Apple may release Snow Leopard early next year

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
An Apple director has inadvertently broken word that his company may be planning to release Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard three months earlier than expected.



Speaking at the Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference in San Diego last week, Apple's director of Unix technology Jordan Hubbard ran a series of slides [PDF] as part of his presentation, which have since been linked off the conference's website.



Of possible interest is one slide (below) that outlines the frequency in which the company has released major new versions of the Mac OS X operating system dating back to its inception in 2000. In addition to all past releases, it pencils in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard for a release during first quarter (Jan - Mar) of 2009. The slide notes that its arrival should come a little more than 14 months after the last major Mac OS X release, Leopard.



While announcing Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard at its developers conference last June, Apple stated that the software was "scheduled to ship in about a year," which would have put its release somewhere in the second or third quarter of the year, rather than the first.



Hubbard's revelation would suggest the Cupertino-based company may have plans to accelerate Snow Leopard's deployment schedule to the point where it can show off a near finalized copy at January's Macworld Expo and follow up with an official release a couple of months later.



Rather than add new usability features, the Mac maker said the goal of Snow Leopard will be to enhance the performance of Mac OS X, set a new standard for quality and lay the foundation for future Mac OS X innovation.



In particular, the software will be optimized for multi-core processors, tap into the vast computing power of graphic processing units (GPUs), enable breakthrough amounts of RAM, bundle support for Microsoft Exchange 2007, and feature a new, modern media platform with QuickTime X.



A slide from Jordan Hubbard's presentation at the LISA conference last week.



It should be noted, however, that external testing of Snow Leopard has thus far been extremely limited and at a frequency uncharacteristic of an Apple operating system bound for market in a few months. The company has released just one new test build of the software since June, which arrived late last month.



In that build, Apple introduced developers to a Mac OS X Finder that had been partially rewritten in Cocoa, a move towards a 64-bit kernel, and HFS+ file compression. The build, however, was rife with issues and a number of components were either suspended or exhibited quirky behavior.



Readers looking to keep up to date on Snow Leopard can find an archive of related reports on AppleInsider's Mac OS X 10.6 topics page. AppleInsider has also recently begun its Road to Snow Leopard series which offers an in-depth look at the real-world benefits of the new operating system.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    Lwmlaf??
  • Reply 2 of 53
    Oooh - can't wait. I've got an intel MacBrook Pro with Snow Leopard's name on it ...
  • Reply 3 of 53
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    I can wait. QA, QA, QA, QA, QA, ...
  • Reply 4 of 53
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    I don't see why they'd release it before WWDC '09. They'd want developers on board with Grand Central and 64-bit. Give it a few more months to cook-- no one's really clamoring for it yet.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    I don't see why they'd release it before WWDC '09. They'd want developers on board with Grand Central and 64-bit. Give it a few more months to cook-- no one's really clamoring for it yet.



    Well the chart does say 14+. i would expect a release in March of 2009. That would fit the criteria of 1Q 09 and 14+ months.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    If that's fiscal Q1 2009, then that's Oct-Dec 2008.



    I am in no real hurry to update. Frankly, I think faster than two years is a needlessly fast cycle for an operating system that's solid and mature with some complicated features being added, and I think those features need to be done right the first time.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    I guess this opens up the door for introducing a tablet at MWSF 09. I certainly hope so.



    A more touch-based UI, would explain the limited external testing. Apple would want to keep it secret.



    /Daniel
  • Reply 8 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    While announcing Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard at its developers conference last June, Apple stated that the software was "scheduled to ship in about a year," which would have put its release somewhere in the second or third quarter of the year, rather than the first.



    To some, 8 to 9, in fact 7 to 9 months is "about a year."



    Amazing. Apple pre-announces a product release date and misses it gets chastised. Pre-announces a product release date and launches is earlier and gets chastised.



    I personally wished they didn't tell us anything and get surprised like the good old days.



