UPDATE: Marco has subsequently updated his stance from the original post referenced below.
Marco Arment, from a widely discussed post titled "Apple has lost the functional high ground over the weekend:
I suspect the rapid decline of Apple’s software is a sign that marketing is too high a priority at Apple today: having major new releases every year is clearly impossible for the engineering teams to keep up with while maintaining quality. Maybe it’s an engineering problem, but I suspect not — I doubt that any cohesive engineering team could keep up with these demands and maintain significantly higher quality.1 The problem seems to be quite simple: they’re doing too much, with unrealistic deadlines.
We don’t need major OS releases every year. We don’t need each OS release to have a huge list of new features. We need our computers, phones, and tablets to work well first so we can enjoy new features released at a healthy, gradual, sustainable pace.
I fear that Apple’s leadership doesn’t realize quite how badly and deeply their software flaws have damaged their reputation, because if they realized it, they’d make serious changes that don’t appear to be happening. Instead, the opposite appears to be happening: the pace of rapid updates on multiple product lines seems to be expanding and accelerating.
I see stuff like this a lot in my Twitter and RSS feeds. It mostly tends to cluster around new releases of iOS and OS X. I am honestly not sure what to make of it.
Most of the complaining tends to come from developers and Apple pundits. On the one hand, if you are starting to lose this crowd–the power users and professionals with a deep understanding of your OS/app/hardware ecosystem–that suggests some serious problems.
On the other hand, desktop Linux has had basically nothing but power users for going on nearly two decades at this point, and has yet to do their market share or overall usability much good.
Having used equal parts Microsoft, Apple, and Linux systems over the years, I tend to be fairly agnostic when it comes to operating system religious wars. For personal use, I have mostly settled on Apple's stuff at this point. I got sick of the constant fiddling required to maintain basic usability on Linux, and I was tired of the throw-away junk hardware that most Microsoft stuff tends to run on.
Like any complex piece of software, Apple's apps and operating systems are not without their problems. Still, reading these kind of garment-rending proclamations, I can't help but think of the gnashing of teeth among formerly starry-eyed liberals and progressives disappointed that Barack Obama has not magically transformed the United States into the utopia of their dreams.