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OS X Desktops (Apple) Operating Systems Software Hardware

Apple Expected to Demo Leopard Successor Next Week 432

Posted by timothy
from the or-not dept.
4roddas writes "Reports circulated Wednesday that Apple may demo the next iteration of Mac OS X next week or even release code to developers in preparation for an early-2009 launch. According to an account on Mac enthusiast site TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog), Apple may provide early copies of Mac OS X 10.6 at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which opens Monday and runs through next Friday in San Francisco. Mac OS X 10.6 will run on Intel-based hardware only, said TUAW, and so will mark the ditching of support for the older PowerPC processor-equipped Macs. Apple announced it would shift to Intel processors three years ago, and unveiled the first systems in January 2006; most analysts have said that move is largely behind the reason for Apple's renewed success selling personal computers. It has never disclosed how long it would support the PowerPC with OS upgrades, however. Ars Technica also weighed in Wednesday on Mac OS X 10.6; its sources pegged with OS with the code name 'Snow Leopard.'"
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Apple Expected to Demo Leopard Successor Next Week

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  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chunk08 (1229574) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:28AM (#23680481) Journal

    After the fiasco that 10.5 has been, I'd imagine that they'd want to move on as fast as possible - maybe 10.6 will be what 10.5 should have been.
    Sounds like Vista...
  • Slow down, Apple... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:30AM (#23680499) Homepage
    Either get Leopard solid, stable, and most importantly, *fast* before you move onto the next OS (unless Snow Leopard addresses a lot of these issues).

    Typically with an OSX release, the early point versions go through some growing pains, and it's not until the mid point releases that things get rock solid and fast. When I first tried leopard (10.5.0), it broke a number of things; it offered enough extra that I put up with what it broke, but I wouldn't recommend it to others especially for mission critical business stuff. It seems to be getting better with each point release that rolls in, and 10.5.3 just came in the other day (and things actually seem a bit peppier), but I get the impression it has a little way to go yet.

    I think Leopard's early problems has hurt Apple a bit, and I'd hate to see a 10.6.0 come out too soon, with a lot of the same issues as Leopard's first release. I want a fast and stable OSX! (Even at its worst, Leopard was head and shoulders above XP in terms of speed and stability and usability, of course; but when I first jumped ship to Mac when Tiger was mature, things were even better stability-wise.)

    While the Windows release cycle is painfully slow and buggy, I worry that Apple's is almost a little too fast with this announcement (although the wait for Leopard seemed to take forever.)

    Now who knows, maybe Snow Leopard isn't too revolutionary; maybe in losing some of the backwards compatibility hassles of PPC to move Leopard forward it will improve its speed and stability. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  • by youthoftoday (975074) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:36AM (#23680529) Homepage Journal
    Any company that not only gets Unix[like] onto the desktop of NORMAL people, but also makes it look cool matters.
  • by Black-Man (198831) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:44AM (#23680589)
    I still run 10.4.x on a Mac Pro because of issues I read about - and Apple still is issuing security patches and the like for 10.4.x, so I take it w/ a grain of salt they would stop supporting PowerPC at this point. I have a G4 I would like to upgrade the CPU - but who in their right mind would order a CPU card upgrade w/ the rumor floating around that PowerPC is about to get shut out? I pay a premium for Apple hardware, but I justify it by the ability to get 5 years out of their pro machines - the last 2 on CPU upgrade or Video card upgrade.

    I would definitely reconsider my position if they went thru with this.
  • iPhone info (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:57AM (#23680711)
    This isn't related to MacOS, but is as good a place as any to report it....

    From a third-hand source, take with a grain of salt:

    iPhone 2.0 goes on sale next week. Initial roll-out in NYC and LAX, not sure why it is staged.

    iPhone 1.0 sales were suspended by Apple, to avoid the debacle when they lowered the price shortly after release (and subsequently gave rebates to people who had just bought one).

    Apple still has plenty of iPhone 1.0's. After iPhone 2.0 is released, iPhone 1.0's will be offered at deep discounts.

    As reported earlier, AT&T employees have been prohibited from taking vacation for a month, starting 2008-06-15.
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by timster (32400) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:03AM (#23680741)
    It's the same "fiasco" that the Tiger release was, according to people on the Internet. For every major Mac OS release, some people have problems, some of them quite serious, and these dominate Mac discussion forums for months. Nobody ever collects any statistics from the general user population that would allow us to determine whether one release was better or worse than another, and the general user population is not well-represented in Mac discussion forums.

