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OS X Desktops (Apple) Operating Systems Software Hardware

Apple Expected to Demo Leopard Successor Next Week 432

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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  • 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?
  • 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:MacOS for PC's (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:41AM (#23680571)
    Basically the answer to all of the questions you posed is - Yes.

    Mac sells computers. They want the OS to be a selling point for their hardware, not the other way round. They've also always had significant limits on what's ok to put in a Mac, in order to prevent issues with OS and driver compatibility, in addition to making sure cheap junk doesn't easily get put in the machine.

    They don't care as much about OS market share as they care about how many computers they sell.
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:43AM (#23680587)
    A new release of the largest commercial Unix OS isn't geek news? I mean, it's not Linux but at least it's not Windows...
  • Re:MacOS for PC's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:48AM (#23680619) Journal
    BeOS tried that. NeXT tried that. IBM (OS/2) tried that. It doesn't work.
  • by grm_wnr ( 781219 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:50AM (#23680643)

    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.
  • 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...

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

    by telbij ( 465356 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:51AM (#23680655)
    Okay some people were affected by a handful of real nasties, but I bought it the day it came out, was working 18 hours a day at the time on a product release on both a G4 and and Intel machine, and only noticed very minor issues.

    To compare it to 10.0 is hyperbole.
  • Re:MacOS for PC's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Weedlekin ( 836313 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @08:53AM (#23680669)
    "They release MacOS X only for Macs. Is there a reason why they don't release it for regular PC's?"

    1) It avoids treading on Microsoft's toes. Mac versions of MS Office help to sell lot of Apple machines, so pissing the Redmond Gorilla off by competing with them in the commodity OS market wouldn't be a particularly good idea.

    2) Apple tried it in the past, and ended up losing far more from lost sales revenue to clone makers than they were earning by licensing the OS. This was therefore one of the first things Jobs killed off when he took over at Apple, so it's unlikely he'd want to risk the same thing happening again.
  • 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 DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:13AM (#23680829) Journal
    For which they will charge 129.00
  • by ctid ( 449118 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:26AM (#23681003) Homepage
    I presume Apple maintain support for 10.5.x for some time yet?
  • Why bookends? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ctid ( 449118 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:30AM (#23681035) Homepage
    Surely 10.5.x and 10.4.x will continue working anyway when 10.6.0 comes out? Presumably that may mean a hit on resale prices for G3, G4 and G5 Macs but the machines will still work!
  • Re:MacOS for PC's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ivano ( 584883 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:31AM (#23681067)
    Well at least one person on Slashdot gets it. There is more than one business model in the world - not everything has to be done like Microsoft, nor like Linux. Apple does it their way, for good or bad, it makes a shit load of money for their shareholders.
  • Re:BOO, Apple! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oahazmatt ( 868057 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:33AM (#23681089) Journal

    So this leaves a great number of PowerPC hardware owners with a bunch of very nice bookends?
    Yes, because, as we all know, when 10.6 is released, everything else just suddenly stops working. Completely.

    It may (rumors, remember) leave PowerPCs unsupported. But that is an inevtiability, anyway.
  • Re:MacOS for PC's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:34AM (#23681103) Homepage


    No really, the answer to all your questions are "yes". You seem to understand the situation so I'm not sure why you're asking.

    Q:Is there a reason why they don't release it for regular PC's?
    A:Yes, there are a couple reasons, at least. You give two of them later on.

    Q:Is it because they'd like people to buy Mac hardware along with the OS?
    A:Yes. Apple makes most of its money selling hardware. That's the business they're in. OSX and iLife are largely built to be enticements to buy their hardware, just as the iTMS was created to encourage people to buy iPods.

    Q:But maybe there would be more Mac OS's sold if they also made a version for regular PC's?
    A:Yes, there would most surely be more sales of OSX. The question is, would the increased profits from OSX be enough to make up for the lost hardware sales? The answer is "probably not".

    Q:Or maybe they do it because there are less possible compatibility problems if they only make it for their own Mac hardware, because PC's are too customizable?
    A:Yes, that's another problem with supporting generic PCs-- you're going to have to support every little piece of crappy hardware anyone wants to buy. Worse yet, you're going to have to deal with the fact that a lot of that hardware comes with poorly-written drivers that will crash your system. The fact is that a *lot* of instability that people see on Windows is driver-related. By being both the OS developer and the systems integrator, Apple gets a level of stability that would otherwise be much more difficult to reach.

