We often wonder how many of us there are. While Apple occasionally shares the number of active Mac OS X users, it has been a while since the last update. Eight months ago in August 2006 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Steve Jobs said there were 19 million active Mac OS X users. Keith Bachman, an analyst at Bank of America Securities, now quotes a higher number in an AppleInsider article: 22 million users of all versions of Mac OS X. Bank of America Securities estimates an increase of 6 million Mac users since the release of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger in June 2005. It's also highly likely that there are uncounted millions of users still using Mac OS 9 and earlier.
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.
Published in TidBITS 869.
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