Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard, may only be six months old, but rumours are already abound as to the next update to Apple’s operating system. According to several sources, it’s going to be called Snow Leopard, it won’t contain any major new features, and is planned to go gold master December 2008, available a month later. The big rumour: it’s going to be available for 64bit Intel machines only.The Unoffical Apple Weblog had the scoop this morning, stating several sources claim Apple will supposedly show the new operating system to the public for the first time at the coming Worldwide Developers’ Conference, including a developers’ seeding. It won’t contain any major new features, but instead it will focus on speed and stability, while also dropping support for anything but 64bit Intel machines. That’s going to be rough if you bought a PowerMac G5 Quad.
Lending some credibility to the rumours, Ars’ sources confirmed TUAW’s findings.
People familiar with the situation have confirmed to us that TUAW’s details are true – Snow Leopard is currently on track to come out during next January’s Macworld, and it will not contain major OS changes. Instead, the release is heavily focused on performance and nailing down speed and stability.
A possibility is that Snow Leopard will be Cocoa-only, but this is apparently not yet set in stone, and what exactly “Cocoa-only” means is up for debate. Fact is that Carbon is not available in 64bit flavour.
Despite Ars’ confirmation, this is still a rumour.
Mac OS X major releases always have significant new features. That’s what differentiates them from the minor releases, which tend to include speed, stability and security updates or the odd minor features.
Particularly the 64bit Intel rumour. Intel only maybe, but the last 32bit only Intels were sold until late 2006, around WWDC. That’s less than 2 years ago. I know Apple like pushing new stuff but I doubt they’d deprecate hardware that new.
I can’t see anyone paying $100 for updates without any new features.