    On a side note, I have personally found it very interesting to watch the way people on Mac forums approach problems versus Windows or Linux users. Often there is an implicit assumption that any problem encountered is an OS bug (sometimes even if nobody else can be found who is experiencing the same problem) and you see demands that it be fixed in the next release. Possibly this is because a high proportion of the problems experienced by Mac users are indeed OS bugs.
  • Re:Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by larry bagina (561269) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:10AM (#23680797) Journal
    Not yet, but it will. The Cocoa/Linux Integration Framework (CLIF) is a project (currently in alpha) based on GNUStep, but with a goal of source *and* binary compatability with OS X/Cocoa. There's a lot of work and some kernel modules may be needed, but we're optimistic at the current progress.
  • Leopard supports five year old desktops and laptops. If they release this on schedule they will be abandoning some people with three year old hardware at that point.
  • PA Semi? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 605dave (722736) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:24AM (#23680987) Homepage
    OK, maybe Apple is coming out with a preview of a 10.6 next week, but I can't imagine them dropping PowerPC support. Why? They just bought a company that specializes in PPC chips for several hundred million dollars. So why in the world would they put the OS X ecosystem on a course to only support Intel? I doubt this is the plan. 1. Buy PowerPC design company. 2. Stop making your software compatible with PPC 3. Profit!
  • OS Code Names (Score:5, Interesting)

    by usermilk (149572) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:28AM (#23681015)
    Why do people insist on referring to their Mac OS with a code name instead of a number? I have no clue what version of the Mac OS Tiger was versus Puma but I can easily figure out if 10.4 is newer than 10.2.
  • OSX (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Dr.D.IS.GREAT (1249946) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:38AM (#23681145)
    Well, it is my feeling that 10.6 may bring forth some UI changes as well as under the hood improvements. also this WWDC may make mention of todays clones as well as the boys from OSX86. I think apple should really take advantage of this community because they are starting to make up a good amount of OS X 10.5.x sales as well as encouraging people to buy macs. In addition, I believe this may be the year of Mac OS on PC, this could be big, maybe 10.6 will support booting MBR and BIOS in addition to EFI and GPT. Who knows, something is always going on at apple and they do respect the hackerly community; for jobs and woz were hackers themselves at one point.

    Dr. D
  • by BrunoUsesBBEdit (636379) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:00AM (#23681437) Homepage
    I was a windows and IE loving Web Developer when I first saw a Beta of OS X. I finally gave into my employers insistence that I use a Mac cause I liked the idea of improving my Unix skills which were barely adequate for deploying code releases. Within 2 years I had strong Unix/Linux skills and had quadrupled my salary. I have continued to expand my knowledge and reap the benefits of it. Does that make me pretentious?
  • by gjh (231652) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:05AM (#23681513)
    Data points are rumors are....
    - Drop the Mac branding, eg "OS X Leopard"
    - Drop or minimise Carbon favor of Cocoa
    - PC version of Leopard, or 10.6
    - Apple Software Update can push/strongly advise major new apple software features to Windows users

    In my mind, these add up to the old YELLOW BOX - i.e., the ability to run Mac (Cocoa) Apps on Windows. Yellow box is a compatibility layer. This feature was advertised initially with Rhapsody, but wisely withdrawn. We are now in a very different place. There are many desirable Mac Apps, and OS X is a desirable place for developers. Businesses begin to want Mac Apps and maybe eventually the full MacOS but need a transition path.

    There is now every reason to release the Yellow Box and no reason not to.
    - It provides the transition path
    - It provides for stealth killer apps to seep onto Windows users' radar
    - It will no longer dilute Mac Sales - because Microsoft's lustre and safety have gone

    You'll all see that I'm right :)
  • Re:MacOS for PC's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blackest_k (761565) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:10AM (#23681571) Homepage Journal
    There is one option that didn't exist before, virtualisation.

    Develop drivers for a VM like Virtualbox and you automatically support a wide range of diverse hardware, without the development costs of running native, the Mac experience within a VM machine would be consistent.

    However It wouldn't be as good as a real mac and the natuaral upgrade path would be to a real Mac. The problem with the clones was superior performance at a better price. Of course people would buy a clone over the apple product when it was faster and cheaper than apple were offering.

