updated 09:55 am EDT, Mon March 26, 2007
Leopard dev wrapping up
Apple's Mac OS X Leopard -- which circulated to select developers -- is nearing completion, according to one analyst report. Shaw Wu of American Technology Research says the developer builds of Leopard indicate that the company is on track to ship the next generation operating system in the "spring" time frame, which runs from March 20th through June 20th. However, the analyst relayed concerns that the company has yet to publicize the promised "secret features" of Leopard. The company is expected to highlight Mac OS X Leopard at this year's annual developer conference in June. "We believe these concerns are over done and believe that Mac OS X Leopard will ship on time in the "Spring" time frame, or Apple's June quarter," the analyst wrote in research note to clients. Apple has also reportedly denied the rumored delays in Mac OS X Leopard.
Specifically, the analyst told clients that Leopard development was wrapping up and expected to hit "final candidate" stage of development.
"Our sources indicate that Apple's latest beta build has made noticeable improvements in stability and functionality from previous builds and that Apple is likely one or two upcoming builds away from reaching 'final candidate' stage to be released for manufacturing."
"The one concern we are picking up from the Apple developer community is that most are still in the dark in terms of upcoming "secret" features for Mac OS X Leopard," Wu wrote in his note. "At some point, we believe Apple needs to 'publish' or enable these so-far undocumented features for wider beta testing."
The analyst believes that it could be virtualization technology that would allow multiple operating systems to run concurrently alongside Mac OS X Leopard. Such technology, the analyst claims, would provide a strong boost for sales of Macs.
"Many are hoping, including us, that it is virtual machine technology similar to that offered by Parallels, Inc. that allows seamless operation of Mac OS and Windows simultaneously. If so, we believe this would serve as a major catalyst for Mac sales," Wu continued.
The firm has a price target of $115 on Apple stock with a "buy" recommendation.