I just got a refurbished Apple Mac mini, with the 1.83 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It is mainly intended for use compiling my open source programs such as Nonpareil for Mac OS X. I am extremely surprised at the user experience of booting Mac OS X Leopard for the first time, and very disappointed in Apple.
I’m used to new operating system installations wanting a very small amount of personal information from the user. Windows asks for the user’s name and company, though it allows the user to leave the company blank, as would be typical for home users. Fedora Core Linux asks for the users full name (not required) and a username. Neither of these seem very onerous, and the reasons for requesting the user’s name are reasonably clear. It’s less obvious why Microsoft wants a company name, but since you can omit it, I don’t much care.
Mac OS X, on the other hand, requires the user’s full name, postal address, phone number, expected place of use (home, small business, medium business, large business, etc), and industry. It will not allow the user to proceed until this information is entered. I don’t mind entering my name, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to tell my computer any of that other stuff without a very good reason. If I don’t put personally identifying information into a computer, that makes it less likely that the information will be misused or compromised. I’m pretty sure that the C compiler isn’t going to need any of that in order to compile my programs successfully.
Apple shouldn’t force the user to choose between revealing personal information for no good reason, and providing false information. They should allow the user to skip providing the unnecessary information, or better yet, not even attempt to collect it.