Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) due Q1 2009

Apple's Director of Engineering of Unix Technologies, Jordan Hubbard, spoke at Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA) '08 last week. LISA, co-sponsored by USENIX and Sage, generally runs six days: six days of full-day and half-day tutorial training sessions, three days of technical sessions, and two-day vendor exhibitions. LISA is targeted at engineers and system administrators and is a very in depth technical conference.

At this years conference, Hubbard held a talk about the evolution of Mac OS X from large servers to embedded platforms. You can find the presentation slides here. MacRumors picked up that one slide details OSX 10.6 and puts the release date as "Q1 2009":

It is unusual for anyone at Apple to slip up and publicly reveal product information or time lines, so we can assume this is a genuine target date for Apple. Macworld 2009, San Francisco, is due to kick off on January 5th 2009 and it is rumoured we will hear more about Snow Leopard and possibly the introduction of an updated line of Mac Pro machines, i7 maybe?

Either way it's clear Apple has to push this update out as soon as possible. Microsoft is quickly readying Windows 7 and if it's ready for Q4 2009 and Apple's OS slips then it could be an interesting battle next Summer.

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Guess I better upgrade to Leopard fast, seeing how Snow Leopard will not be compatible with my iBook! (still on Tiger) :D

On a sidenote, isn't it strange that the so-called "major releases" Apple provided to the Mac since 2001 were point releases rather than integer releases? Makes me wonder when (or if) Apple will just go straight to Mac OS 11.

There is one thing i have never seen people talk on - any company who makes any product needs to be able to sell them to make money. (look at the big 3 US car makers!). Apple thought that to make people buy their products they mesmerize and brainwash people to become their aficionados and these people become mac fanatics who can kill if someone critisize their configurations!

All these people are victims and the only winner is Apple. They have such a small market share and look at their profits! if they had the share MS has they wuld own US and japan's wealth put together!

In my place Apple sells a mouse for $ 80!!! (can you imagine??). At work i use a cheap Taiwan made mouse on my Win XP machine for 8 hours a day 5 days a week since 4 years and it costed me $ 10 !!!!

kingco said,
T At work i use a cheap Taiwan made mouse on my Win XP machine for 8 hours a day 5 days a week since 4 years and it costed me $ 10 !!!!


That says it all right there.

Apple is a premium brand. The only one in the industry. I don't put a price on my daily computing experience.


LTD said,
That says it all right there.

Apple is a premium brand. The only one in the industry. I don't put a price on my daily computing experience.


Apple is a "premium brand" and for that... you're gonna pay a "premium price" esp. when it comes to upgrades from Apple.

RAID 0 said,

Apple is a "premium brand" and for that... you're gonna pay a "premium price" esp. when it comes to upgrades from Apple.

Uh, yes. That's kind of how it works.

I am sure that the 5% of the population that actually uses a Macintosh will be happy. The Macbook Pro does make a nice notebook though as long as it is running Windows (without boot camp). At this point, I am more interested in the iphone OS 2.2 point release. Here, I think Apple actually has a future.

bluarash said,
I am sure that the 5% of the population that actually uses a Macintosh will be happy. The Macbook Pro does make a nice notebook though as long as it is running Windows (without boot camp). At this point, I am more interested in the iphone OS 2.2 point release. Here, I think Apple actually has a future.

It's actually nearly 8.2% US. In January '07 it was 6.22%. YOY growth is over 20%, reaching 30% this past July.

Mac is growing at over three times the rate of PCs in the past year, outpacing the industry 3:1. And Apple's most profitable business isn't the iPod or the iPhone, it's Macs.

Apple currently has enough cash on hand to buy Dell outright. In fact, Apple is currently sitting on $20.8B in cash and short term investments.They're adding $1B each quarter, and could soon surpass Microsoft's $23.7B

In fact, Apple is one of the few tech companies in the industry that actually HAS a future.

Further, the App Store and its model of distribution steering the industry in a new direction. The efficiency of this kind of distribution is impossible for the traditional model to compete with. During a quarter in which consumers supposedly quit spending, Apple grew real revenue by 54.5% and grew net income by a staggering 81.2%. That kind of growth is absurd for a company as mature as Apple. That kind of growth is absurd during an economic collapse.

I'm not dumping all over your comment, there was no reason to. But your market share figure prompted me to just put up a few interesting facts.

