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Apple to unleash first builds of Snow Leopard since WWDC

post #1 of 43
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Apple is quietly preparing to equip some of its developers with the first pre-release copies of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard since an inaugural build was issued to attendees during its annual developers conference in June, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the company's plans suggest that distribution will be extremely limited, as the software is believed to have undergone a number of enhancements since its earlier appearance. Members of the vast Apple Developer Connection network are among those who are unlikely to see the new builds, they say, at least during the initial phase.

Unlike major Mac OS X releases of years past, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard will mark a temporary departure from user-oriented feature implementations in favor of a focus on performance and stability. This will include a tremendous amount of effort towards laying a foundation that will support the future directions of the microprocessor and graphics industries for years to come.

With the chipmakers indicating that the future of PC performance will largely be driven by an increase in the number of cores per processor, rather than raw clock speed, Snow Leopard will include a feature called Grand Central, which will allow developers to easily author applications that take advantage of 2-, 4-, 8- and even higher-core Macs without extensive knowledge of multi-threading and load balancing.

Similarly, a feature called Open Computing Language (or OpenCL), will let any application tap into the vast gigaflops of GPU computing power previously available only to graphics applications. Snow Leopard will also raise the software limit on system memory up to a theoretical 16TB of RAM and introduce a new version of QuickTime optimized for modern audio and video formats.

Word that Apple is set to expand testing of Snow Leopard comes just weeks before the company is expected to return focus to its Mac business with the introduction of radically redesigned MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Mac OS X 10.5.6, the next update to its existing Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system, is also expected to surface around that time, and has been rumored to include native Blu-ray support.

Since its pre-release debut in June, AppleInsider has covered a number of smaller discoveries surrounding Snow Leopard, such icon support of QuickLook, dramatically smaller application packages, and the system's new multi-touch framework and text processing features.

We've also recently kicked off our Road to Snow Leopard series with a four-part segment covering upcoming improvements to 64-bit support, and offering readers a look at how those under-the-hood enhancements will benefit every day use:

Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: 64-bits

Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: 64-Bits

Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: 64-bits, Santa Rosa, and more

Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: twice the RAM, half the price, 64-bits

Road to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: the future of 64-bit apps

Additional Snow Leopard news is aggregated on our Snow Leopard topics page.
post #2 of 43
this thing has to be the tablet os. I hope.
post #3 of 43
I hope they make it available to Select developers. I paid the $500 for this and I can't say what's on there, but so far very poor value.

I am also eargerly awaiting the arrival of the WWDC '08 videos. Since it was sold out this year, I thought they would have doubled their efforts to get the videos up quickly, but apparently not.
post #4 of 43
There will be user oriented features. mark my words.
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post #5 of 43
. . .
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post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Unlike major Mac OS X releases of years past, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard will mark a temporary departure from user-oriented feature implementations in favor of a focus on performance and stability.

I really wish the above included ."..in favour of back-end features....." in the sentence. People already complain that Apple's updates equate to Windows Service Packs because they have similar timeframes, and the announcement of no new features has just made it worse with SL, despite the prominent announcement of very advanced new features.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post

There will be user oriented features. mark my words.

They've already announced Exchange support in Mail and the SL preview has shown us several new UI features, but I'm sure we'll see many more that crop up.
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post #7 of 43
I still think Snow Leopard will primarily be a maintenance release to a much larger, earth shattering, mind blowing release that will be 10.7.
post #8 of 43
The talk about multi-touch and such doesn't make me think of a tablet (although they'll make the architecture scale) as much as it does an upgrade for the iPhone and iPod touch. It doesn't seem to get discussed much but those devices will definitely not be limited to point upgrades. It makes sense that they're as disappointed with OS X Leopard as they are OS X Mobile, it would also make sense that they're going to time the launch of both OSes since it's relatively the same code (probably now more so than ever).
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post #9 of 43
"introduce a new version of QuickTime optimized for modern audio and video formats." BLU-RAY support.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

I still think Snow Leopard will primarily be a maintenance release to a much larger, earth shattering, mind blowing release that will be 10.7.

