without too much squawking.

  15. Dana Sutton says:

    I’m not 100% sure Gene’s right about no iWork bundled with Leopard. It would be a hugely powerful hook for switchers if Apple could say in its advertising “look, you can take your new Mac out of the box, plug it in, and immediately get to work.” As things are now, i would imagine the most daunting prospect for switchers is having to go out and purchase new software (although they’ve already made an investment in their Wintel apps).

  16. SteveP says:

    I would certainly like to see it bundled. Also iWork – whatever it turns out to contain.

    The problem I see with this – and which MS also sees (excessively!) with Vista – is that there is probably a large group of people – say semi-business type situations – where iLife or iWork are just not of interest to the user. THEY would probably not appreciate having to pay that additional $ 30.00 or whatever it turned out to be.
    I do agree that there would be advantages to Apple with the increase in installed base for those products. I’m just not sure of the best option.

    I think I’d be inclined to keep them separate but lower the price of iLife and iWork both. Or give a substantial discount for each with the purchase of a new Mac or OS.

  17. william says:

    iLife may be sold together with Leopard for one price, but I am sure it will still be a monolothic product. The reason: they won’t want to break the precedent of charging for it. iLife updates are likely to be more frequent than OS X updates. We’ll keep on buying both as often as they release them. (At least, I will.)

  18. AC says:

    I am 95% sure that iLife will be included with Leopard because
    1: Steve Jobs did announce many things that are in iLife, and
    2: It is very logical that Apple would include it, just like it has been included with previous OS’s.

    I am just hoping that iWork will be included… but i doubt it.

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