LTD, please... go away. I don't care what propaganda you are spewing now. I don't care about sales number for the year or for that matter even the last three. I will believe that Apple has a "true" 8.2% of the market when I can buy a Mac and get it serviced "anywhere." Until than... it is simply an expensive, somewhat proprietary PC using the Intel processor.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/for...2008/full_list/
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/for...list/index.html
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/full_list/

In summary: (note: you have to take into lame sales of Vista)
1). Apple has a 32.48 billion dollar revenue, a net income of 4.83 billion and an overall market cap of 86.3, while Microsoft has a revenue of 60.42, net income of 17.61 and an overall market cap of 230 billion.
2). You might want to look at the market share numbers again. Your are sourcing a snapshot and not a long term projection. The numbers I am looking at are:

70.64% for XP
16.93% for Vista
05.23% for Mactel
02.52% for MacPPC
02.02% for Win2k
00.82% for Linux
00.71% for NT
00.65% for Win9x
00.19% for iphone OS *
00.06% for Windows Mobile devices

The rest is made of unrelated Unix and mobile platforms. You are correct that the Mac makes up about eight percent of the market, but that isn't even half of the Vista market (and that adoption has been slow).

As for Apple buying out Dell, I think it might actually be a good idea. It would never happen. It would give Apple some credibility in the corporate ladder.

In the end, however, this matters very little to me. I am perfectly happy using my ipod touch on my Vista box and I have no intention of moving to an Intel Mac.

I really don't see the sources I gave as propaganda. The gave you the fortune 500 lists 06-08, a revenue summary and raw market numbers for operating systems in use. If this is propaganda, than all mainstream information is so and the msm has got it in for Apple. We both know that is hardly the case. Apple is loved pretty much everywhere.

If I was going to go into speculation, I would argue that the majority of users are not really new. They are former Mac users with old PPCs and geeks from the mids 90s counter culture that have turned into yuppies and abandon their neo-communist dream of a Utopian Linux platform for a more commercial friendly Unix venture with OSX. I don't really have any proof of this... so were will just have to take Apple's word that the majority of the converts of XP users. That would translate into a little over half of just over five percent. This facing against the least successful Windows upgrade and on the horizon of Windows 7 (which is supposed to actually be pretty good as a rebranded Vista).

The main theme of my message is simply. Yes, Apple has had wonderful growth, but it will not dethrone an operating system hegemony that has had complete authority over the PC market since 1990. In fact if you had the numbers XP+Vista+Win2k+NT+Win9x you get 90.95 or 91% market share. They will never unseat Microsoft, at least not by themselves. Their best option instead is to focus on other markets and become ingrained like with the mobile devices market... Apple's future is in media and mobile services. This is the future anyways, they should embrace it.

Your so-called sources only translates into Apple doing well with their fan base, geeks in general and the media... they really don't matter that much overall. You can't really claim any sort of momentum change with 7.75 percent of the market. They wouldn't even be able to do so if you doubled it. You have to at least get 33% of the market. The only way I see this happening is if Apple would quit the hardware business and go into licensing their OS. Which they won't do... because they are a hardware company, and by not being able to do so. They remain a niche player.

By the way, Apple is ranked #103, while Dell is listed as #34. How exactly does Apple buy out Dell (stage a coup)... pray to a higher power?

bluarash said,
I really don't see the sources I gave as propaganda. The gave you the fortune 500 lists 06-08, a revenue summary and raw market numbers for operating systems in use. If this is propaganda, than all mainstream information is so and the msm has got it in for Apple. We both know that is hardly the case. Apple is loved pretty much everywhere.

If I was going to go into speculation, I would argue that the majority of users are not really new. They are former Mac users with old PPCs and geeks from the mids 90s counter culture that have turned into yuppies and abandon their neo-communist dream of a Utopian Linux platform for a more commercial friendly Unix venture with OSX. I don't really have any proof of this... so were will just have to take Apple's word that the majority of the converts of XP users. That would translate into a little over half of just over five percent. This facing against the least successful Windows upgrade and on the horizon of Windows 7 (which is supposed to actually be pretty good as a rebranded Vista).

The main theme of my message is simply. Yes, Apple has had wonderful growth, but it will not dethrone an operating system hegemony that has had complete authority over the PC market since 1990. In fact if you had the numbers XP+Vista+Win2k+NT+Win9x you get 90.95 or 91% market share. They will never unseat Microsoft, at least not by themselves. Their best option instead is to focus on other markets and become ingrained like with the mobile devices market... Apple's future is in media and mobile services. This is the future anyways, they should embrace it.

Your so-called sources only translates into Apple doing well with their fan base, geeks in general and the media... they really don't matter that much overall. You can't really claim any sort of momentum change with 7.75 percent of the market. They wouldn't even be able to do so if you doubled it. You have to at least get 33% of the market. The only way I see this happening is if Apple would quit the hardware business and go into licensing their OS. Which they won't do... because they are a hardware company, and by not being able to do so. They remain a niche player.

