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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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  • Hmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by somersault (912633) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:20AM (#23680419) Homepage Journal
    Apple are still only on X? They've got a long way to go before they catch up with X11!
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:29AM (#23680493) Journal
      Apparently, they may be going to Y. They may even go to Z. And, according to a non-authoritative source, they may even bypass Y and Z and go to AA.

      In other news, it may rain tomorrow. Or, it may not. And I may be having sex with your sister. But then, maybe I'm not.

      That's it... I'm going into journalism. This is just way too easy!
  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:21AM (#23680431) Journal
    Come on, how bout some actual news for nerds and stuff that matters?
  • Not a surprise (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:21AM (#23680435) Journal
    A few Apple people on the clang list have filed bug reports saying it doesn't build 'on 10.6' recently, so they're obviously running it internally. 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.

    Ditching PowerPC is an interesting choice though - it basically means that third-party developers won't be able to use any of the new features in 10.6 without abandoning a big chunk of their potential market.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by chunk08 (1229574)

      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...
    • Re:Not a surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:34AM (#23680513)
      Explain this "Fiasco". Every feature they said would be there has worked for me.

      This isn't XP vs Vista, sounds more like "Waiter my soup was at 121F when I specifically asked for it at 120.4F. (49.4444444C and 49.1666667C to our international readers)
      • 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: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.
      • by zerofoo (262795) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:38AM (#23681143)
        Here are just some of the issues I've had to deal with since the 10.5 release:

        1. Open Directory replica failures.
        2. Tiger clients either do not bind to 10.5 open directory or do not inherit preferences correctly.
        3. Software Update Server did not work until 10.5.2
        4. "Blue Screen of Death" issue on some workstations.
        5. Renaming files on Samba shares would cause a kernel panic on some workstations.
        6. iChat server still does not work in a mixed Active Directory/Open Directory environment
        7. Finder Move data loss problem.

        These are the only ones at the front of my memory right now - I'm sure there are other issues. Granted these issues are a mix of Server and Workstation problems, but the lack of stability remains. My users do not care whether the bug manifests itself on a server or a workstation. If it breaks somewhere it is a BUG.

        -ted
    • Re:Not a surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:50AM (#23680647)

      Ditching PowerPC is an interesting choice though - it basically means that third-party developers won't be able to use any of the new features in 10.6 without abandoning a big chunk of their potential market.
      Which is precisely why the PPC ditch for 10.6 is unlikely and simply a rumor to fuel hits to websites. Like the abandoning of 32-bit altogether.... Apple's not in the habit of abandoning platforms sold less than 3 years ago. Why would they all of a sudden start now? I don't doubt there's going to be a new OS on the horizon (for perhaps 2009 or so), but the "facts" associated with this 10.6 rumor are way beyond the usual... And Apple's predictable when it comes to keeping as much of their market in tow as they possibly can...

    • Ditching PowerPC is an interesting choice though - it basically means that third-party developers won't be able to use any of the new features in 10.6 without abandoning a big chunk of their potential market.
      This is sad development if true, but I think many PowerPC home users stayed with 10.4. Giving up Classic was too high a cost for the modest improvements of 10.5.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      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!
  • 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 Rogue Pat (749565) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:51AM (#23680659)

      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).
      RTF arstechnica A : "it will not contain major OS changes. Instead, the release is heavily focused on performance and nailing down speed and stability."
    • I'm too cheap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:57AM (#23680713)
      I don't need another paid release so soon. I don't care to spend $100 a year for my OS. If Microsoft tried that stunt people would be eating them for lunch
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:20AM (#23680935) 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).

      Actually, according to all rumors about "Snow Leopard", those are exactly the issues that it's supposed to address. That's the entire rumor about Snow Leopard, that it's going to be a quick release that won't add much in the way of features, but it will be cleaning out legacy code, squashing bugs, and making the whole thing run fast. Some people have also noted that the last time Apple did this (10.1) the upgrade was free.

  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by grm_wnr (781219)

      the ability to get 5 years out of their pro machines
      The G4 stopped production almost exactly 4 years ago. And it may be a year until 10.6 actually comes out. Plus, it's not like a new OS release suddenly makes your G4 stop working just because you can't install it.

      In any case, your rule is working. If you want to reconsider your position, go ahead, but you'll have to justify it to yourself a little more congruently.
  • 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.
  • by BForrester (946915) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:22AM (#23680959)
    I question the foresight of naming the new release after an endangered, almost extinct species.

    I'll wait for OS X 10.7, codename "dodo" or 10.8, "brontasaurus."
  • 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.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:00AM (#23681443)
      I dunno, why don't people call XP SP2 Windows 5.1? Vista Windows 6? Why do many (most?) articles refer to Ubuntu releases by name rather than version number?

      Just like Ubuntu goes alphabetically, everyone knows that a Tiger can kick a Puma's ass, and that a Leopard will rip a Tigers neck open as it attacks from a tree.
    • Re:OS Code Names (Score:4, Insightful)

      by moosesocks (264553) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:20AM (#23681681) Homepage
      Mainly for marketing purposes.

      Virtually every modern OS does this. Even Debian.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arkhan_jg (618674)
      Same reason than people refer to going from gutsy to hardy when upgrading ubuntu - many people find the code names easier to remember than the version number. See DNS for a more extreme example.
  • by fermion (181285) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:03AM (#23681487) Homepage Journal
    Apple has consistently supported hardware and technogology for about 7 after release. Since it is reletively easy to stay with a release prior to current, this means that a computer can be used for 8-10 years, which is another reason why the Mac is worth the money.

    This support is pretty consistent. Look at previous OS releases. Mac OS 9, released 1999, was not fully depreciated until Mac OS 10.4,in 2005. For computers, the cube, the TiPB, and the G4 Powermac, all released in 1999-2000, did not lose support until late last year.

    So what does this mean in terms of expectations. The last editions of the powerbook, for example, was introduced around around 2003 and sold until 2006. Given the history of supporting 7 years old hardware, and Jobs statement that he would support 5 year old hardware, we should not see a Intel only Mac OS X until at least 2010. Given that OS X is now pretty stable, except for very new features like Time Mac machine, which does not need a new release, and Jobs statement that the release cycle wil be slower, we should not expect 10.6 until late 2009 or early 2010.

    If OS 10.6 is release later this year, and does not support PPC, it will be another indication that Apple is moving away from the long term support of customers and falling into the trap of the average consumer electronics company, I have no problem with certain apps not runing on the PPC, like the newest iMovie and iPhone SDK, and expect that even if 10.6 support PPC, it won't be a full support(although they never had to do partial support in the previous transitions), but a drop of PPC prior to 2010 will be extremely damaging to their reputation of reliability.

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plasmacutter (901737)
      the only transition that path will provide is the transition of ms/windows market share into what used to be apple/macos market share.

      the stability, reliability, and intuitive feel of mac apps can not be feasibly maintained on an operating system for broader hardware ranges, and as such subject to greater instability. This of course doesn't touch on the fact the particular case you cite is the product of a third party not fully versed in the nuances of the programs involved, nor does it touch on intentiona [auckland.ac.nz]
  • 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 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.).

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