That makes it sound like a Windows Service Pack. The known details of SL are already far from simply being 'maintenance'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AeronPrometheus View Post

The talk about multi-touch and such doesn't make me think of a tablet (although they'll make the architecture scale) as much as it does an upgrade for the iPhone and iPod touch. It doesn't seem to get discussed much but those devices will definitely not be limited to point upgrades. It makes sense that they're as disappointed with OS X Leopard as they are OS X Mobile, it would also make sense that they're going to time the launch of both OSes since it's relatively the same code (probably now more so than ever).

The kernel is the same, but their are a gross many differences between the OS X Mac and OS X iPhone. The MultiTouch framework in question seems to focus on the touchpad, which I think we'll see considerable advancements in when the new Mac notebook case change arrives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

"introduce a new version of QuickTime optimized for modern audio and video formats." BLU-RAY support.

Blu-ray movie support will be done through DVD player or a similar program. QucikTime is not used for DVD playback for a very specific reason involving digital rights and Blu-ray movie DRM and HDCP has taken this to a whole 'nother level.
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post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I really wish the above included ."..in favour of back-end features....." in the sentence. People already complain that Apple's updates equate to Windows Service Packs because they have similar timeframes, and the announcement of no new features has just made it worse with SL, despite the prominent announcement of very advanced new features.

... but perhaps Apple NEEDS to make sure people don't see this version as a big thing.
Let me go to an extreme (which is likely to be wrong)... to illustrate what I mean.

Lets say Apple is looking at a fundamental underlying change to how the OS works, and knows that the unavoidable side effect is that it is going to break many applications, cause driver issues, and cause discontent - but it's GREAT for the future. The answer is to release an OS that people don't really care about... that they don't feel a burning desire to upgrade to. Give the app developers and driver developers time to make sure everything is smooth (hell.. give APPLE time to make sure everything is smooth). Then release 10.7 with the new underlying system and new bells and whistles (right around the release time of Windows 7).
(Of course if they add Exchange integration to Mail on 10.6, they'll need to release the same integration to Mail on 10.5.)

They did this with the Intel transition.... they made it seamless, they made it look like nothing was changing. I have no idea what degree of underlying changes is required for it to be something they'd rather HIDE from us. I assume to some degree we'd be talking about something similar to all the driver & app issues Vista had - but Apple won't market 10.6 as the answer to everyone's prayers and get user backlash from the incompatibilities.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

... but perhaps Apple NEEDS to make sure people don't see this version as a big thing.

I think you are partially right in that Apple will not be supporting PPC so they won't people to think they are forcing them to upgrade to an Intel Mac... even though that has already been stated and will be stated even more once the PPC drop becomes official from Apple.

Quote:
Lets say Apple is looking at a fundamental underlying change to how the OS works, and knows that the unavoidable side effect is that it is going to break many applications, cause driver issues, and cause discontent.

Each major version of OS X, with perhaps exception from 10.0 through 10.2, did break apps and driver support. 10.6 will surely do the same as there are too many underlying changes to the core OS that will be affected by the update.

Quote:
(Of course if they add Exchange integration to Mail on 10.6, they'll need to release the same integration to Mail on 10.5.)

I think they will update Mail for 10.5 with Exchange support, but I don't see it as a 'need' as each version of Mail has been quite different.

quote]They did this with the Intel transition.... they made it seamless, they made it look like nothing was changing.[/QUOTE]
They did do a great job with that, but the changes there were with the CPU and chipsets, 10.6 already has been hanges to the UI. We've also heard rumours that they had been developing OS X to run on x86 since the beginning since NeXT ran on Intel.
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post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Each major version of OS X, with perhaps exception from 10.0 through 10.2, did break apps and driver support. 10.6 will surely do the same as there are too many underlying changes to the core OS that will be affected by the update.

Yeah that's true... how quickly I forgot. My wife still runs 10.4 due to Adobe/Quark issues (she uses multiple versions).

Still, I'm not convinced that masking the 'transition' isn't their goal.

Quote:
will update Mail for 10.5 with Exchange, but I don't see it as a 'need' as each version of Mail has been quite different.

