PGP: Don’t upgrade to Snow Leopard!

This must be the Audacity of Hopelessness.

PGP Corporation has just circulated a public message declaring that PGP Desktop won’t work on Snow Leopard. Hence, in all their humbleness, PGP Corporation says “.. you should NOT upgrade to Mac OS X 10.6.” (Caps theirs.)

No, they are not going to get their act together. But you the user, you do have a choice: Do not upgrade to Snow Leopard. You see, PGP Corporation is at your service like it has always been:

PGP Corporation is committed to providing Macintosh users the best possible encryption solutions and we’ve been building them since re-starting the company in 2003.

Of course.

Wait till cows come home.

We expect support for Mac OS X 10.6 to be available in the next major release of PGP® Desktop (10.0). PGP Corporation recommends waiting until PGP® Desktop 10.0 is available before upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6.

What do you mean “expect?” Really?

If you had thought that PGP Corporation would follow suit with thousands of other software developers and come up with a release that will work with Snow Leopard at approximately the same time, you had no idea how PGP Corporation works.

This is the same trusted, tried-and-tested substandard behavior from a company that should have been long wiped off the face of the market.

This company needs something beyond re-starting. Kicking, crushing, melting, decimating. Something.


4 Responses to “PGP: Don’t upgrade to Snow Leopard!”

  1. 1 rick forno August 29, 2009 at 1:39 am

    (sent out to my mailing list this evening)

    Snow Leopard comes out for OSX users today. OSX 10.6. Hurray!

    While watching the Redskins-Patriots on the big screen, I go about trying to upgrade my test laptop only to discover the Apple DVD is not recognizing the hard drive as something that can support OSX. WTFO? Resourceful as ever, I begin to Google for answers.

    As I Google, an email[1] arrives from PGP.COM saying that their current product is incompatible with 10.6 and if users want to use PGP they should not upgrade but that if we “intend to upgrade to Snow Leopard, you must decrypt all PGP encrypted drives and uninstall PGP Desktop before upgrading the system to Mac OS X 10.6.” They go on to say that 10.6 support is forthcoming in their next major release but offer no details on when it will be, except to say they’re accepting beta applications now.


    Taking beta applications now? There are freeware and shareware developers whose products are fully compatible with 10.6 and PGP only now is soliciting beta testers? Did the company just realize that OSX 10.6 was coming out today? Didn’t they get the memo? Are there no OSX users at PGP Headquarters?

    So back to my stalled Snow Leopard upgrade to my laptop: Thanks to Google’s timely archiving of the Apple support boards[2] I found out that not only did I have to uninstall PGP, repair disk permissions, and reboot, but since PGP apparently does something to the OSX partition table, I had to enter Disk Utility and dynamically resize my laptop’s hard drive a few megabytes in size just so a new partition table could be written — at which point I was able to install OSX 10.6 just fine. (Note that I had installed, but did not use, PGP on this computer, and certainly did not use their Whole Disk Encryption.) What kind of stuff did PGP have to write to my partition table to make it unreadable by Apple’s own installation disk? Scary!

    Unfortunately, after many years of dealing with their quirky product registration system and hiccups with routine OS upgrades, I am forced to say that PGP has lost me as a customer — their tolerable corporate quirks aside, I cannot trust any security product that tweaks (nay, borks) my system in such a troublesome manner and certainly one that seems to treat Mac users as third-class citizens.[4] I’m not the only one who feels this way, either — indeed they are correct in titling their concerns the Audacity of Hopelessness.[3]

    I will follow the lead of my coworkers and other securtygeeks and embrace GPG instead.


    [4] How about their officially-unsupported but unofficially-supported Mail.App plug-in? After nearly a decade of OSX in the marketplace they still don’t officially support Apple’s Mail program? WTF, indeed.

  2. 2 Matt Henderson August 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    This website answers my question, “Is there anyone else out there who is simply astounded at how poorly the PGP Corporation operates, and, in particular, treats OS X users?”

    As I write this, I’m decrypting my startup disk (WDE) so that I can install 10.6, and feeling tremendously disappointed at PGP’s exploitation of 10.6 as a tie-in to getting us all to purchase PGP 10, and, furthermore, to expect us to wait months.

    Ultimately, however, I will probably end up purchasing PGP 10, because I don’t know of another whole disk encryption technology that exposes a reasonably simple user interface.

    As a separate issue, it looks like GPGMail will not be made compatible with 10.6 for quite some time. What will people be doing, in the meantime, to encrypt email?

    — Matt

    • 3 Nuri August 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      Well, one terrible solution is to use e.g. XP under VM Ware Fusion and resort to a PC version of PGP Desktop. That’d entail maintaining a separate e-mail client. Yes, that bad. Honestly, the entire PGP Corporation management should be fired right away.

  3. 4 Wibble January 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    August 2009, when Snow Leopard was released; when the sun was shining and the holidays were upon us.

    Now it’s 2010, cold, and dreaming of holidays in warm places.

    Oh, and no sign of PGP 10. Will it be released in time for the next version of the Mac OS?

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