Poll Results: System Shiftin' -- Last week's poll drew responses from almost 2,700 TidBITS readers, and despite the tenacity with which people hold on to old applications (as revealed in a previous poll), most people are using one of the two most recently released versions of the Mac OS. Forty-three percent of respondents said they used Mac OS 9.0 on their primary Macintosh, and 33 percent were sticking with Mac OS 8.6, though a number of those people commented privately that they were waiting for last week's release of Mac OS 9.0.4 to upgrade. The only other numbers worth noting were the results for Mac OS 8.5.x (8 percent) and Mac OS 8.0 (1 percent), since the upgrades to Mac OS 8.6 and Mac OS 8.1 were both free and fixed significant issues. It may be interesting to note these numbers when thinking about the version compatibility targets developers set for their programs - requiring Mac OS 8.0 or later, for instance, might eliminate roughly 7 percent of the potential audience, but moving up to Mac OS 8.1 increases that liability only slightly. [ACE]
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.