It'd only be a 'need' if they wanted to minimise reasons for people to upgrade.

For a while I've had the impression that Apple under sell their products. They let others say how good it is, and when there's a criticism it's usually not about something they ever promised it would do. BUT maybe I'm wrong.... might just be seeing one side.

Quote:
10.6 already has major changes to the UI.

Does it? That would wipe my theory. What are the changes? (by major, I assume you mean significant enough that people other than 'the faithful' will want to change OSes to get the changes?)
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Does it? That would wipe my theory

I should not have used the word major, but it does have UI changes so it's not just back-end coding like the inclusion of x86 code like Tiger was, but there are UI changes that make it more than just a bug fix or performance update.
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post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I should not have used the word major, but it does have UI changes so it's not just the inclusion of x86 code like Tiger was, but there are UI changes that make it more than just a bug fix or performance update.

Still, if I was right then they'd minimise anything unnecessary. Unless they were also going to add those interface changes to a simultaneous release of 10.5.11 (or whatever), but that's a stretch with little basis.

Always interesting to watch and wonder.
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Still, if I was right then they'd minimise anything unnecessary. Unless they were also going to add those interface changes to a simultaneous release of 10.5.11 (or whatever), but that's a stretch with little basis.

Always interesting to watch and wonder.

It will be fun to see a real demo of SL at MacWorld* and it will be nice to have frequent AI articles about Snow Leopard.

* I'm assuming they won't do a demo at the Mac presentation later this month.
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post #17 of 43
If they *are* dropping PPC support, then it makes sense not to add too many user-facing features so PPC people don't feel they are missing out on much by having to stick with 10.5. Yes, they will miss out on the back-end features but these are really only applicable to machines with many cores and high-powered video cards which is not them (with the possible exception of the Quad G5)

The feature I would most like to see is res independence. My eyesight is not so great so I sometimes run my 1920 x 1200 monitor at 1280 x 800. With res. independence I could use those extra pixels for extra smoothness instead of disabling them.
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

this thing has to be the tablet os. I hope.

They won't quite reveal those cards yet Bren. The snow, that's coming later.
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post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Yes, they will miss out on the back-end features but these are really only applicable to machines with many cores and high-powered video cards which is not them (with the possible exception of the Quad G5)

There are articles that talk about multi-core PPCs not benefiting from Grand Central, and may actually become slower because of it, but it's well beyond by tech knowledge so I can't begin it.

Quote:
The feature I would most like to see is res independence. My eyesight is not so great so I sometimes run my 1920 x 1200 monitor at 1280 x 800. With res. independence I could use those extra pixels for extra smoothness instead of disabling them.

Have you tried IR on the Leopard. It's still very, very broken, but there are apps that are very usable if you don't mind some visual bugs. If you use Dashboard at all then it's a no go as it alters the visual code in each widget, but not the original format size it's in so increasing the size means you don't see the whole widget.
defaults write -g AppleDisplayScaleFactor x Where x equals the scaling and 1 is the default size, so 2 will double the size. Note: You have to relaunch an app for it to take effect and you can use sizes like 1.37.
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post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The feature I would most like to see is res independence. My eyesight is not so great so I sometimes run my 1920 x 1200 monitor at 1280 x 800. With res. independence I could use those extra pixels for extra smoothness instead of disabling them.

Try this website:
http://www.3dexpress.de/
the app allows you to force any resolution on your monitor, worked wonders for me.
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post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Have you tried IR on the Leopard. It's still very, very broken, but there are apps that are very usable if you don't mind some visual bugs. If you use Dashboard at all then it's a no go as it alters the visual code in each widget, but not the original format size it's in so increasing the size means you don't see the whole widget.
defaults write -g AppleDisplayScaleFactor x Where x equals the scaling and 1 is the default size, so 2 will double the size. Note: You have to relaunch an app for it to take effect and you can use sizes like 1.37.