    In any event, we can't wait for it and are just biting at the bit.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    Given the state of the last developer release, Q1 seems very optimistic. Perhaps the slide was produced a long time ago and no one updated it? I'm still expecting WWDC.
  • Reply 10 of 53
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    Bloody YES!
  • Reply 11 of 53
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    From what I've seen of SL, their is no way that SL will be ready in calender Q1.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    To some, 8 to 9, in fact 7 to 9 months is "about a year."



    Amazing. Apple pre-announces a product release date and misses it gets chastised. Pre-announces a product release date and launches is earlier and gets chastised.



    I personally wished they didn't tell us anything and get surprised like the good old days.



    In any event, we can't wait for it and are just biting at the bit.



    People bitch about Apple not offering up a roadmap, too.
  • Reply 12 of 53
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PXT View Post


    I can wait. QA, QA, QA, QA, QA, ...





    Ditto. Test the living CRAP out of it. Don't want an OS that's borderline flaky until the third patch or so.



    Still, this is very encouraging news. WWDC's usually in June, if Apple can hit even that date, they'll be out ahead of Windows 7 by quite a lot. Not that Microsoft's new 'holiday season 2009' release date is to be taken very seriously, given their track record.



    My new early '08 Macbook Pro is looking forward to Snow Leopard.





    ...
  • Reply 13 of 53
    An impending release of snow leopard would be a big feather in Jobs' gat for MWSF. It would also help Apple regain some of the face they lost when Leopard was released almost a year late (and with some major bugs). When it comes to tech, best to follow the Scotty doctrine. Be very conservative on your time estimates and it will make you look like a miracle worker.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    I don't see why they'd release it before WWDC '09. They'd want developers on board with Grand Central and 64-bit. Give it a few more months to cook-- no one's really clamoring for it yet.



    Exactly. Get it right the first time.



    Apple needs to slow down the release process. They should do what they did with 10.0 and have public betas again and stop keeping these OS releases to just their ADC group. Of course that would be a great pain for them to keep their secrets.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Is this where Jordan goes into another period of self-imposed exile?



    OT: http://crackmonkey.org/pipermail/cra...ne/005293.html
  • Reply 16 of 53
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    April is a while away. Mac touch running snow Leo FTW!
  • Reply 17 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    Ditto. Test the living CRAP out of it. Don't want an OS that's borderline flaky until the third patch or so.



    Still, this is very encouraging news. WWDC's usually in June, if Apple can hit even that date, they'll be out ahead of Windows 7 by quite a lot. Not that Microsoft's new 'holiday season 2009' release date is to be taken very seriously, given their track record.



    My new early '08 Macbook Pro is looking forward to Snow Leopard.

    ...





    Since only specific core pieces are changing in Snow Leopard, every point release on Leopard (10.5) counts as QA for Snow Leopard !!! So, YES, we are all currently testing the crap out it !!



    The scientific community is drooling all over Snow Leopard. Why do you think Apple showed them the release schedule. I read an article yesterday which was a mini interview with two members of the Kronos standards group and they stated that the standard was now complete!! There is still a 30 day legal review to do but it is done. It only took 6 months !!! For a standards committee to do that is amazing and it was Apple that put the carrot out for them.



    The OS X release schedule was likely shown at the same conference that the Kronos group had their OpenCL "launch party".



    http://www.macworld.com/article/136921/opencl.html
  • Reply 18 of 53
    Anyone else think it's unusual that 10.6 doesn't say "Snow Leopard" next to it when all the other releases have their nicknames?



    Name change coming?
  • Reply 19 of 53
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    An impending release of snow leopard would be a big feather in Jobs' gat for MWSF.



    A big feather in his gat? Now that is thinking different, homie.
  • Reply 20 of 53
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,821member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    Anyone else think it's unusual that 10.6 doesn't say "Snow Leopard" next to it when all the other releases have their nicknames?



    Name change coming?



    Uh... http://www.apple.com/macosx/snowleopard/
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