There’s one feature that Apple, I’ve learned, really regrets scrapping from Leopard.
Originally, Time Machine had a lot of additional features which didn’t make the final cut. One of the features was to use the free disk space on the boot drive as shadow copy storage. This mimicked a feature from Vista that does the same thing (and Microsoft really doesn’t promote well at all). Alas, problems with multi-linked directories scrapped the feature.
But, this is not the feature I’m referring to. Originally, when installing Mac OS X, Leopard would offer to make an initial Time Machine backup of your Tiger drive. The benefits were three-fold: One, existing Mac owners would get an initial sales pitch for Time Machine. Two, users would be set up with Time Machine even before Leopard was installed. And, three, should anything go wrong, reverting to Tiger would have been painless.
And it’s that third feature that Apple still is regretting. Their support database continues to have to be updated with workarounds for partially-failed Leopard installs. The “Leopard Blue Screen Of Death” resulting from the APE Manager utility was one of the most notorious, as the tool had been integrated into some well-known drives (like, Logitech’s universal driver for all their accessories).
This brings me to why I wrote this post. Apple should not wait until the next generation of Mac OS X to add some of these features back. There’s nothing stopping Apple from adding a new update to the install disc and offering added functionality. Apple did this with Migration Assistant, and slipstreaming features like Time Machine during installation should be no different. It will save Apple money (in support costs), and improve the Mac experience overall.