Thanks. Yes, I have tried IR on Leopard. You can also use the program Quartz Debug in the developer tools to change the scale factor. Despite the graphical glitches (which as you say are quite extensive in some apps) I still put up with it for days on end, that is how much I am looking forward to this feature
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Try this website:
http://www.3dexpress.de/
the app allows you to force any resolution on your monitor, worked wonders for me.

Thanks for the thought, I will take a look.
post #23 of 43
I'm not going to sit here and say nothing will be new in userland as frankly I don't think that will be the case. What I will say though is that many people in this thread seem to be misjudgeing just how big of a change this will be. SL is not at all comparable to a MS service pack. To deliver some of what has been described we will see a major rewrite of parts of the kernel.

I also expect that part of the reason to limit userland and this the draw is that Apple doesn't want to make this an update that attracks users with no idea what is going on. I see it as a transitional update that will allow people running Leopard to stay on that platform for a good long while. This does two things it gives Apple time to stabilize the new OS after tons of users get their hands on it. Second is the issue of third party software and hardware. It will take time to get software and drivers up to speed and stable. Apple will want people to be interested in SL the just don't want them to think it is mandatory nor maybe well supported out of the box.

Since there is a lot of new tech going into SL the rate at which third party developers will be able to take advantage of those features will be highly variable. In other words some apps will launch with SL and take advantage of much of the new tech. Other apps might be a long time coming if at all. Which is a final point not all apps will benefit directly from all the new goodness in SL.

Or to put it sweetly the tech in SL is very interesting from the standpoint of a person with that sort of bent. However I'm not to sure the majority of the apps I currently use will see great benefit. Of course part of that is related to my already running WebKit which may or may not release with SL.

Dave
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

If they *are* dropping PPC support, then it makes sense not to add too many user-facing features so PPC people don't feel they are missing out on much by having to stick with 10.5.

Apple don't care about PPC users' feelings. They are primarily a hardware company. If anything, they will do the opposite so that PPC users will finally make the jump to Intel hardware and their profits will go up. On top of that, people will be buying Intel-compatible software upgrades. There may have to be a lot of software upgrades to take advantage of Snow Leopard even for people who already have an Intel Mac.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

this thing has to be the tablet os. I hope.

I think the answer here is that part of the tech here would go into a tablet and be immediately useful. Otherthings like OpenCL are another story as Apple MIGHT NOT have access to a GPU or other hardware to accelerate an OpenCL app on these rumored devices.

I say rumored but do realize I'm also very interested in tablet like devices in the slightly larger than iPhone size. As always the question is how much electronics can you cram into the bag. Don't get me wrong it would be great to see a GPU in a tablet device that can support OpenCL but I just don't see it happening with a tablet this year or next. Dual or maybe even quad core processors yes.

So in a sense yeah SL is likely a dependency for a tablet. That more for it being slimed down than anything along with better SMP support. On the otherhand I don't expect that a tablet will come with a 64 bit CPU or some of the other hardware SL would need maxed out. SO would be used for it's leanness more than anything.

Of course there is always the unknown stuff that could form the engine of a tablet. I'm currently under the assumption that an ARM device would be the only likely core. On the otherhand Apple is about the only company that could get Intel to build a completely custom Atom that could drive the machine.

Dave
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

... but perhaps Apple NEEDS to make sure people don't see this version as a big thing.
Let me go to an extreme (which is likely to be wrong)... to illustrate what I mean.

Lets say Apple is looking at a fundamental underlying change to how the OS works, and knows that the unavoidable side effect is that it is going to break many applications, cause driver issues, and cause discontent - but it's GREAT for the future. The answer is to release an OS that people don't really care about... that they don't feel a burning desire to upgrade to. Give the app developers and driver developers time to make sure everything is smooth (hell.. give APPLE time to make sure everything is smooth). Then release 10.7 with the new underlying system and new bells and whistles (right around the release time of Windows 7).
(Of course if they add Exchange integration to Mail on 10.6, they'll need to release the same integration to Mail on 10.5.)

They did this with the Intel transition.... they made it seamless, they made it look like nothing was changing. I have no idea what degree of underlying changes is required for it to be something they'd rather HIDE from us. I assume to some degree we'd be talking about something similar to all the driver & app issues Vista had - but Apple won't market 10.6 as the answer to everyone's prayers and get user backlash from the incompatibilities.