By the way, Apple is ranked #103, while Dell is listed as #34. How exactly does Apple buy out Dell (stage a coup)... pray to a higher power?


Cash refers to dollars in bank accounts and other assets that are completely liquid.

Dell has a current Market Capitalization that amounts to less cash than Apple has on hand. This means Apple would be able to buy every single public share of Dell at today's closing price.

Apple could buy Dell, without incurring any debt. Of course, *not literally.*

This was only meant as an example to show that Apple's cash on hand is approaching MS'. Which has historic significance.

I really don't think Apple aims to overtake MS in market share. It's a premium brand and it has intention of changing that.

Macs or no Macs, you're entirely right about the future being in media and mobile services.

And . . .

* I'm a former Windows-user, but also former (and much longer) Mac user with an old PPC.
* I subscribe to left-wing counterculture, but not quite Libertarian. Yet.
* I used to be very Pro-Linux, but I've abandoned that (temporarily for Windows at one point!), "for a more commercial friendly Unix venture with OS X."
* I read plenty of Chomsky.
* I think Michael Moore recently sold out his counterculture heritage.

;)

Have you ever thought why Apple has so much cash without much marketshare?
Or maybe why Apple has so much cash and isn't using it?

Hint: It doesn't use the cash because its computers are cheap to make. It has heaps of cash because it sells them for crazy prices.

LTD said,
It's actually nearly 8.2% US. In January '07 it was 6.22%. YOY growth is over 20%, reaching 30% this past July.

Mac is growing at over three times the rate of PCs in the past year, outpacing the industry 3:1. And Apple's most profitable business isn't the iPod or the iPhone, it's Macs.

All growths are exponential, like how many things in life are all exponential. Don't be so quick to jump the gun.

Galley said,
There's still a chance this could be a FREE, or very cheap upgrade.

We're talking about Apple here

Not a chance. Apple even charged iPod Touch users to upgrade firmware for relatively minor changes. The only reason they'd consider releasing it for free would be to undermine Win7, though I doubt it would have much effect.

Oh thanks so much for this comment, I needed a good laugh today. Apple charges for firmware for not just the iPod Touch but wireless network cards for some iMacs. And you think they'll give away a dot release of OS X?

bob_c_b said,
Oh thanks so much for this comment, I needed a good laugh today. Apple charges for firmware for not just the iPod Touch but wireless network cards for some iMacs. And you think they'll give away a dot release of OS X?

It's not a point release like 10.5.4 - 10.5.5. It's a full OS X release, like OS X 10.4 - 10.5

Try to grasp that concept.

I've been out of the loop for a while - has there been a final word on whether this is going to be PPC compatible? If it is going to be Intel-only, any word on the next version to follow? I've been given the impression that this is kind of a "revision" of 10.5, so might they keep PPC compatibility in 10.7 if it's going to be a "full release" OS?

My G5 Quad is holding my cat hostage until it gets some straight answers, and poor Fluffy is so scared...

CelticWhisper said,
I've been out of the loop for a while - has there been a final word on whether this is going to be PPC compatible? If it is going to be Intel-only, any word on the next version to follow? I've been given the impression that this is kind of a "revision" of 10.5, so might they keep PPC compatibility in 10.7 if it's going to be a "full release" OS?

My G5 Quad is holding my cat hostage until it gets some straight answers, and poor Fluffy is so scared...

they said they are droping PPC support and going stright to full x86-64 release

Man they need to optimise. They can't keep supporting your rubbish PPC :P. Backwards compatibility for the lose.

Rolith said,
Lets see how many features they can steal from windows 7 and claim windows 7 stole from them this time...

yea the perfect time for apple to use there copying machine after the saw the features in pdc and give the naming some "i"s and call it a day

skynetXrules said,
yea the perfect time for apple to use there copying machine after the saw the features in pdc and give the naming some "i"s and call it a day

+1

They actually will steal, no doubt of that.

Glendi said,
+1

They actually will steal, no doubt of that.


Focusing a release specifically on speed and stability over new features implies that there won't be much in the way of "stealing."

Unless you know something the rest of us don't.

Windows has those Speed and Stability patches too. They're called service packs. Apple will come up with some "new" features to convince people to shell out the money for bug fixes that should have been fixed months ago.

Rolith said,
Windows has those Speed and Stability patches too. They're called service packs. Apple will come up with some "new" features to convince people to shell out the money for bug fixes that should have been fixed months ago.

So, Windows 7. Which is a Vista tweak. Just like Snow Leopard is a Leopard tweak.

Apple releases "service packs" in the form of point releases. But there aren't as many issues to address, so they don't get a lot of publicity. Those point releases are free of charge.

Apple has a much higher refresh cycle. So far the changes from OS to OS have been signifiant. Snow Leopard, as per its stated purpose (like Windows &) will not be that significant in terms of features.

LTD said,
So far the changes from OS to OS have been signifiant.


Actually, do you want to bet some money on this?

Very little of the actual OS X 'OS' has changed even since 10.0. As for upper level applications and finger, yes there have been many changes, but the OS itself, there are not as many core changes as you might believe.

People make fun of XP, saying it is just Win2K with new themes, yet there is more 'OS' and architectural changes from Win2K to XP than there was from 10.0 to 10.5 of OS X. Even XP SP2, had more architectural changes than most 10.x updates.

Just be careful about what you call 'OS' level changes, as OS X really hasn't changed much in comparison to Windows to even most Linux kernel updates. Yes System 9 to System 10 was a 'new' OS, not just changes, I agree there, but Win9x to WiinXP was also a 'new' OS, not just changes as well, and somehow people don't seem to realize this.


I am looking forward to this release as it is heavy on optimization, the one thing I felt was lacking in 10.5

300 new features? i think thats vertually impossible to do. I mean what can you add to an operating system, that it hasnt already got.

Soldiers33 said,
300 new features? i think thats vertually impossible to do. I mean what can you add to an operating system, that it hasnt already got.

Most of those 300 new features were just little things, small refinements and additions, etc. Nothing really to write home about. Technically, one could call them features, but nothing on the level of the major steps forward like Spaces, Stacks, Coverflow, etc.

But even little things like all the new stationery for Mail can have plenty of significance if you make the most of it. Brought smiles to some family members when I sent off some personalized mail a while ago.

When Apple released 10.4, one of the items on their huge "new features" list was the Dashboard. And a few of the other items in that list was every single Widget that comes with the Dashboard. That is how you get that huge number of features.

TRC said,
You know who else had an Apple Lisa? Not me, they were to expensive.

$9,995 US ($21,482.26 in 2008 dollars)

about same price as a mac pro now fair enough :P

Soldiers33 said,
i dont get it, what is the point of releasing a new OS so frequently. I mean is there anything new even added?

Didn't Leopard have over 300 new features in it?

No, they just choose another name and re-release it... what do you think?

A frequent OS release schedule is good, means there's always a recent release out there if you want to upgrade. It doesn't mean you need to upgrade every time a new version comes out.

Ricardo Gil said,
No, they just choose another name and re-release it... what do you think?

A frequent OS release schedule is good, means there's always a recent release out there if you want to upgrade. It doesn't mean you need to upgrade every time a new version comes out.

The release is going to have less features and more efficiency. The footprint will be reduced and the performance will increase.

Actually, this release of Leopard will be the full on version that they intended to release the last time around. But that version was stripped down and delayed when all of the programming team was thrown "all hands on deck" to get the iPhone out on it's summer release schedule. The good news is that there will be new stuff in this release that wouldn't have made it in last go around.

IceBreakerG said,
Kind of like how Vista was "stripped down"?

How's that? Because they removed experimental technology like WinFS that didn't work right?

MightyJordan said,
Didn't Leopard have over 300 new features in it?

If you consider the DVD player having the ability to "Float Above Other Applications" as a new feature, then sure, why not...

There are other small tweaks which they tout as "features".

Source: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/300.html#dvdplayer

I'm not at all trying to bash Leopard, it's just that 300+ new features argument is kind of bull.

MightyJordan said,
Didn't Leopard have over 300 new features in it?


Finder sucking marginally less than it did in previous versions is not a new feature!

MightyJordan said,
Didn't Leopard have over 300 new features in it?


Ya, if you want to really call them. Features...

If Microsoft made this 'pety' of a list about updates to Vista over XP, it would have been over 5,000 'features'... (Of course MS Marketing sucks and all people heard was glass and Flip3D)

Apple Marketing would call it 300 features, but for real people and hard core users, it was more like 10-20 real features...

MightyJordan said,
Didn't Leopard have over 300 new features in it?

6 on those were screensavers and many other features where available as updates to older releases.

I don't think they have a choice. Snow Leopard is a performance update and has less in the way of new features than previous releases. With Win7 already generating a lot of hype - and with it including the first major interface change since Win95 - Apple needs to get in early before Win7 takes over all the headlines and they have to endure endless comparisons. Win7 coverage has been almost universally positive, which is to be expected after the lacklustre response to Vista.