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Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

And they say Microsoft never innovates anything…

Apple is taking a page from Microsoft's Windows 10 playbook and will push out its latest macOS (ex-OS X) update as an automatic download.

The Cupertino maker of the Performa 275 has confirmed to El Reg that later this week it will begin to push macOS Sierra to Mac owners who have the "automatic update" function enabled on their computers.

This feature is usually switched on to receive security fixes and feature updates as soon as possible. Now it'll cause the Sierra upgrade to automatically download onto Macs running OS X El Capitan. Users can install the package by giving the go-ahead in a dialog box.

The move comes less than two weeks after Sierra reached general availability. Up until now, users have had to seek out the update on their own by visiting Apple's Mac Store software service, where it has been posted as a front page download.

Introduced earlier this year at WWDC, Sierra has been touted for its improved integration with Apple's iOS platform, as well as its borrowing of the Siri personal assistant tool.

To get Sierra, Mac owners will need to be running at least the Late 2009 iMac or MacBook models, the 2010 or newer MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini, or Mac Pro. It requires at least 2GB of RAM and 8.8GB of free disk space.

Apple's Sierra rollout looks to be much smoother than Microsoft's disastrous Windows 10 update shove. That effort saw Microsoft roundly criticized for an update campaign that many of its customers had deemed far too pushy and deceptive.

Microsoft enraged users who wanted to keep their machines on Windows 7 and 8.1 by force-feeding them Windows 10: for many folks, the operating system would automatically download in the background and install itself, requiring just a reboot to switch across to the new OS, after months of irritating popups and sneaky dialog boxes.

Apple doesn't appear to be cramming its software as hard as Microsoft – you have to have automatic updates enabled and the storage space to take it, and you have to explicitly agree to the installation – but that's because it doesn't have to: Cupertino's customers are conditioned to be extremely loyal to the brand and take whatever Tim Cook and co hand out, whereas Microsoft has spent decades expertly fostering resentment.

As a result, Apple tends to have a much faster (and smoother) uptake for its OS updates than counterparts in the Windows world. ®

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