A lot of what you say is true, but many, millions, will upgrade to it anyway. Apple will be promoting this. They already have during Steve's address.

Also, every new machine will come with 10.6 installed. If Apple sells 25 million machines in the possibly two years before 10.7 arrives, they will likely have at least 30 million machines on 10.6.

There's no way this won't be a very public thing. It's GOT to work, and not break too much.
post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Does it? That would wipe my theory. What are the changes? (by major, I assume you mean significant enough that people other than 'the faithful' will want to change OSes to get the changes?)

We're assuming a lot. One thing likely to make it this time is resolution independence. That would be a very big thing. And it's here now, just for developers only. Gives them time to program for it.
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Try this website:
http://www.3dexpress.de/
the app allows you to force any resolution on your monitor, worked wonders for me.

This is exactly what we're talking about NOT having to do.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Apple don't care about PPC users' feelings. They are primarily a hardware company. If anything, they will do the opposite so that PPC users will finally make the jump to Intel hardware and their profits will go up. On top of that, people will be buying Intel-compatible software upgrades. There may have to be a lot of software upgrades to take advantage of Snow Leopard even for people who already have an Intel Mac.

Apple hasn't cared about any users' feelings for a long time. However, there is a dark side to rapid obsolescence, one that's particularly poignant at a time when most people are too busy worrying about making ends meet to consider major discretionary purchases.

If you show your buyers that their products will be rendered obsolete in a time frame that is shorter than customer expectations then you alienate then. Alienated customers tend to look around for alternatives rather than buying on the supplier's schedule. Worst case scenario: customer moves to a competitor and takes their entire family/company with them. Apple is fairly lucky there because popular belief is Windows PCs have a very short lifespan, but if the hardware doesn't break down a PC can actually last a long time because most software today doesn't require anything newer than Windows 2000, an operating system that's older than Mac OS X 10.0.

I'm still on PPC mostly because I'm struggling to pay the bills every month. In addition my G5 tower is still fast enough for everything I do and has plenty of RAM and storage capacity so I really don't need anything new. I'm now thinking my jump to Intel will take place when 10.6.1 is released.
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Of course there is always the unknown stuff that could form the engine of a tablet. I'm currently under the assumption that an ARM device would be the only likely core. On the otherhand Apple is about the only company that could get Intel to build a completely custom Atom that could drive the machine.
Dave

This will certainly change in the future when Intel goes to 32nm and get's a proper low-power chipset, but at the moment "Atom" is a joke compared to what is already available with ARM. The iPhone itself uses an ARM11 core, which is already obsolete. ARM's newest is the Cortex series, which includes the Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 which both come in multi-core versions and run over 1.0Ghz, all while using an order of magnitude less power than an Atom. I guess it really depends on how different desktop OSX is from the ARM-running iPhone OS, and what features they are going to be focusing on, and also if this device is more like a 4-5" Nokia N800-like "tablet" or a 7-10" "tablet" more akin to a subnotebook.
post #31 of 43
Hey, AI, you guys should take a page from the App store and start screening some of your ads. Specifically the PC alert window at the top of the page that constantly makes that stupid boing sound, tells me I'm the 1,000,000th visitor and I've won something (right). The alert, as you know, has an annoying wiggle and when you click the close box (if you can hit it), it STILL takes you to their ad page.

I'm serious, a few more like this one and AI will be off my RSS feed.
post #32 of 43
There were several attempts in this list to explain the real meaning of "no new features" and the scope/amount of changes in Snow Leopard based on the information available so far. I will make one more.

1. Concentrating on "under the hood" changes does not mean Apple is going to fix bugs and optimize the existing code only. They are going to add lots of NEW stuff there. They are laying out a platform for the future. It is more like low-level architectural changes than code optimization. If you insist to compare that to Windows release cycle, it is more relevant to talk about WIndows NT - Windows 2000 releases than a service pack. I don't hink Apple will make the change in one shot though. Some preparation was already done in Leopard and some may be left for future OS releases.