  • Re:BOO, Apple! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realinvalidname ( 529939 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @09:51AM (#23681315) Homepage

    Run Linux, you will probably never have to worry about the next version being unavailable for your preferred hardware platform!

    And instead, you can worry about drivers never being available for your cards, peripherals, etc.

  • by MrMickS ( 568778 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:01AM (#23681465) Homepage Journal
    Ah, replace with Linux. That's the solution to everything. Though if it was why hasn't everyone done it already? Ah, that would be because its not as simple as that in the real world.

    The existing PPC kit will run no problem on 10.5 for a couple more years. This will probably be the timescale for 10.7, at which point patches for 10.5 would stop being produced. That gives the 5 year life time. I don't understand that problem.

  • 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.

  • Re:I'm too cheap (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:07AM (#23681533)
    I take it you don't buy Windows licenses when new versions are released. The "most" comparable Vista is $700. And it falls flat compared to OS X.
  • by beetle496 ( 677137 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:19AM (#23681669) Homepage

    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: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:I'm too cheap (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lars T. ( 470328 ) <Lars.Traeger@goo ... Ncom minus berry> on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:22AM (#23681697) Journal

    Mod parent up, Apple shouldn't be immune to criticism
    Of the "have you stopped beating your wife" kind?
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:41AM (#23681953) Homepage Journal

    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.
    That's not a problem specific to Mac users. My stepson was using some *nix application to re-encode (DRM free) WMA to MP3 the other day.

    When it crashed he proclaimed "Linux sucks! It won't convert WMA files to MP3!"

    To which I replied "No, it won't. Linux is an OS kernel. It doesn't convert audio files. You must mean the application you were using to re-encode the files sucks. The nice thing about Ubuntu is that if one application or method doesn't work, there's probably a hundred other ways you could accomplish the same thing with some other tools or combination of tools. Try lame."

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

    by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:45AM (#23682003) Homepage
    Yes, this tends to be the case. However, it seems to be that these complains ARE read by Apple who proceeds to fix them (or at least try) in the next release.

    Keep in mind that the same thing tends to be true of Windows releases; they're just much less frequent. However, MS really just seems to do security patches and blame third parties for any software bugs. I have no idea what is true and what's really at fault, but you can't blame Mac users for expecting the computer they paid a premium for to work better when they paid the premium to have it work better. I paid the extra to have things work better and overall they do, but when there's an issue I expect it to be resolved in a reasonable time-frame. Generally it is, and that's why they'll keep getting my money.
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pdusen ( 1146399 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:45AM (#23682015) Journal
    Since my experience with Vista has had none of the issues that the Slashdot parade continues to bitch about, I think I'm willing to give 10.5 the benefit of the doubt.
  • Re:OS Code Names (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arkhan_jg ( 618674 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @10:48AM (#23682053)
    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.
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pdusen ( 1146399 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @11:08AM (#23682325) Journal

    So are the experiences of the couple thousand people on the internet who actually *have* had problems, and then the millions of people after them who actually have no experience at all, but like to bleat out the same phrases bleated into them.

    Ahem... and anyway, I didn't say anything about my experience proving anything. But based on the fact that the internet is abuzz with Vista problems that I have found to be mostly fabricated or exaggerated, I am willing to bet most problems reported with 10.5 are also fabricated and exaggerated.

  • But not very many. Net Applications reported that Intel Mac use surpassed PPC back in November.

    So? How many people were still using OS 9 when they dumped the G4 tower. They had to bring Classic-booting Macs back *twice* because of the outcry from education. I'm still convinced that Apple could have introduced Intel Macs at any time and they waited until they could dump Classic booting... the third time was the charm... before they dumped Classic with the Intel introduction.

    Apple has always considered the educational market a critical one because it's a gateway market.

    Now, where do you suppose many of the PPC Macs out there are?
  • Re:Not a surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @11:57AM (#23682985)
    My anecdote:

    X.5.0 caused the web cam to stop working. The fix, amazingly enough, was to unplug the computer and plug it back it. Other than that, it has been pretty typical Apple affair...little/no fuss and a bunch of features I'll never use.