    The VM route doesn't compete against Apple hardware, real Apple hardware will result in a better eXperience than the VM resulting in improved Apple hardware sales.

    It would be so easy to sell
    Taste the Apple eXperience, one bite will have you wanting more.

    The VM experience would be a tool for apple to sell more mac's a completely different proposition to selling clones.

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:12AM (#23681587)
    I bought the last generation of PPC macs when the Intels came out for 2 reasons:


    1) None of my major applications were going to be out in Universial for at least 12 - 18 months (Final Cut Pro, Adobe et. al.)


    2) I had no idea how this transition was going to go. It was either going to be smooth as could be or an unmitagated disaster. So I played it safe.


    I bought an intel iMac for my Dad about a year and a half ago for christmas. It was absolutely amazing how well things went, but I did spend close $7k all said and done on my Quad-Core G5. It's still a powerful machine, with 8GB of Ram, for video editing and compositing using Shake as well as the limited 3D work I do in Lightwave.


    That being said, I'm still on OSX 10.4 as well. My laptop is the last 12.1" powerbook G4 and I still love this machine for traveling as it fits on any airplane tray table. (I just shoved out another $80 for a new battery).


    Now I have plans to get a MacBook Pro by the end of the year, but still i plan to keep this little machine for traveling as well I have no plans to upgrade my PowerMac to a Mac Pro for another couple years.

  • by BrunoUsesBBEdit (636379) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:23AM (#23681727) Homepage
    Backup your data and do a clean install. This sounds like what happens to people that have made (even minor) changes to the Unix side of things and then tried to upgrade [first dot] versions. I'm a total hacker so I know better than to allow the upgrades to try and figure out what all I've done.

    Another thing I would suggest is to never plug/unplug anything (other than power) with the lid shut. That behavior had a convert friend of mine complaining, "this thing crashes 80% of the time when I try to wake it or shut it down." Once I told him to stop that, he said it hasn't crashed once.

    I will say that the Intel portables are no where near as stable as the PPC portables. I could swap peripherals anytime. I could shut the lid, remove the battery, replace it, and open it back up and keep working. I would have windows users in airports and on planes absolutely freak out at the sight of that. The PowerBooks were awsome!
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:24AM (#23681739)
    It's too soon to drop PPC and way to soon to drop 32 bit x86 macs as well.

    May then can keep G5 ppc.

    There are still a lot of PPC uses out there some of them can't do want want to pay $2200 to replace there PPC towers that costed $1200 to $2100+.

    Schools are a other place that uses alot of PPC as well and they also have g4 and g5 severs as well.

    If apple does this then they will need to have a $700 - $2100 single cpu x86 mid-tower. The $600 to $800 mini is way to weak for it's cost and the imacs have poor build in screen and only has 1gb of ram + 128 video card in the $1200 system wtf?

    Also may big apps are still 32 bit like CS3 and CS4 + M$ office.

    There is lot of talk about this on appleinsider.com

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=87548 [appleinsider.com]

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/06/04/apples_mac_os_x_10_6_code_named_snow_leopard_report.html [appleinsider.com]
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:32AM (#23681833) Homepage
    Personally I hope they do Ditch PowerPC. It will instantly drop the prices of all the PPC hardware in the used markets.

    That will make me very happy as that means I can start building my FCP render farm far cheaper as PowerMAC towers with dual G5's will drop in price like stones.

    Please Apple, tell the PPC people to pound sand. I need cheaper hardware!
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by repetty (260322) on Friday June 06, 2008 @11:07AM (#23682305) Homepage

    > I have doubts about Lynx, because there is already LynxOS

    That's not anything that would stop Apple. They encountered a bigger legal challenge when they released OS 9.

    > I also highly doubt they'll be abandoning PowerPC entirely yet.

    I suspect that they may very well remove PowerPC support, however, as always, they'll keep PowerPC-based versions of OS X up to date, just as they always had OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 running in the labs on Intel-based hardware. They like to keep their options open.

    --Richard
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @11:13AM (#23682397)
    So half of Mac users were still using PPC back in November and you don't think that is a large amount?
  • Re:PA Semi? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wild_berry (448019) on Friday June 06, 2008 @11:25AM (#23682567) Journal
    I doubt that's the plan either. I heard PA Semi was stopping development of its PPC series: "Apple, however, is said by PA Semi to be uninterested in continuing development of those chips" from http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/04/23/apples_pa_semi_buyout_motivated_by_assets_not_products.html [appleinsider.com]. BTW, OSX worked on x86 for as long as five years a before the MacIntel announcement ("every version of OS X had in fact been compiled for Intel processors as well as PowerPC -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Intel_transition [wikipedia.org]). It can be made to work on a number of different platforms if Apple is interested.
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:06PM (#23683139)
    Actually, I think the expectations of Mac users stems from years and years of expectations being successfully met. The more mainstream the OS becomes, the more people it will have to appeal to, and the less stable it will become. Old time Mac users like myself aren't used to version updates causing weirdness and constant (almost weekly) system updates. It kind of breaks my world-view of how Apple became my computer of choice in the first place.
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:07PM (#23683155)
    Leopard, is nowhere near the release that Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger were. The added features are not so hot, and it is seriously lacking in stability. I'm running it on my G5 at work, and have no desire to upgrade on my Mac Pro at home.

    I would be surprised to see Apple ditch PowerPC support so soon though.
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:31PM (#23683537) Homepage

    On a side note, I have personally found it very interesting to watch the way people on Mac forums approach problems versus Windows or Linux users. Often there is an implicit assumption that any problem encountered is an OS bug (sometimes even if nobody else can be found who is experiencing the same problem) and you see demands that it be fixed in the next release. Possibly this is because a high proportion of the problems experienced by Mac users are indeed OS bugs.

    Possibly, I guess, but probably not. An awful lot of the code that makes up OSX is the same code in FreeBSD/NetBSD and Linux. Where it differs-- well, I've never heard anyone claim that the Mach kernel is particularly buggy. All you have left is Aqua and the APIs, which are the parts that everyone seems to want to be open sourced and/or sold for their platform of choice.

    So from all that (and personal experience with a Windows/Linux/OSX) I wouldn't be inclined to think the problem is that OSX has more OS bugs than other platforms. But I guess we could take your hypothesis another way-- that programs written for OSX are more bug-free than other platforms. That doesn't seem too terribly unlikely, but my personal guess would be that it's actually a combination of a few things:

    1. Back in the pre-OSX days, MacOS was extremely fickle. For example, some applications wouldn't run will if you enabled virtual memory, while other applications wouldn't run without virtual memory enabled; also, users had to delete their preference files on a regular basis in order to keep programs running properly. Mac users from that time period are prone to expect that there are lots of strange techniques necessary to keep their systems running, and so they go off looking for OS tweaks for any problem they encounter.
    2. Many OSX users are prone to complain about any problem, even minor problems. For example, I've seen people go to great lengths to buff a scratch out of the bottom of their Macbook cases, months after purchase. A tiny little scratch. So you get a bunch of those people together, many of whom don't know very much about computers, and they'll complain to the manufacturer about any little problem they encounter.
    3. Apple users might be using a lot of Apple applications, too. They might be using Final Cut, iWork, iLife, iChat, Safari, Mail, etc. Plus the hardware is Apple's. So if I have Apple hardware, and Apple OS, and I'm using Apple applications, then there's a pretty good chance that I'm going to complain to Apple when I have problems.
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Castletech (1236226) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:43PM (#23683715)
    Define fiasco. I work in a shop that sells and services Mac and PC. As far as problems from 10.x to 10.5 have been extremely minimal. I've seen a few problems with some 3rd party programs and the Airport. Nothing even close to something I would call a fiasco. Windows on the other hand... is getting out of hand with how much it does not really work. Almost all of the new PCs sold came back to be upgraded back to XP. Not a single customer asked to be downgraded to from 10.5. Snow Leopard is a stupid name though I wish they change it.
  • by amper (33785) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:49PM (#23683783) Journal
    I highly doubt that Apple is going to push through a "quick" update and call it v10.6. Much more likely is that Apple does indeed plan on going Intel-only for v10.6, and is planning on making sure developers know it far enough in advance. I expect v10.6 will be released no sooner than mid 2009, and likely not until early 2010. This would put v10.6 on about a two-year release cycle, which is consistent with Apple's increasingly long development cycles (though it actually took 2.5 years for v10.4 - v10.5), and would give, in what seems to be a normal sort of move for Apple, their developers at least an entire year to wrap their minds around the concept of ditching PPC entirely.

    Bear in mind that v10.5 requires at least an 867 MHz G4 to install. By the time v10.6 rolls out, the minimum requirements will probably be in the area of a 2.0 GHz G5, which will leave comparatively few PPC machines extant that can even run the beast, so Apple may think, "Why bother?". That would mean no PPC laptops, as no G5 laptops were ever released, leaving only iMacs, Power Macs, and XServes able to run it. After all, my own Dual 2.0 GHz G5 Power Mac is already over three years old, and will be four-and-a-half by next summer. There's no reason to expect that Apple will support these machines indefinitely. A still more likely explanation is that only faster G5's (as described above) will run v10.6 PPC, and PPC support will be removed in v10.7, as this will avoid pissing off the punters too much. Not that Apple is any stranger to pissing off their customers, but they seem to know we'll eventually forgive them if they deliver the goods with the new candy.

    The biggest clue is that the banners rolling out at the Moscone Center all read "OS X Leopard", rather than "Mac OS X Leopard". While this may indicate Apple finally moving on from the old Macintosh OS code, it is also possible that it means nothing more than that Apple is rebranding "OS X" in conjunction with the release of the 3G iPhone (or 2G, if you prefer iPod terms instead of cell network terms), something which has been intimated with every discussion of the iPhone's current OS as "running OS X", rather than running "Mac OS X". It may also have something to do with these "electric computers" that are streaming into the country at an astounding rate (which are likely the new iPhones, but who knows? Apple is very, very sneaky.).

  • by OzRoy (602691) on Friday June 06, 2008 @01:19PM (#23684177)
    I complained about the same thing. But mainly because they didn't have a decent mid-range machine that could play games.

    That changed with the latest iMac update. The more expensive model is now a pretty good mid-range machine with a reasonable video card.

    Do you really need a tower machine?
  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday June 06, 2008 @02:56PM (#23685629) Homepage

    Yeah, I'm not sure what this WWDC is going to be about. There's going to be the iPhone 2 (and firmware upgrade), which will be huge. There are rumors of another device, halfway between an iPhone and a laptop. There are rumors of an OS upgrade. There are rumors of their Pro laptop line getting a redesign. Some other things to boot. If all that happens, it seems like a little too much for one event.

    So that's why I think it may actually be true that Snow Leopard, if real, won't have many new features. They might just say, "Hey, we're coming up with an update, all Cocoa, faster, bla bla bla." and leave it at that. Incidentally, I predict that there may be a "all-Cocoa" move coming, but not in the form of dropping support for 3rd party Carbon apps. It may be instead that the "all-Cocoa" rumors are about Apple turning all of it's apps over to Cocoa and warning other developers, "We're making the move, and you should too. Only a couple more years before we stop supporting Carbon".

    Anwyay, it may also be that (assuming "Snow Leopard" is for real) there won't be any new major OS features (FileVault, Time Machine, etc), but there will be new application features. If the iPhone is getting better Exchange support, I would expect that Mail, iCal, and Address Book will also be getting improved Exchange support. Also it may be that their server-side analogues (mail, calendar, and directory services) will be getting more features to be on-par with Exchange. I'd love to see OSX Server support push-email, better webmail, and get everything a little bit better integrated so that they can compete with Exchange.

    There are also a lot of loose ends that Apple could try to tie up without offering something that stands out as a "new feature". For example, if they finally offered ZFS support, most users wouldn't see it as a "feature"-- they just wouldn't know it was there. But if Apple made enough changes/upgrades of that sort, they'd have to increment the version number so people would know that things might not be compatible. But for most users, it they wouldn't be "features" exactly, but more like "under the hood improvements".

    I actually think there are lots of ways this could go. I can imagine Jobs saying, "look, we want to clean things up and offer some new technologies, but since these things won't be 'features' to most users, we're going to make a semi-new version. It'll be called almost the same thing ('Snow Leopard' instead of 'Leopard'), and it'll be a free upgrade to anyone using Leopard, but we'll call it a full new version." Or something along those lines-- I'm not claiming this is what will happen, but only that it wouldn't completely shock me.

  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Friday June 06, 2008 @05:59PM (#23688181) Homepage
    Apple has registered Cougar with the USPTO as trademark #78271630.

How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb? "Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."

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