2. One of the changes is a new 64-bit kernel. It is not known how many changes Apple will make along the way but this is a big change. The new kernel is enough of a reason to drop PPC. First, there will be no need to test and fix it for PPC. Second, it may contain processor optimization itself and there is no reason to spend resources on an architecture extinct in Apple's product line.

3. From a purely financial point of view Apple does not care how many users will buy the new OS. It represents a negligible part of their revenue. The only thing Apple will want to avoid is an OS version which is publicly dismissed by the customers, like Vista was. That is the reason Apple tries to lower the expectations for those who will not get the difference anyway.

4. Based on 2. and 3. above, it is quite possible that many new features, or the OS as a whole, may not be supported on PPC. With 10.5 Leopard there were low-level changes in the Objective-C runtime. Along with the new kernel, those changes may need to break computability with 32 processors to be fully deployed. Get ready for 64-bit only OS from Apple in the [not so distant?] future.
post #33 of 43
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post #34 of 43
So for those of us waiting to buy new Macbooks this October, will we see the benefits of later upgrading to Snow Leopard on our hardware?

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post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

A lot of what you say is true, but many, millions, will upgrade to it anyway. Apple will be promoting this. They already have during Steve's address.

Also, every new machine will come with 10.6 installed. If Apple sells 25 million machines in the possibly two years before 10.7 arrives, they will likely have at least 30 million machines on 10.6.

There's no way this won't be a very public thing. It's GOT to work, and not break too much.

Yes millions will upgrade anyway. And Apple must be working on making the new system not just stable and ready for the future - but able to use all the old stuff without a hitch. I just don't know enough to say whether that's possible. Apple can rewrite drivers for all their own hardware so that's fine - do peripheral drivers need rewrites? Are there things that can not be made compatible no matter how much effort?

So yeah millions will upgrade - but will Apple released it at WWDC and talk up all the great underlying technologies for developers while deliberately warning off consumers? It's not going to stop people like us wanting to have a go, and telling regular users not to buy it will just get more headlines about Apple.

They could easily offer a choice of 10.5 or 10.6 on new computers too. Hell I don't know what they'll end up doing, just what they've said so far sounds like they're playing it like the Intel transition (which means that yes they are saying how good it'll be, but they're also aware of problems and want to make it smooth).

If Microsoft had made Vista look and feel identical to XP and told people it was their platform for the future but that average users should hold of because it was SO GOOD that it broke compatibility with lots of apps... they would have got vastly different press and interest. (And sold millions anyway). And a year later they could have pushed a new interface and features.
post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This is exactly what we're talking about NOT having to do.

I couldn't agree more, I went to the website, scanned the FAQ for about 30 secs and closed the tab. This is exactly what I don't want to have to do.

Apple is working on it, I'll wait till they are ready.
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

do peripheral drivers need rewrites?

As far as I know with first betas of Leopard seeded to developers Apple strongly suggested that all new drivers are made universal binaries including 64-bit support. I don't know if Apple will provide a solution for backwards compatibility for 32-bit drivers in Snow Leopard.

During the PPC - Intel transition PPC printer drivers worked OK but other hardware required Intel-driver to work. My guess is that we will see the same pattern here.
post #38 of 43
So is there anything more official about whether PPC support will be dropped in 10.6?

I still haven't seen anything beyond speculation, has apple actually said anything either way?
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Apple hasn't cared about any users' feelings for a long time. However, there is a dark side to rapid obsolescence, one that's particularly poignant at a time when most people are too busy worrying about making ends meet to consider major discretionary purchases.

If you show your buyers that their products will be rendered obsolete in a time frame that is shorter than customer expectations then you alienate then. Alienated customers tend to look around for alternatives rather than buying on the supplier's schedule. Worst case scenario: customer moves to a competitor and takes their entire family/company with them. Apple is fairly lucky there because popular belief is Windows PCs have a very short lifespan, but if the hardware doesn't break down a PC can actually last a long time because most software today doesn't require anything newer than Windows 2000, an operating system that's older than Mac OS X 10.0.

I'm still on PPC mostly because I'm struggling to pay the bills every month. In addition my G5 tower is still fast enough for everything I do and has plenty of RAM and storage capacity so I really don't need anything new. I'm now thinking my jump to Intel will take place when 10.6.1 is released.

You're going a bit overboard here.

What does obsolete mean? It doesn't mean that the newest OS intermediate version can't be installed. It means that the device isn't usable in an efficient manner when compared to more modern devices.

Its quite possible that every old Mac is obsolete already, whether or not they use 10.5 now.

It may also not mean that, if an individual finds their older machine to work perfectly well for them.

Not having 10.6 install on a PPC machine doesn't instantly make that machine obsolete. Nothing changes for the user.

It will have been a good three years since the last G5 machine was produced when 10.6 arrives. That's just fine.

There are times when transitions simply must be made. Apple has had to go through those transitions for some time now. Each time, this has rendered older machines "obsolete". That's the way it goes.

If 10.6 isn't available in at least the G5, then this latest transition to the x86 platform will have been completed three years after it started.

One of the biggest problems MS has, and why Vista has been such a bust as far as anything new is concerned, is because, like Apple in the 90's with Copeland, they found that you can't have significant backwards compatibility, with drastic forward looking changes to the OS. Something's got to break. As it is, Vista didn't run at all, or well, on many machines sold within the last year before its release.

The x86 is different enough from the PPC, that features intended for the x86 can't always be shoehorned into the older, less powerful systems. While the later G5's may be powerful enough, there aren't enough of them for Apple to spend considerable resources on an attempt to keep them current with this.

What if only some of the internal, and external advances, can be put into a G5, not to speak of the old G4? Should Apple then release two versions of 10.6? One full version for the Intel platform, and one half assed version for the last PPC's? I think not. At least, unless this is proven wrong, it's what I see. If Apple surprises us, that would be great, but also unexpected.

I also look at this in another slightly different way than seeing three years as a cutoff.

People will rarely upgrade the OS in their machine if they think they will be getting a new one within a year. If Apple charges for this upgrade, the same thing will be true with it.

If people do have three year old machines, the newest possible PPC machines, a large number will be looking to replace them with new ones before too long. They won't want to spend more money on their old ones. For most, those last PPC purchases will have come 3.5 years on average, before they buy a new machine with 10.6 installed.

If the upgrade is free, then more people will want it, naturally. Even so, they know their old machines are on their last legs.

I think that a certain number of people will be ticked off, but that will always be the case, as it has been in the past.

Apple must look beyond that. The future is more important.
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Thanks for the thought, I will take a look.

The advice that bloggerblog gave you may be helpful, but it obfuscates the real problem by making it look like a screen resolution issue only. It is a screen resolution issue in a sense, but the problem is that there is no capability to choose different font sizes for the system fonts, i.e., all the text that you see that cannot be controlled directly by the application. All fonts of that sort are presented in a fixed size that cannot be changed except by setting the effective resolution of the screen to something other than its native resolution. That is not a good means to the reasonable end, because when you change the effective resolution, everything changes, not just the system fonts.

To be blunt, this is a horrible shortcoming in Apple's OS, that they should have addressed a very long time ago. I have made it clear at both the Apple retail store and also via email to Apple that I for one will not be buying any Mac until this very real and very annoying problem is addressed. The information that has leaked, if by chance it is correct, strongly suggests that this shortcoming will be corrected in 10.6. Perhaps someone at Apple was in fact embarrassed over this and other similar issues, and decided that it was time to step back and address these sorts of things.

Assuming that this is what they are doing and that this problem will be corrected in 10.6, I applaud them for taking this approach. It sounds to me like they are doing exactly what needs to be done. When people talk about under the hood, I wonder if they do not understand that an OS is supposed to concern itself only with under the hood matters. When it is claimed that an OS does not support some particular application, then except for when that application has truly unique hardware dependencies, this is a mischaracterization of the situation. It is of course true that the OS supports applications, but in the sense of universal, common support for all applications. As such, it is more useful to think of the OS as supporting hardware, not applications.
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