  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:24PM (#23683413)
    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 intentional instabilities [] of Microsoft's latest os.

    What this means is apple programs ported or hacked into windows would adopt the look and feel of windows applications, and would, if done through a third party abstraction layer, be less stable than native windows apps.

    I know which company joe sixpack will avoid. To him a computer is a computer, just like all sports cars are the same to those who are not motor heads. One company's software worked on his computer, the other didn't. (and yes I managed to cram in a car analogy!... do we have a name for that forum law yet?)
  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:24PM (#23683419)
    Yeah, but I'd venture that half this site is speculation. How many stories on Slashdot fit the "[random blogger, industry expert, etc] says that [windows vista, ubuntu, bsd, etc] is [about to die, about to thrive, going to have to change dramatically to survive]"? I mean, today there is even a Duke Nukem Forever article!
  • Re:MacOS for PC's (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BrentH ( 1154987 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:38PM (#23683639)
    The music and video to psuh their ipods, and the software to 'have what Microsoft got'. The really high end software like Final Cut and Logic are of course to make money on, but I suppose they push their MacPro's too (they do sell $30000 machines after all, to this crowd).
  • Re:I'm too cheap (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The End Of Days ( 1243248 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @12:54PM (#23683849)
    If the release provides stability updates (implying the last paid release is unstable) then it's kinda shitty to charge for them.

    Of course, this is all rumors, so getting indignant about it now is stupid. And very, very Slashdot.
  • Re:MacOS for PC's (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesScorp ( 410532 ) < minus author> on Friday June 06, 2008 @01:39PM (#23684463) Homepage Journal

    BeOS tried that. NeXT tried that. IBM (OS/2) tried that. It doesn't work.
    They didn't work because they were small companies, and Microsoft crushed them when they tried to negotiate OEM deals with companies like Dell and HP by threatening to penalize those OEM's. Apple isn't a small company. They have big income outside of the PC market now, and they wouldn't be intimidated or defeated . And the last time they let cloners run their OS, Mac usage picked up dramatically.

    You can argue whether it makes financial sense for Apple to license their OS to OEMs, but you can't really argue that it wouldn't work when it already has. And Michael Dell has openly stated that he'd love to offer OS X on Dell machines.

    Apple's hardware has always been a strength... well designed and attractive. But their stuff is looking less and less attractive (or even distinctive), and more like ugly European kitchen hardware. I've gotten to the point where I'd welcome running OS X on third party hardware.

  • And yet BSD apparently is not. Certified Unix just means you have the cash to pay for certification.
  • Re:I'm too cheap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @02:28PM (#23685181)

    If the release provides stability updates (implying the last paid release is unstable) then it's kinda shitty to charge for them.

    Actually, even the rumor did not say "stability updates" just "stability and security improvements." I seriously doubt they are talking about bug fixes. More likely (assuming this rumor has any real foundation) they are talking about extending MAC to help contain unstable applications and better keep them from monopolizing resources. Another interesting thing about this rumor is it could quite easily be based on something true, but which was distorted by those that heard it. We're talking about a presentation at a developer conference. It would be easy for someone with inside knowledge to say, "yeah nothing really new, no new core frameworks ala CoreAnimation, mostly security and stability stuff" and have that interpreted by someone as the next version of OS X will not have any new features, instead of the next version not having new features developers need to worry about. For that matter, the original rumor also didn't mention if Apple will be charging for this release, that's just an assumption. Remember the 10.1 release was free because it included a huge number of stability fixes. Heck, for all we know Apple is in the process of migrating to a subscription payment service.

    I agree it would be annoying if Apple released a new version that was just bug fixes and charged for it... but I also think that is highly unlikely.

  • by SaxIndustries ( 1268118 ) on Friday June 06, 2008 @05:45PM (#23688029)
    Am I the only one that recalls Steve Jobs announcing they'd support PowerPC for two more years after the launch of Intel Macs?

    I've been reading tons of comments about how "Apple can't possibly abandon PowerPC."

    Seems to me like it's right on schedule.

    I'm at work, so I can't currently watch it, so I'll leave it up to somebody else to watch it and tell me I'm wrong - []

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe